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Old 06-27-2008, 01:34 AM
Bob K Mertz
Default Bug#391867:

Some additional interesting information. We moved a boot drive from
one of the other servers that was working into this server and the
system seemed to work fine, however, this paticular system has a 3ware
9690 card and the 2.6.18-6 kernel does not have support for this card
but seeing that it was working we tried doing a fresh install. Before
doing this we moved the Ubuntu boot disk that was in this machine into
another machine that was working fine and when we booted that up it
exhibited the same ata6 slow to respond error. This tells me that
since Ubuntu is running a newer kernel that the bug is still present
in the newer kernels.

It gets a little more interesting. When I did the fresh install of
Debian from a 4.0r3 minimal CD it worked fine. During the
troubleshooting I had done a BIOS flash on this system and my
assumption was that maybe during the install something was configured
incorrectly and now that this install was being done on the new BIOS
version that it worked ok. Since this system has a 3ware 9690 card we
needed to do an upgrade of the kernel anyway and the error actually
came back. So in this case the bug wasn't present in 2.6.18 kernel
but WAS present in 2.6.25. I then downloaded one of the backport
images found here: http://kmuto.jp/debian/d-i/ but while the kernel
was booting off of the CD I say the ata6 slow to respond error so it
doesn't look like there is a change there.

Could this somehow be related to the module that the 3ware 9690 card
uses? I can't see it being related to it hardware-wise because in
moving the boot disk from this server into a server that does not have
the 9690 it still exhibited the error even tho that server wasn't
having the issue on it's own boot drive (thus possibly pointing the
finger at the 9690 module since it would be loading on that drive.

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:05 AM
Bob K Mertz
Default Bug#391867:

Just to offer one more update, I may have confirmed that this issue is
somehow related to the the 3ware driver. I removed the 9690 card and
replaced the 9500 8 port with a 9500 12 port and a seperate LSI (still
PCI-Express) card for the external array and did a fresh install of
Debian 4.0r3. The installation went flawlessly and was up and running
in no time. I then replaced the LSI PCI-E with an LSI PCI-X and the
system booted painlessly again.

Again I think it may be related to the module rather than the card
it's self because when we moved the boot drive that was loading a 9690
module to a system without a 9690 (but did have a 9500) we still saw
the same error. The 4.0r3 install also worked fine until we upgraded
the kernel in order to see the 9690 card. After that upgrade was when
we started seeing the slow to respond issues.

As a final check I decided to boot one of the backport images that has
2.6.25 kernel and I get the same error so it seems that this is
related to the newer version of the 3w-9xxx (or possible the 3w-xxxx)
module. The version that is in 2.6.18-6 works fine but 2.6.25 results
in errors on our SSD drive.

Hopefully this information is helpful in clueing someone in to what
the problem may be. As for us we're going to be running 2.6.18 for a
while it looks

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