IDE hard-drive problems Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE solved

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IDE hard-drive problems Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE solved

Postby codepilot on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:14 am

Hello folks!

I'm new to Linux Mint, and in my opinion it is a very successful distribution - I like it.
Just for the protocol, I completely moved from Windows to Linux due several reasons, but unfortunatelly I had to deal with much problems since then. My system is an older VIA chipset from 2003, AMD Athlon XP 1800+, 768 MB SDRAM and Nvidia Geforce 5500 FX.

The first choice I took was Kubuntu Linux, but here I got several system freezes especially on hard-disk accesses. Most people told me to buy a new hard-disk, so I did, but this was not the problem's solution. Error messages output by the kernel before the kernel panic occured where always things like

Code: Select all
[  503.154094] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2
[  503.154182] ata2.00: BMDMA stat 0x64
[  503.154251] ata2.00: cmd 25/00:b8:48:c4:d5/00:00:18:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 94208 in
[  503.154254]          res 51/84:00:48:c4:d5/84:00:18:00:00/e0 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[  503.154331] ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[  503.154394] ata2.00: error: { ICRC ABRT }
[  503.154489] ata2: soft resetting link
[  503.498612] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/100
[  503.667919] ata2.01: configured for UDMA/33
[  503.667962] ata2: EH complete
[  503.727676] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2
[  503.727761] ata2.00: BMDMA stat 0x64
[  503.727830] ata2.00: cmd 25/00:b8:48:c4:d5/00:00:18:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 94208 in
[  503.727833]          res 51/84:00:48:c4:d5/84:00:18:00:00/e0 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[  503.727910] ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[  503.727973] ata2.00: error: { ICRC ABRT }
[  503.728067] ata2: soft resetting link
[  504.071782] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/100
[  504.243236] ata2.01: configured for UDMA/33
[  504.243283] ata2: EH complete
[  504.299259] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2
[  504.299346] ata2.00: BMDMA stat 0x64
[  504.299416] ata2.00: cmd 25/00:b8:48:c4:d5/00:00:18:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 94208 in
[  504.299418]          res 51/84:00:48:c4:d5/84:00:18:00:00/e0 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[  504.299496] ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[  504.299558] ata2.00: error: { ICRC ABRT }
[  504.299653] ata2: soft resetting link
[  504.637435] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/100
[  504.810571] ata2.01: configured for UDMA/33
[  504.810613] ata2: EH complete
[  504.871910] ata2.00: limiting speed to UDMA/33:PIO4
[  504.871927] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2
[  504.872006] ata2.00: BMDMA stat 0x64
[  504.872075] ata2.00: cmd 25/00:b8:48:c4:d5/00:00:18:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 94208 in
[  504.872077]          res 51/84:00:48:c4:d5/84:00:18:00:00/e0 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[  504.872154] ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[  504.872217] ata2.00: error: { ICRC ABRT }
[  504.872313] ata2: soft resetting link
[  505.216442] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
[  505.385997] ata2.01: configured for UDMA/33
[  505.386033] ata2: EH complete


came up, and I found out that they come from the SCSI emulation for IDE hard-drives.

In the second attemp, because several options to make Kubuntu stable failed, I moved to Debian Linux, first Etch, then Lenny, and found out that the errors had gone. Althought the Debian approach was the most stable and most speedy Linux I always had on my machine, I found out that Debian is a little more challenging than ubuntu and derivates - and note, I'm newbe! So I decided to follow a friend's advice and use Linux Mint. Linux Mint got at booting and hard-disk accesses the same errors than kubuntu, and trying to solve them with the "noapic"-kernel boot parameter even didn't take any effects. So I blacklisted the libata-scsi-emulation and downgraded to legacy-ide using the tutorial at http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?s=36efb8baf9cc4d7af9dd7349d1e63b20&p=3395353&postcount=26 to get a stable system, and even to have /dev/hda instead of /dev/sda. Since then, no kernel panics occured anymore - and it solved my ATA bus error problem.

Now Linux Mint runs stable - but it is slow - even with the SCSI-emulation drivers. The boot process perfoms the double time it took with Debian, and when Mint is updating some packages, the system gets very slow. The mouse lags, applications start very slow, but the problem is not in the graphics driver (I use the latest Nvidia-driver!). Compiz runs very clear and without laggs. The laggs only come up when hard-disk-operations are performed.

Running a "hdparm -t /dev/hda2" gives me

Code: Select all
dev/hda2:
 Timing buffered disk reads:   10 MB in  3.37 seconds =   2.97 MB/sec


Well 10 MB in 3.37 seconds isn't slow, huh?

Any ideas on this - slightly sticky - problem?

So long
~codepilot
Last edited by codepilot on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Several problems related to Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby bobpur on Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:22 am

Well, the only bits of advice I can offer are: Check jumper settings on your drive. Should be "master" or "MA" and placed using the connector furtherest from the motherboard. Most of the IDE cables (the wide flat cable) are labeled or color-coded as to what connection goes where. If your computer is more than 2-3 years old you should replace the cable with a new one. Especially if you've messed with it a lot. Those little wires tend to get brittle and break when they get some age on them. If you're using two IDE drives in a "master / slave" arrangement and they are different makes, try "Cable Select" or "CS" on one or both of them.
As long as everything is "jumpered" right and placed properly on the cable (a good cable) you shouldn't be having a problem mechanically speaking. I'm not much help on the code and programming stuff. Sorry.

Good luck.
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Re: Several problems related to Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby Husse on Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:10 am

2.97 MB/sec is terribly slow - should be about 10 times that
And I can only second what bobpur writes
If you have two hard disks put them on separate IDE cables as master and if necessary move a optical unit...
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Re: Several problems related to Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby codepilot on Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:42 am

Hello bubpur and Husse,

Thanks for your replies. Well the configuration of my IDE-wiring is:

Primary IDE Master => 40 GB HDD (Seagate) jumpered as Master (/dev/hda)
Primary IDE Slave => DVD-ROM Drive (TSSCorp) jumpered as Slave(/dev/hdb)
Secondary IDE Master => 250 GB HDD (Excelstor) jumpered as Master (/dev/hdc)
Secondary IDE Slave=> DVD-RAM Drive (LG) jumpered as Slave (/dev/hdd)

The only possibility are the IDE-caples themself. I'll try to borough out two of them today from my company, maybe I got the system to work with them faster.
Any other suggestions?

Thanks & Regards,
~codepilot
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby codepilot on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:34 pm

Hello again,

Well I had one more unsuccessful try this evening to get my Linux Mint running well with my dickey computer.

First I replaced - on your advice - all IDE cables in my computer with new ones. Now I have cables without any bucklings in there, and use the same configuration of hard-drives and optical drives as listed above. Then I moved from old IDE to SATA/libata again, by reversing the steps done in http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?s=36efb8baf9cc4d7af9dd7349d1e63b20&p=3395353&postcount=26.

A reboot then brought the "good old" known error messages of the form

Code: Select all
[  503.154094] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2
[  503.154182] ata2.00: BMDMA stat 0x64
[  503.154251] ata2.00: cmd 25/00:b8:48:c4:d5/00:00:18:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 94208 in
[  503.154254]          res 51/84:00:48:c4:d5/84:00:18:00:00/e0 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[  503.154331] ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[  503.154394] ata2.00: error: { ICRC ABRT }


Then, I tried some kernel boot parameters I grabbed from several forums and search results, these where noapic nolapic acpi=off noapci linux ide=nodma idle=poll irqpoll. I tried several of them always in different compositions. The only success I had was when using noapic nolapic acpi=off, but this worked only on my /dev/sda2-partition. When I tried to copy 50 MB then from my /dev/sdb1 partition (ext3), the system froze with a kernel panic - but now without outputting such messages of the above one first. I made a "screen shot" with my digital camera that you can see below - this is what I get. Only hard reset is possible here...

And when I use kernel boot parameters like irqpoll or acpi=force, the system gets a kernel panic already when its loading...

Oh yes, and now, the best thing of all, to make the disease perfect: When I use those SATA/libata-drivers, which always let my system freeze when accessing files, I got rates of 58-78MB/sec when calling hdparms -t /dev/sda2 or hdparms -t /dev/sdb1. Nice, huh? And I can call this program without any kernel panics...

I'm relly getting stuck with this problem. Why does nothing help? Now, I again use the old IDE-driver and the system runs as it should - with huge system lags, always when performing hdd accesses. I'm now on this problem for over one week, and anything I try to solve it doesn't work. Only to switch down to this old, slow IDE driver...and the hard disks are okay, why should I get the same errors on a brand-new hard drive as I get with the old one?

Any ideas anyhow?

~codepilot
Attachments
IMG_8234.jpg
The kernel panic I get when booting with "noapic nolapic acpi=off" and trying to copy a folder using cp -R from my secondary IDE (250 GB)...
IMG_8234.jpg (198.29 KiB) Viewed 3232 times
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby bobpur on Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:11 pm

I don't know, that's a new one on me with an optical and a hdd one one IDE cable and an optical and a hdd on another IDE cable?????

I always put opticals together and hdd's together on their own separate IDE cables.

I can't argue for or against it, I've just never done it that way.

My signature in the Ubuntu Forums contains two lines that may fit here.
1). "Never give up. Remember! Amateurs built the Ark and experts built the Titanic."
2). "Some computers are like a Slinky. Not much use for anything; but, they bring a smile to your face when you push one down the stairs."

Good Luck!

PS-If I think of anything else I'll post it.
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby Husse on Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:57 pm

@ bobpur
Never put two hard disks on the same ide - why?
It was much more of a problem than it is but it still is a problem
Some hard disks don't like each other - one or both stops working (It's been a while since I worked with this so I don't remember which ones but I vaguely remember that WD was sensitive to this)
Hard disks are better off as master than slave
Hard disks have a much heavier load on the IDE channel than optical units so two on the same IDE can easily (?) be too much
On the first ATA33 only one unit at a time could use the IDE channel, but that is not the case any longer
Soon everything is SATA - in my latest box the DVD player is SATA so this will no longer be a problem
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby bobpur on Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:42 pm

That's a new one on me.

I guess, where I got my idea from, is that when you buy a computer one IDE cable runs up to the optical drives and the other has a hdd stuck to the end of it. Additional storage was done by "slaving " another hdd to the middle connector of that IDE cable.

Again, I can't argue the point. Can you provide a link to support your side. Thanks.

Have we "hi-jacked " a persons thread? If we haven't; I'm sure we are close. :) My apologies.

I am trying to find info for him. As I stated: "I'm stumped."
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby bobpur on Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:52 pm

Husse,

The link: http://www.pcmus.com/hardrive.htm#setup supports both of our philosophies regarding IDE setup.

Codepilot may want to read it too.
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby codepilot on Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:50 pm

Hello folks,

Thanks for pushing up this thread, and as bobpur said: Never give up! I also have some news on this problem - but unfortunatelly it's still there.
Yesterday, I installed Mint Elyssa on my Notebook, a BenQ Joybook R22E, AMD Sempron 2200+, 512 MB RAM, and I'm very pleased: I got a stable, error-free, fast and unlagging system - the way Mint is meaned to be. And I'm even of the opinion that Mint is the best choice on a Linux operating system for my requirements out there: Elegant, fast, easy, and ... Linux! ;)

Then, I again experimented with Mint on my main computer at home, where I get these massive problems. I changed the HDD-order, put both HDDs on one IDE cable, and even ran the computer with only one single, 250 GB hdd as Master. I always get the same results: The ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2 error comes up when running without "nolapic noapic noacpi". Running with these options gives not the errors, but the kernel panics anyhow sometimes (when running fsck, when copying...).

So I think that there are two possibilities causing this problem: My BIOS is too buggy (always when I use "irqpoll" as option, the kernel panics at boot for two times before I do a hard reboot!!), or the controller on the main board is broken. Upgrading the BIOS is a thing which I would avoid - I'd never done this before, and its a too high risk for me choosing the wrong version or something else.

So is there possibly another option I can take? For example, using a different kernel together with Mint? Or is this impossible? I also gave Mint Debian a try, but because this is only an experimental project, I don't know how to setup a Mint-like KDE with this (I even think this is not possible with this version!). Well, I'm currently writing you from this system, but it's an ordinary Debian - with Mint Bootup-Splash ;).

Any ideas?

Thanks and so long,
~codepilot
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby bobpur on Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:45 pm

I've been trying to keep an eye on your post to see if you've made any progress.

I'm not much for mucking around in the BIOS. I screwed one up once and don't want to go through that again. I'd check if there was a BIOS update utility for your machine that you could download and use. If not, suck it up, and take your machine to a computer shop or an individual you trust to do the work. It'll be worth it in the end.

One thing you might try is to go into your BIOS and find an operation labeled: "Return to default values." This will restore the BIOS to its original condition and undo any changes that have been made to the BIOS in your machine since it left the factory. If this doesn't work let me know so I won't try it. :) :) :) Seriously, I have tried this on several machines and it has helped on some and on others, nothing was changed. This may change a value that has kept you from having a trouble free install (or not).

Good Luck.
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Re: IDE hard-drive problems with Linux Mint Elyssa with KDE

Postby codepilot on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:58 am

Hello folks,

Since four days, I'm now running the previous Mint Version, Daryna, on my main machine: It works! And it recognizes my hard-drives as hdX :). I did some updates on several tools, e.g. Firefox, but this version works without any defects! Wonderful!

I think the problem is only on my machine - as mentioned, Elyssa runs even with no defects on my notebook. My main computer has a very cheap mainboard in, so this may be the problem.

I'm now completely "Mint-esized" - will tune up my other machines soon even with Mint!

Thanks!
~neo
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