Problems accessing multiple IDE devices simultaneously on SMP

From: Nicholas Vinen (
Date: Wed Mar 15 2000 - 12:37:12 EST

   My system is a dual Pentium 3 with a Promise Ultra66 controller having
two hard drives connected to it, one on each IDE channel. There is a
striped partition across both of them. This works great on the 2.2.13-SuSE
kernel that I have been running for a while but for every 2.3.x version of
Linux I've tried I've had the same problem - accessing one of the drives
seems to work fine but accessing both at once (i.e. the stripe set) causes
strange system behaviour - a close-to-lockup state where everything runs
REALLY slow and maybe even freezes completely. Now on early 2.3.x kernels
this happened instantly and they were totally unusable. However on the
latest, I can use the system for minutes or perhaps even an hour but
sometimes when accessing the stripe partition I will still get lockups or
similar. Any ideas? It's not necessarily SMP related but I'm guessing
since nobody else noticed this (e.g. the developer of the Ultra66 driver)
then it most likely is.

        Nicholas Vinen


"... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs." -- Robert Firth

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