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Re: Disk problems or worse?

On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 21:24, Daniel Barclay <daniel@fgm.com> wrote:

Jochen Schulz wrote:
Ralph Katz:
Lenny install on newly acquired used Dell hangs and throws errors to
syslog.  Do I have two bad disks or a more serious hardware problem?

Another option: it might be a kernel problem. I don't remember the
specifics anymore, but on one of my systems I had similar errors. After
replacing the disk and still getting these errors, I found hints that
the kernel might be at fault. I then installed a newer kernel from
backports.org and the problems went away.

What processor and chipset does your motherboard use?

Do you get

Does changing your IDE/ATA controllers from DMA mode to PIO
mode stop the message?

(I had similar problems (got similar log message) with a dual-processor
AMD Athlon MP board.  Apparently, the AMD chipset apparently had some
bug, the Linux didn't work around that particular bug, and the kernel's
IDE DMA code (or maybe filesystem code) wasn't very robust--it didn't
retry an operation that failed because of a detected DMA timeout,
and it didn't even detect that the operation failed and stop (panic
or something) before things (disk and filesystem state) became


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Install the smartmontools for hard disk.  This could tell you in case any real problems with your harddisk.
smartctl -a /dev/hda (for ide hardisk /dev/hda)
smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda (for sata harddisk /dev/sda)
change your device names with the one in your case.

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