Re: PROBLEM: 2.4.20 os hang when accessing local ide harddrive

From: Roberto Slepetys Ferreira (
Date: Thu Jul 03 2003 - 14:36:35 EST

Hi Guerrero,

I am having some hangs with the 2.4.20 kernel without isolatting the source
of the trouble.

Is there any strange message at /var/log/message ? How do you concluded that
is the IDE drive ?

In my linux box, it halts without any clue of what is going on. First I
thank that the trouble was with AIC7xxx and SCSI drives, because of a
correlation of large I/O and linux halt, but after a big help from Justin
Gibbs, when I upgraded the AICxxx module to the newer, the system hangs
without the old message: Locking max tag count...


----- Original Message -----
From: "John E. Leon Guerrero" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2003 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: PROBLEM: 2.4.20 os hang when accessing local ide harddrive

> whoops...looks like this made it to linux.kernel according to google. i
> thought i was emailing a moderator with whom i'd elaborate further about
> the problem :)
> what i did not mention in the first posting is that the processes that
> do not touch the "frozen drive" continue to work fine for a couple of
> minutes before the entire machine freezes including those that do not
> use the "frozen drive". in fact, the machine works great so long as i
> avoid the frozen drive. accessing the idle ide drives is the catalyst
> which initiates the eventual machine hang.
> the hang can start by trying to list a directory on the ide drive. once
> that happens, the ls process cannot be killed. if i try to strace the
> ls process, then the strace process also becomes hung and unresponsive
> to control-c. i'm not sure why, but eventually the machine will hang
> including those processes that do not access the ide drive. in fact,
> when my oracle database is down, there is nothing that accesses the ide
> drives. the database is normally down since it's a test instance.
> i've noticed 2 ways that the ide drives freeze.
> 1. after the machine has been idle all night, i'll go take a look at the
> ide filesystem and the hang will begin.
> 2. while doing an installation to the ide drive which writes about 2gb
> of data, the drive will hang eventually.
> i do not doubt that faulty hardware could be involved. i tried changing
> the harddrive which resulted in basically the same failure...just
> delayed some. it's also possible that the drive's hardware problem
> triggers a more general hardware failure which involves the
> motherboard/cpu/memory, etc in which case i would fully expect the
> machine to hang like it does.
> on a related note, i had seen a similar "drive hangs and soon after all
> processes stop responding" problem on a different machine (completely
> different hardware) when i tried to mount a floppy. on this 2nd
> machine, that one hang is the only time that it ever happened. the
> first machine will hang with relatively predictable frequency.
> i only raise this issue from the perspective of a production server
> where partial service availability might be desireable until a planned
> service outage could be scheduled to service a faulty drive.
> if this case is at all interesting to pursue, then i would be happy to
> help out debugging it with guidance.

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