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Solved: UDMA Nightmare

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lentil, Jul 1, 2007.

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  1. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    I have a pretty ordinary system, AMD Sempron 3400+, 1GB ... and crucially 2 x Hitachi PATA drives that live in removable caddies, connected by high quality PATA cables (not kinked !) and a overrated PSU.

    Very long story short, reconfigured system, upgraded OS etc, BIOS switched drives to UDMA6 (Note I didn't push them, they auto configured) with 50 -60MB/Sec ... I was so so pleased :)

    So pleased that is until my system corrupted almost every file on the HDD, looking at the logs I had quite a few ...

    media error (blank): status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
    media error (blank): error=0x80 { LastFailedSense=0x08 }

    sprinkled around ... gulp :(

    OK so re-install, same prob, re-install, try and control UDMA level via BIOS,
    Selecting any UDMA level results in UDMA6 and bye bye system, switched to multiwordDMA, which is what I am running as now and all is well, drives report that they are now at UDMA2 (don't get that - would have thought that should be mdma2)

    Anyway, system is stable.

    Anybody any idea what is happening ?
    Is it because I am running the HDDs in caddies with the extra connectors / cables ?
    Or is it something to do with Hitachi drives ?
    All not helped by a c*** BIOS :)

    I would love to solve this problem, 20MB/Sec is OK but a bit sluggish, what do you guys run at ?

    Any help much appreciated ?

    Cheers

    Dave

    ############################################################################

    [email protected]:~# hdparm -i /dev/hda

    /dev/hda:

    Model=HDT722516DLAT80, FwRev=V43OA70A, SerialNo=VD091BTCDNE24R
    Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs }
    RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=51
    BuffType=DualPortCache, BuffSize=7674kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=off
    CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=268435455
    IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
    PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
    DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
    UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 udma3 udma4 udma5 udma6
    AdvancedPM=yes: disabled (255) WriteCache=enabled
    Drive conforms to: ATA/ATAPI-7 T13 1532D revision 1: ATA/ATAPI-2 ATA/ATAPI-3 ATA/ATAPI-4 ATA/ATAPI-5 ATA/ATAPI-6 ATA/ATAPI-7

    * signifies the current active mode

    [email protected]:~# hdparm -tT /dev/hda

    /dev/hda:
    Timing cached reads: 676 MB in 2.07 seconds = 326.46 MB/sec
    Timing buffered disk reads: 68 MB in 3.03 seconds = 22.43 MB/sec
    [email protected]:~#
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd be guessing the drive drawers. Look closely at the construction of the drawers, do they have 40 conductor or 80 conductor jumper cables connecting the disks inside the drawer. I had some with the 40 conductor cables, and even though I used quality cables to the drawer frame, they would still corrupt data.

    A simple way to find out is to connect the drive directly to the cable you're using, and see if you still have problems. :)
     
  3. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    The leads are 80 way, and yes I guess you are right, stripping the caddies is the way to know. Problem is I REALY need them caddies. At a guess SATA HDDs & cadies might stand up better :)

    I will snapshot the OS, and strip the caddies.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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  5. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Most of the drives run at UDMA5, I believe one Maxtor is running at UDMA6 in the racks.
     
  7. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    OK - to get to my IDE cables is a struggle and I'm lazy - so I tried something.

    I have an 80GB hdd caddy knocking around, I dumped a clone of my OS on it, enabled fully automatic BIOS UDMA configuration, booted it, it settled on UDMA5.

    I wrote a bash script to hammer the drive, copying the OS in chunks to a scratchpad area then deleting the scratchpad area.

    The drive is hammered

    I have been running like this for over an hour - checking the logs - not even a squeek - my other drives threw out seek errors as soon as DMA was turned on without even labouring the drives.

    So my problem drives, both Hitachi Deskstar 164GB's
    My replacement good as gold drive, a Hitachi Deskstar 80GB

    I could still skin my knukkles & get to the IDE cable but from what I just found out it looks like a faulty HDD batch ? Bought both 164GBs at same time, same place ?

    What do you think ?

    Dave
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Personally, I'd still remove at least one from the rack and run it connected directly to a cable.
     
  9. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    Yep I think I will - I will let you know how I get on ...
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'm curious. ;) It's really hard to imagine that two drives are really defective. My guess is their interface is just a little more sensitive to the connection method.
     
  11. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    I had one that looks like that. I seem to remember the connector between the frame and the removable drive box was a 36 pin Centronics (printer) connector. Is that what you have?
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Yep, that's the one that I have. :)
     
  13. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    Just cloneing my fully working os ... and moveing it to my UDMA5 HDD :)
    Will try then try direct link on old drive.
     
  14. lentil

    lentil Thread Starter

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    Sorry for the delay - I removed the Hitachi 164GB from its caddy, plugged it directly
    onto the PATA cable and booted ....

    UDMA6 ... and not an error in sight :)

    Put it back in the caddy, booted it, seek errors :(

    So it is my caddy, why my Hitachi 80GB doesn't have this problem is
    beyond me - though it only auto configures to UDMA5 not 6

    Now I would love to buy some of those caddies that you guys
    recommended - the LIAN-LI RH-26's but they wont ship outside the US,
    and I cant get them in the UK - sigh

    If anyone can recommend UK available caddies rated for UDMA6 I would
    be real interested :)

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  15. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Well, at least you now know what the issue is. :) I would have been very surprised if it wasn't the caddy...
     
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