scsi timeout with 2.4

From: Christian Kujau (
Date: Tue Jul 01 2003 - 21:01:26 EST


i don't know if it is a kernel issue at all, it could be a hardware
issue too, but i can't tell so please have a look.

i am using linux 2.4.20 on a PowerPC (PReP) with a "LSI Logic / Symbios
Logic (formerly NCR) 53c825 (rev 13)" scsi controller (onboard). i am
using the symbios driver (CONFIG_SCSI_SYM53C8XX) because the other
alternatives (NCR53C8XX, timeouts during boot, booting stops.
SYM53C8XX_2, timeouts during use, unuseable) are not working.

i have these timouts when there is heavy traffic on the controller, it's
reproduceable, it happens only *sometimes* during "normal" use. when
these timeouts occur, load goes up to 10-16, the system is unuseable,
then, after a few seconds, the system status seems to be ok again, load
is going down to normal.

i know, the controller and the machine is a bit old, but it serves my
needs. on the controller there are 3 scsi disks (2x18 GB IBM xServer,
1x36GB eServer -- yes High-End scsi disks on a low-end controller, but
the disks were cheap, somehow.)

here are the timeouts:

scsi : aborting command due to timeout : pid 3463623, scsi0, channel 0,\
id 1, lun 0 Read (10) 00 01 d0 1e 9a 00 01 00 00
sym53c8xx_abort: pid=3463623 serial_number=3463623
SCSI host 0 abort (pid 3463623) timed out - resetting
SCSI bus is being reset for host 0 channel 0.
sym53c8xx_reset: pid=3463623 reset_flags=2 serial_number=3463623\
sym53c825a-0-<0,*>: FAST-10 WIDE SCSI 20.0 MB/s (100.0 ns, offset 8)
sym53c825a-0-<1,*>: FAST-10 WIDE SCSI 20.0 MB/s (100.0 ns, offset 8)
sym53c825a-0-<2,*>: FAST-10 WIDE SCSI 20.0 MB/s (100.0 ns, offset 8)

the first line ("scsi: abort...") is sometimes repeated, 2 or up to 7
times. the last 3 lines are always repeated 3 times, as you can see
above. and the "id" is not always "1" but all three id's are affected.
while i don't believe that the disks are bad, i suspect the scsi
controller perhaps, or is it a driver issue and can i tune something?
the driver is statically compiled into the kernel with default settings.

what is your opinion on that? the controller, the disks (perhaps too new
for the controller?) or the driver?

Thank you for your time,

root@sheep:~# cat /proc/scsi/sym53c8xx/0
General information:
   Chip sym53c825a, device id 0x3, revision id 0x13
   On PCI bus 0, device 12, function 0, IRQ 15
   Synchronous period factor 25, max commands per lun 32
root@sheep:~# cat /proc/scsi/scsi
Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
   Vendor: IBM-ESXS Model: ST318305LW !# Rev: B245
   Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 03
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 01 Lun: 00
   Vendor: IBM-ESXS Model: ST318305LW !# Rev: B244
   Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 03
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 02 Lun: 00
   Vendor: IBM-ESXS Model: ST336607LW FN Rev: B258
   Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 03
root@sheep:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
cpu : 604r
clock : ???
revision : 49.2 (pvr 0009 3102)
bogomips : 299.00
machine : PReP Utah (Powerstack II Pro4000)
L2 : 512Kb, parity disabled SRAM:synchronous,pipelined,no parity

BOFH excuse #274:

It was OK before you touched it.

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