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Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I recently bought a Western Digital Caviar (WDC) 160GB drive to use under Linux with my Promise Ultra66 controller. I'm using kernel 2.4.22-ac4, and I configured the drive with multcount=16, IO_support=0, unmaskirq=1, using_dma=1, and readahead=8. My machine REALLY DIDN'T LIKE the drive. All kinds of DMA timeouts, bus resets, etc. resulted as soon as I tried to do any significant I/O to it. I sent the drive back and asked the vendor to send a new one. The new one had the same problems. I previously had a rather old WDC drive (its capacity was only 1GB!) which had similar ...

  1. #1

    Default Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    I recently bought a Western Digital Caviar (WDC) 160GB drive
    to use under Linux with my Promise Ultra66 controller.

    I'm using kernel 2.4.22-ac4, and I configured the drive with
    multcount=16, IO_support=0, unmaskirq=1, using_dma=1, and
    readahead=8.

    My machine REALLY DIDN'T LIKE the drive. All kinds of DMA
    timeouts, bus resets, etc. resulted as soon as I tried to do
    any significant I/O to it.

    I sent the drive back and asked the vendor to send a new one.
    The new one had the same problems.

    I previously had a rather old WDC drive (its capacity was only
    1GB!) which had similar problems -- I had to disable DMA
    completely on the drive to get it to work properly.

    Searches on the Web and the Usenet have revealed that a
    number of other people have had similar problems with WDC
    drives.

    Western Digital has absolutely no information on their Web
    site about whether their drives work with Linux and if so how
    to configure Linux to use them properly.

    Taken together, what all of this says to me is that WDC drives
    do not coexist well at all with Linux, and I recommend against
    anyone buying them for use in a Linux system. I'm posting
    this message in an effort to perhaps save others from going
    through what I went through -- perhaps someone who reads this
    message will be prevented from wasting time and/or money
    buying a drive that won't work for them.
    Jonathan Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Jonathan Kamens wrote:
     

    I have 2 WDC drives running here WD-600BB + WD1200JB. Both drives
    do work fine if you disable APM completely (i.e. stop/remove apmd,
    kapmd, etc)

    Before disableing APM I had quite the same problems:
    Hard-Disk spin-downs, no DMA, etc.

    Hopefully I could help ya!

    Bye,
    Thomas
    Chakaroth Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 16:44:48 +0000, Jonathan Kamens wrote:
     
    I see the comment about power management in response to your question.
    You should also consider updating your controller's BIOS, found here:
    http://www.promise.com/support/file/bios/Ultra66B200b18.zip

    I don't think it is fair to say the "drive gets along poorly" when you are
    obviously using a state of the art drive with a dated controller.


    Douglas Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Jonathan Kamens wrote:
     

    Strange that you had to configure the drive in the first place? The
    controller is a tad old, can you get driver updates for it? I have a WD
    120GB, recently installed with Mandrake 9.2 and apmd activated with no
    problems whatsoever....

    BTW do you have the jumpers set correctly on the back of your drive. If it
    is your only drive you must have it set to SINGLE, not MASTER or CS! WD
    drives very picky about that...

    Larry Gagnon
    Larry Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Chakaroth <de> writes: 

    My system is dual-processor, and the kernel shuts off APM
    automatically on dual-processor systems, so I don't think
    that was an issue.
    Jonathan Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Douglas Mayne <localnet> writes: 

    The drive's firmware is up-to-date.
     

    1) I'd hardly call an Ultra66 controller terribly dated.

    2) The think about hardware protocols is that when a piece of
    hardware claims to support a particular protocol, it should
    support that protocol. The drive claims to support various
    protocols that the controller also supports, and yet when the
    controller attempts to use the highest protocol that both it
    and the drive support, the drive malfunctions.

    3) There is ample doentation on LKML and in newsgroup
    postings over the years of other people having trouble with
    Linux and these drives. It isn't Just Me.
    Jonathan Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Larry Gagnon <com> writes: 

    What settings did Mandrake enable for the drive by default?
    What DMA mode (if any) is the drive using?

    If the Linux distribution you're using doesn't enable DMA by
    default, and if the WDC drive is therefore used without DMA
    enabled, sure, it'll work just fine. It'll also run at least
    ten times as slow as the drive is ostensibly capable of.
     

    I don't remember how I set it, and I returned the drive so I
    can't check. But why *should it* be "very picky" about that?
    There's no reason why the drive shouldn't be able to function
    as a "master" when there's no other drive plugged into the
    channel. Other vendors' drives do not have this problem.
    Jonathan Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Jonathan Kamens wrote:
     

    True about other vendor's drives, but WD drives ARE picky, believe me. They
    must be set as SINGLE, if they are the only HD in your system.

    Larry
    --
    ********************************
    to send direct email remove "fake"
    Larry Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    Jonathan Kamens wrote: 

    I am sort of running into the same problem ....

    I purchased a WD800JB ( 80GB with 8MB cache ) as hdb.
    I also have a Seagate ST380021A ( 80GB with 2MB cache ) as hda.

    I have RedHat Liux 7.2 and nt4 installed on hda.
    I now wanted to install RH 7.2 as well to try out the 2.6 kernel on hdb.

    During installation, I checked "check for bad blocks".
    The checking for bad blocks "fails" at random points during several
    attempts to install.
    When I meant "fail", I would get a kernel panic about a NULL pointer
    reference. It "fails" at random points during the badblocks check.

    I am now running smartctl -X /dev/hdb from my current installation to
    find out anything about it... then I'll try running badblocks from the
    current installation as well.

    ( The current working installation from /dev/hda does not have any mount
    points using /dev/hdb. )

    These are the output of smartctl -a /dev/hdb from the current working
    installation. I don't necessarily understand the "attributes" table below.


    Device: WDC WD800JB-00ETA0 Supports ATA Version 6
    Drive supports S.M.A.R.T. and is enabled
    Check S.M.A.R.T. Passed.

    General Smart Values:
    Off-line data collection status: (0x82) Offline data collection activity
    completed without error

    Self-test execution status: ( 247) Self-test routine in progess
    70% of test remaining

    Total time to complete off-line
    data collection: (2478) Seconds

    Offline data collection
    Capabilities: (0x79)SMART EXECUTE OFF-LINE IMMEDIATE
    NO Automatic timer ON/OFF support
    Suspend Offline Collection upon new
    command
    Offline surface scan supported
    Self-test supported

    Smart Capablilities: (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
    power-saving mode
    Supports SMART auto save timer

    Error logging capability: (0x01) Error logging supported

    Short self-test routine
    recommended polling time: ( 2) Minutes

    Extended self-test routine
    recommended polling time: ( 38) Minutes


    Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
    Revision Number: 16
    Attribute Flag Value Worst Threshold Raw Value
    ( 1)Raw Read Error Rate 0x000b 200 200 051 0
    ( 3)Spin Up Time 0x0007 091 091 021 1966
    ( 4)Start Stop Count 0x0032 100 100 040 33
    ( 5)Reallocated Sector Ct 0x0033 200 200 140 0
    ( 7)Seek Error Rate 0x000b 200 200 051 0
    ( 9)Power On Hours 0x0032 100 100 000 76
    ( 10)Spin Retry Count 0x0013 100 253 051 0
    ( 11)Calibration Retry Count 0x0013 100 253 051 0
    ( 12)Power Cycle Count 0x0032 100 100 000 32
    (194)Temperature 0x0022 073 253 000 70
    (196)Reallocated Event Count 0x0032 200 200 000 0
    (197)Current Pending Sector 0x0012 200 200 000 0
    (198)Offline Uncorrectable 0x0012 200 200 000 0
    (199)UDMA CRC Error Count 0x000a 200 253 000 0
    (200)Unknown Attribute 0x0009 200 085 051 0
    SMART Error Log:
    SMART Error Logging Version: 1
    No Errors Logged


    noone Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    noone wrote: 

    smartctl -X /dev/hdb did not report any problems at all.

    Having said that, these are the things that I can find about WD drives
    wiht linux:


    http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Ultra-DMA-9.html
    http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/linux/linux-kernel/2003-23/0867.html
    http://archives.mandrakelinux.com/expert/2002-07/msg00539.php
    http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0209.1/0088.html

    noone Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    noone wrote: 
    >
    > smartctl -X /dev/hdb did not report any problems at all.
    >
    > Having said that, these are the things that I can find about WD drives
    > wiht linux:
    >
    >
    > http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Ultra-DMA-9.html
    > http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/linux/linux-kernel/2003-23/0867.html
    > http://archives.mandrakelinux.com/expert/2002-07/msg00539.php
    > http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0209.1/0088.html
    >[/ref]


    Plus one more ... though not just linux related:


    http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=913&p_created=1047068027

    noone Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    noone wrote: 
    >>
    >> smartctl -X /dev/hdb did not report any problems at all.
    >>
    >> Having said that, these are the things that I can find about WD drives
    >> wiht linux:
    >>
    >>
    >> http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Ultra-DMA-9.html
    >> http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/linux/linux-kernel/2003-23/0867.html
    >> http://archives.mandrakelinux.com/expert/2002-07/msg00539.php
    >> http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0209.1/0088.html
    >>[/ref]
    >
    >
    > Plus one more ... though not just linux related:
    >
    >
    > http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=913&p_created=1047068027
    >
    >[/ref]

    That was the fix mention in here:


    http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/linux/linux-kernel/2003-23/0843.html

    noone Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    noone wrote: 

    Will try this tomorrow ... will disconnect hda first just in case that
    utility tries to change the firmware on hda, which is a Seagate and not
    a WD drive.

    noone Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    I've been using the wd 160 gb drive for several months as a dual-boot
    for xp & linux; even cashed in the rebates.

    1) Have you tried the controller that came with the wdc drive? The
    controller is supposed to be for use by motherboards that cannot
    handle 160 gb drives.

    2) Does your motherboard bios have an update that will allow it to
    handle 160 gb or greater drives & set to use LBA for the drives?
    This is supposed to correct the 137 gb limit of many "older"
    versions of the bioses.

    I'm using the wd 160 gb as the only drive and the mb bios had been
    updated to handle 160 gb drives; the supplied controller & driver
    was needed only for the install of winxp but is able to run
    without the supplied Promise controller.

    The mb bios just see the wd 160 gb drive as an LBA drive & nothing
    else is needed.

    The linux kernel for the SuSE install was 2.4.19 & have updated the
    kernel to do 2.4.22, 2.4.23 & now using 2.6.0 on the wd 160 drive.
    Linux also see the drive as an LBA/LBA32 drive as per the lilo.conf.

    On 2003-12-30, Jonathan Kamens <brookline.ma.us> wrote: 
    pc Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    noone wrote: 
    >
    > Will try this tomorrow ... will disconnect hda first just in case that
    > utility tries to change the firmware on hda, which is a Seagate and not
    > a WD drive.
    >[/ref]


    Got things working now in my case.

    The above upgrade was not helpful in my case because it said that the
    firmware is already current.

    smartctl reports no errors
    badblocks also report no errors

    What I did differently this time was that I created the ext3 filesystems
    from the current working installation on /dev/hda ... So that during the
    install of RH 7.2 on /dev/hdb, it did not have to mkfs or run badblocks.

    After that RH 7.2 has been installed on /dev/hdb, the original kernel
    shipped with RH 7.2 does not handle ATA-100, so upgraded the kernel to
    2.4.20-20.7, and now my WD drives are now running in ATA-100.


    noone Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Western Digital Caviar (WDC) drives get along poorly with Linux

    On Tue, 30 Dec 2003, Jonathan Kamens <brookline.ma.us> wrote: 
    >
    > My system is dual-processor, and the kernel shuts off APM
    > automatically on dual-processor systems, so I don't think
    > that was an issue.[/ref]

    What about firmware BIOS (CMOS setup) power saving settings? That may be
    spinning drives down (without any input from Linux) causing DMA timeouts
    getting them spun up again.

    Another thing to look at is whether the drive does its own write caching
    by default, which can interfere with Linux read/write caching. On one PC
    I have to specifically use hdparm -W0 for drives in my boot scripts
    (boot.local in SuSE), or I get weird errors from hdparm -tT.

    --
    David Efflandt - All spam ignored http://www.de-srv.com/
    David Guest

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