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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Is there a way to diagnose a USB port and HDD disappearing?
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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xan

Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 23 Apr 2013, 05:55    Post_subject:  Is there a way to diagnose a USB port and HDD disappearing?
Sub_title: Probedisk keeps popping up and I have to kill it
 

I have an external portable USB hard disk drive (Western Digital). It can be operating happily and then suddenly the drive will disappear from the Puppy attached devices (probedisk?).

Then it reappears under a different device name (sde to sdf). I mount it and if I was writing a file then only part of it is there and I delete and start again.

Sometimes it copies files to completion, sometimes it drops out when reading files, or even when doing nothing at all.

Any tests or commands that can tell me anything? It seems to work fine in Windows but I have it partitioned into two, first one with VFAT and the second with Ext4.

I'm using Slacko.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11182
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 23 Apr 2013, 08:00    Post_subject:  

Sounds like a bad connection to me. Does the drive use one of those double USB cables to get more power from the computer, or does it use an external power supply? Try a different USB cable if you can. Experiment to see if gently wiggling the USB cable where it plugs into the computer or the hard disk causes the problem.
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xan

Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 08:19    Post_subject:  

Flash wrote:
Sounds like a bad connection to me. Does the drive use one of those double USB cables to get more power from the computer, or does it use an external power supply


I have an external power supply. It works okay in Windows but not in Slacko. What does probedisk do? That's the application that keeps coming up and changing the device name. I have to kill it to stop it.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11182
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 08:51    Post_subject:  

It still sounds like a bad connection or cable somewhere. I've used all kinds of USB storage devices in many different Puppys and the only time I had an intermittent problem similar to the one you describe, it seemed to be a bad USB flash drive connector. Other flash drives worked fine in that same USB port. Do you have another drive of some kind that you could try in that same USB port?
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Karl Godt


Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 3982
Location: Kiel,Germany

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 09:02    Post_subject:  

xan wrote:

I have an external power supply. It works okay in Windows but not in Slacko. What does probedisk do? That's the application that keeps coming up and changing the device name. I have to kill it to stop it.

Code:
cat /sbin/probedisk*

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xan

Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 09:25    Post_subject:  

Karl Godt wrote:

Code:
cat /sbin/probedisk*


Thanks, but I don't know what to do with that. The thing keeps dropping out and redrawing the icons with different device letters. It appears as sdd1, I click on it then it disappears and sde1 appears, I click on it and it disappears. It's like playing wack a mole.

Is there an alternative to it?
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xan

Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 09:29    Post_subject:  

Flash wrote:
I've used all kinds of USB storage devices in many different Puppys and the only time I had an intermittent problem


Sure, but for some reason it's stable in Windows. That's why I wanted to know if there are any diagnostic commands that I can run to find out what's going on.
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veronicathecow


Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 536

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 09:32    Post_subject:  

Hi Xan, have you tried a different USB port?
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xan

Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 13:45    Post_subject:  

veronicathecow wrote:
Hi Xan, have you tried a different USB port?


Thank you for replying, but that's not the kind of suggestions that I want. They are equivalent to slapping the side of the TV to get it to work.

I'm sure that there are linux commands that can help diagnose what the problem is, but I don't know enough to know what they are. The only one I know is lsusb. Then there are the logs that puppy makes, like udevtrace.log, but I don't know how to interpret them.
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`f00


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 809
Location: the Western Reserve

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 15:22    Post_subject:
Sub_title: ..
 

hi xan

Yah, intermitent connection is the bane of externals for pups - sometimes you can look up a file in /initrd/pup_rw (or do an archive of as a temporary store somewhere) if that happens and you really don't want a do-over for the whole session. Depending on how you've got your saves set up.

Windows doesn't poll as often. I'm guessing about pup_frontend_d but maybe try killing that as another experiment (also some stuff in eventmanager to tweak if you want to try that for the driveicons) Neutral once the connection blips I'd imagine pretty much all bets are off for your assigned external 'til it gets reset correctly Sad

good luck
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11182
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 15:37    Post_subject:  

Xan, what veronicathecow suggested was meant to help diagnose the problem, not as a permanent fix. I'll ask it again: have you tried a different USB port?
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r__hughes

Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 343
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri 03 May 2013, 18:20    Post_subject:  

This sounds similar to a USB problem I'm having on a Dell D610 Latitude laptop grub booting WinXP, Pup421, pup431 and now Slacko55PAE.

The problem only happens with Slacko55 and only after some 10min or more use which is why I think it's temperature related:
either a USB thumbdrive is not recognized at all (no flashing of the drive led) or the drive icon appears on the desktop but disappears when I try to click on it to mount & open it.

I have the problem on all 4 USB-2 ports and with a USB-hub.
I have Torsmo installed to give me a status readout (see fig) but can't get an acpi thermal readout with Slacko5.5 so I have to use the system - hardware information on the Menu.

I have no problems with pups 421 & 431 and am wondering if this could
all be related to acpi fan operation & possible overheating?

I can get the USBs to work if I reboot to pup431 or if I switch off for 5min & reboot to Slacko5.5. (I get the same problem with Slacko55-4G) maybe my laptop is just getting old.
desktop.png
Description  This is my desktop with the Torsmo info
png

 Download 
Filename  desktop.png 
Filesize  188.98 KB 
Downloaded  73 Time(s) 

_________________
--- quad booting pup431, Slacko55PAE, Slacko56NPAE (with OO3/LO4, devx, Gimp) & WXP on DELL Dimension 2400 PC & DELL Latitude 630 Laptop using grub.
---USB-Flash booting same on Samsung N110 WXP Netbook and Lenovo q100 WXP netPC.
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rjbrewer


Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: merriam, kansas

PostPosted: Fri 03 May 2013, 20:02    Post_subject:  

r__hughes wrote:
This sounds similar to a USB problem I'm having on a Dell D610 Latitude laptop grub booting WinXP, Pup421, pup431 and now Slacko55PAE.

The problem only happens with Slacko55 and only after some 10min or more use which is why I think it's temperature related:
either a USB thumbdrive is not recognized at all (no flashing of the drive led) or the drive icon appears on the desktop but disappears when I try to click on it to mount & open it.

I have the problem on all 4 USB-2 ports and with a USB-hub.
I have Torsmo installed to give me a status readout (see fig) but can't get an acpi thermal readout with Slacko5.5 so I have to use the system - hardware information on the Menu.

I have no problems with pups 421 & 431 and am wondering if this could
all be related to acpi fan operation & possible overheating?

I can get the USBs to work if I reboot to pup431 or if I switch off for 5min & reboot to Slacko5.5. (I get the same problem with Slacko55-4G) maybe my laptop is just getting old.


Just tried Slacko 55-4g on a D610. Full install and usb
boot. No problems at all.

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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 454
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Fri 03 May 2013, 22:16    Post_subject:  

Hi xan
Please do yourself a big favour, stop using that harddisk NOW!

My LaCie 160Gb USB harddisk just collapsed, se my thread:

My USB HD failed; all my puppy stuff unreachable

It started almost just like you describe; it suddenly quit and remounted itself, one minute it was 'sdb1', then it quit and started up again as 'sdc1'. One day it just died. It is obviously the electronic circuit that connect to the hd inside the box, that quit functioning normally. My advice is to quit using your hd right now, to avoid that it become corrupted, and buy one of the external connectors that allow harddisk of several types to connect to a USB port, like I describe in my post. Otherwise you risk losing everything on that disc, as I may have done.

Don't even risk starting a long-lasting backup, if it collapses while running, you may lose all the rest.

tallboy

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r__hughes

Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 343
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat 04 May 2013, 14:21    Post_subject:  

Further to my post of yesterday re: USB icons disappearing with slacko55PAE on a Dell Latitude D610 laptop.

I have managed to reduce this problem significantly by using the CPU Frequency scaling tool set to 50%. I used to have USB icons drop-out after 10 mins of intensive file transfers to several USB thumbdrives (either using the 4 USB ports or using a 4-port USB Hub in one of the computer's USB port) - but now I am getting 40 mins with no problems (so it could be even more). I think this confirms that my problem was indeed an overheating of some USB-related component(s) on my computer.

Sorry if this doesn't helpyou with your problem - but it may add a little more data to the mix.

_________________
--- quad booting pup431, Slacko55PAE, Slacko56NPAE (with OO3/LO4, devx, Gimp) & WXP on DELL Dimension 2400 PC & DELL Latitude 630 Laptop using grub.
---USB-Flash booting same on Samsung N110 WXP Netbook and Lenovo q100 WXP netPC.
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