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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
SATA drives disappear/show errors, Puppy 2.16.1
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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mkarcz

Joined: 28 Dec 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan 2015, 09:14    Post subject:  SATA drives disappear/show errors, Puppy 2.16.1
Subject description: Never mind, I gave up on Puppy
 

Hello,

I am new to this forum, but not new to Linux. I have some experience with Red Hat and I was running Samba file server on Damn Small Linux.
I searched the forum for a while, but could not find a problem similar to the one I am experiencing. Hopefully somebody have some answers.

I have a problem with Puppy Linux 2.16.1 and SATA disks.
# uname -a
Linux puppypc 2.6.18.1 #1 Thu Apr 19 07:47:47 PUP 2007 i686 unknown unknown GNU/Linux

I boot from flash drive.
The reason why I am using 2.16 and not some newer version is my built-in LAN hardware (Realtek RTL8111, I must use r1000 driver for it to work), but that's another story.

The problem with the SATA disks is that after some time (I did not measure how long exactly, I just left my computer running and when returned there was a problem) they start to show errors and ultimately disappear - 'fdisk -l' does not list them anymore. The 'pmount' utility does not detect them. The disk probe still shows the drive, however 'disktype' returns error:

# probedisk
/dev/sda|Direct-Access|ATA WDC WD20EFRX-68E
/dev/sdb|Direct-Access|CENTON CENTON USB
/dev/scd0|CD-ROM|USB 2.0 DVD-ROM
# disktype /dev/sda

--- /dev/sda
Block device, size 1.819 TiB (2000398934016 bytes)
disktype: Data read failed at position 0: I/O error

dmesg:

Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 0
sd 0:0:0:0: SCSI error: return code = 0x00040000
end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 0
Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 0
Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 1
Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 2
Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 3
sd 0:0:0:0: SCSI error: return code = 0x00040000
end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 0
Buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 0

The mobo is CDC-1/D2550. BIOS is setup to AHCI SATA mode, but it acted the same when it was set to IDE mode. In AHCI mode hot plug should be supported, but re-conecting the drive and power-cycling it does not help. Only reboot restores the disk and then the problem repeats.

I checked the disks for errors on another computer. They are clean.
Please tell me there is a solution other than changing the mobo?

Thank you.

Marek K
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11224
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan 2015, 12:11    Post subject:  

For a test, you could try booting a newer Puppy from CD with the pfix=ram boot option, and see if it still happens. You might also find that the newer Puppy comes with the driver for your LAN hardware.
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mkarcz

Joined: 28 Dec 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan 2015, 17:36    Post subject:  

Thank you for the reply.

I tried the puppy 4.3.1, but the driver did not work for my LAN (r8169 if I remember correctly). I sure will try and check again if the SATA disk behaves correctly in that version. If it does then perhaps I wil be able to compile LAN driver r1000 from the source code (I did so for DSL and my older mobo, which had a very similar LAN hardware) and use that one instead of r8169, so I could have the LAN going as well.
I could put some PCI card (I have one slot free in mobo), but this would make it impossible to close my mini-ITX enclosure.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 5658
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan 2015, 19:40    Post subject:  

I would try one of the Lucid 5.2.8.7 versions of Puppy.
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=90461
You could also go back to the original Lucid 5.2.8.005
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=70855
At the end of development, this version of Puppy had good driver support for hardware.

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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mkarcz

Joined: 28 Dec 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan 2015, 19:58    Post subject:  

Thank you for the reply.

I temporarily put aside my attempts at Puppy Linux and now I am trying to install Ubuntu Server on a flash drive. I also have to deal with all sorts of power supply issues. The original PSU of my mini-ITX case failed and I bought a replacement on e-bay from Hong-Kong. This PSU will not power up if I connect SATA drive or any USB devices that are not self-powered to some of my USB ports. I actually have to power my SATA drive and USB CD-ROM from separate power supply and self-powered USB hub. The funny thing is, I have a properly working original external power brick (12V, 5A), I only replaced the PSU board that goes inside the case. I am not sure if I properly calculate the wattage output, but if we consider the output of the external brick: 12V/5A gives us only 60W. That may be not enough for modern mobos, but my previous mobo worked fine and the same brick could power 2 SATA drives from the board's connectors. My current CPU supposed to consume only 10W of power.

Well, my Ubuntu installation is at 83% now. I hope this works. If not, I will try your suggestion. Perhaps I will need a different PSU, because power issues can cause many weird symptoms, including disappearing disk drives.

Thank you kindly and have a wonderful year!
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 363

PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan 2015, 07:05    Post subject:  

.... and not just PSUs - a dodgy CMOS backup battery can lead to vexingly weird symptoms not unlike those you have described.

If you have not already done so, I suggest you eliminate that possibility as a first priority. Be sure that contacts are super-clean.
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mkarcz

Joined: 28 Dec 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan 2015, 14:00    Post subject:  

Thank you for all the suggestions.

This is a new motherboard, but I did check CMOS battery as one of the first steps. It is fine and BIOS settings hold. This so far proves to be a problem with Puppy Linux. I wonder if perhaps my mobo is just not compatible with it. I installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 and so far it works great. I boot and run it from flash pen drive, however since this is just like regular HDD installation, I wonder how long that pen drive will last due to all the fs writes/updates that happen while complex OS is running? I want to keep it running from flash drive anyway, because it is very flexible and also easy to backup/replace the OS.

This was an interesting experience.
Thank you all for help and suggestions.
I will give Puppy another try in the future, once I have a suitable hardware to run it on.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 5658
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan 2015, 18:22    Post subject:  

Quote:
I installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 and so far it works great. I boot and run it from flash pen drive,

If this will run on this computer, you should not be having problems running Puppy.
Probably just did something wrong.

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9421

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan 2015, 08:20    Post subject:  

SATA connectors are often cheap and crappy...and the cables are stiff which makes it worse....had had exactly the same symptoms and fiddling with the connectors was the cure/cause

thats it really... progress means cost cutting.. Very Happy

Those LAN cards do get handled better in later kernels by the way....there were some odd versions that are now taken care off by Lucid and later.

mike
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mkarcz

Joined: 28 Dec 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan 2015, 04:22    Post subject:  

Thank you for all the answers and suggestions.

@bigpup
Bigpup, I don't know. I guess anything is possible, but now Ubuntu Server works fine for me on the same hardware, with the same flash drive, the same SATA disks.
You do know that Ubuntu Server 12.04 runs on kernel 3.13, while the Puppy distro I tried (2.16.1) ran on kernel 2.6? In case you missed that, it's a big difference right there. However kernel 2.6 should indeed support SATA.
Besides, what I could do wrong? I downloaded ISO image, burned CD, booted the system from that CD, let the system detect hardware and that's it. SATA disks would work for a while and then disappear. Does not happen on Ubuntu now. I guess what I did wrong was that I did not try Ubuntu right away.

@mikeb
I have many SATA cables and I tried all of them. That did not seem to make any difference with the problem I experienced on Puppy. Happened with every single cable I tried. As I said to bigpup, now that I installed Ubuntu Server, the SATA disks work fine. Same hardware, same cables.
I come from software development professionally, so it is not something unimaginable to me that there may be a problem on a software level in one operating system versus another with hardware support. It is especially true with Linux, coming in many different versions and flavors, which sometimes does not fully support this or that piece of hardware. That seems to be the case here. Interesting example is my previous Linux server that I ran on Damn Small Linux. The kernel 2.4 was not even supposed to support SATA (AFAIK, in 2.4 SATA support was not fully implemented, sometimes it worked, it depended on the used SATA controller/BIOS) and yet with my old motherboard my SATA disks worked fine. The same image of DSL (booted from the same pen drive) would not recognize my SATA disks on my new motherboard, regardless of what BIOS settings I used (advanced SATA or legacy IDE mode). That is definitely a problem with driver for the SATA controller on my mobo in Puppy.

Should I register a bug to help Puppy Linux community?
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 1245
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan 2015, 09:53    Post subject:  

The only comment I'll make is that Ubuntu SERVER OS may have more complex device drivers being as its main purpose is that.

Does Ubuntu client work??

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Keisha

Joined: 18 Nov 2014
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan 2015, 13:14    Post subject: SATA drives disappear/show errors, Puppy 2.16.1  

mkarcz wrote:
...Ubuntu Server 12.04 runs on kernel 3.13, while the Puppy distro I tried (2.16.1) ran on kernel 2.6...However kernel 2.6 should indeed support SATA...on DSL..with my old motherboard my SATA disks worked fine...The same image of DSL (booted from the same pen drive) would not recognize my SATA disks on my new motherboard...That is definitely a problem with driver for the SATA controller on my mobo in Puppy...Should I register a bug to help Puppy Linux community?


No, it isn't a bug, it is just that, as you quite rightly indicate, the drivers for newer SATA controllers had not yet been written when the kernels for these older Puppies were current.

None of the Puppies in the 2 or 4 series I've tried (2.15CE, and several flavors of 4.2n) can see the SATA hard disks on my 2012 and 2013 motherboards.

The versions of Puppy which draw from Ubuntu binaries ranging from Lucid Lynx (Lucid Puppy) to Utopic Unicorn (unicornpup, Quirky Unicorn) have no problem seeing my SATA drives.

Precise Puppy 5.7.1 has a good reputation for stability.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9421

PostPosted: Sat 10 Jan 2015, 14:37    Post subject:  

Quote:
I have a problem with Puppy Linux 2.16.1 and SATA disks.
# uname -a
Linux puppypc 2.6.18.1 #1 Thu Apr 19 07:47:47 PUP 2007 i686 unknown unknown GNU/Linux


how did I miss that...yes SATA support would be very poor.. intel only more or less.
..puppies did not get to grips with SATA until later on even though such older kernels may have managed the job if configured to do so.

mike
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