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Thread: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vanløse, Denmark
    Beans
    39

    Angry Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Hey everybody!

    I have a huge problem with my server!
    I have installed Ubuntu Minimal 8.04.3 LTS on my small server.

    My hardware specs are:

    Mainboard: INTEL D945GCLF ATOM230 MINI-ITX
    Harddrives:
    - DELOCK INTERNAL SATA CF CARDREADER with Kingston ELITE PRO 133x 8GB CF car. (/dev/sdb)
    - 1.5 TB WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 32MB SATA2 (/dev/sda)
    RAM: 2gb Kingston VALUE RAM

    I have installed ubuntu on the CF card and my problem is the western digital harddrive, which was a surprise to me.
    I run hellanzb as a daemon and after a few minutes a little writing and reading, my harddrive becomes inaccessible. I can see in htop/top, that the programs trying to access the harddrive is in status "D" (drive sleep), and i have tried running running 'hdparm -Tt' for both drives when it "freezes".

    The hdparm result for both drives:
    (/dev/sda is the Western Digital drive)
    (/dev/sdb is the CF card mounted as /)

    Code:
    /dev/sda:
     Timing cached reads:     2 MB in  3.41 seconds = 599.72 kB/sec
     Timing buffered disk reads:    6 MB in  3.34 seconds =   1.80 MB/sec
    
    /dev/sdb:
     Timing cached reads:   996 MB in  2.00 seconds = 498.04 MB/sec
     Timing buffered disk reads:  118 MB in  3.03 seconds =  38.93 MB/sec
    I have also tried running the command hdparm -I for each drive and the ouput is:

    Code:
    /dev/sda (the slow drive)
    ATA device, with non-removable media
            Model Number:       WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0
            Serial Number:      WD-WMAVU0121769
            Firmware Revision:  01.00A01
            Transport:          Serial, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5
    Standards:
            Supported: 8 7 6 5
            Likely used: 8
    Configuration:
            Logical         max     current
            cylinders       16383   16383
            heads           16      16
            sectors/track   63      63
            --
            CHS current addressable sectors:   16514064
            LBA    user addressable sectors:  268435455
            LBA48  user addressable sectors: 2930277168
            device size with M = 1024*1024:     1430799 MBytes
            device size with M = 1000*1000:     1500301 MBytes (1500 GB)
    Capabilities:
            LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
            Queue depth: 32
            Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, with device specific minimum
            R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16  Current = 16
            Recommended acoustic management value: 128, current value: 254
            DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
                 Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
            PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
                 Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
    Commands/features:
            Enabled Supported:
               *    SMART feature set
                    Security Mode feature set
               *    Power Management feature set
               *    Write cache
               *    Look-ahead
               *    Host Protected Area feature set
               *    WRITE_BUFFER command
               *    READ_BUFFER command
               *    NOP cmd
               *    DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
                    Power-Up In Standby feature set
               *    SET_FEATURES required to spinup after power up
                    SET_MAX security extension
                    Automatic Acoustic Management feature set
               *    48-bit Address feature set
               *    Device Configuration Overlay feature set
               *    Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
               *    FLUSH_CACHE_EXT
               *    SMART error logging
               *    SMART self-test
               *    General Purpose Logging feature set
               *    64-bit World wide name
               *    WRITE_UNCORRECTABLE_EXT command
               *    {READ,WRITE}_DMA_EXT_GPL commands
               *    Segmented DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
               *    SATA-I signaling speed (1.5Gb/s)
               *    SATA-II signaling speed (3.0Gb/s)
               *    Native Command Queueing (NCQ)
               *    Host-initiated interface power management
               *    Phy event counters
               *    unknown 76[12]
                    DMA Setup Auto-Activate optimization
               *    Software settings preservation
               *    SMART Command Transport (SCT) feature set
               *    SCT Long Sector Access (AC1)
               *    SCT LBA Segment Access (AC2)
               *    SCT Error Recovery Control (AC3)
               *    SCT Features Control (AC4)
               *    SCT Data Tables (AC5)
                    unknown 206[12] (vendor specific)
                    unknown 206[13] (vendor specific)
    Checksum: correct
    
    
    
    /dev/sdb (the CF card mounted as /)
    
    ATA device, with non-removable media
            Model Number:       ELITE PRO CF CARD 8GB
            Serial Number:      20081205    000066B3
            Firmware Revision:  20090216
    Standards:
            Likely used: 6
    Configuration:
            Logical         max     current
            cylinders       15538   15538
            heads           16      16
            sectors/track   63      63
            --
            CHS current addressable sectors:   15662304
            LBA    user addressable sectors:   15662304
            device size with M = 1024*1024:        7647 MBytes
            device size with M = 1000*1000:        8019 MBytes (8 GB)
    Capabilities:
            LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
            bytes avail on r/w long: 4
            Standby timer values: spec'd by Vendor
            R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 1   Current = 0
            Advanced power management level: disabled
            DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5
                 Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
            PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
                 Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
    Commands/features:
            Enabled Supported:
               *    SMART feature set
                    Security Mode feature set
                    Power Management feature set
                    Write cache
                    WRITE_BUFFER command
                    READ_BUFFER command
                    NOP cmd
                    CFA feature set
                    Advanced Power Management feature set
                    Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
    HW reset results:
            CBLID- above Vih
            Device num = 0
    Integrity word not set (found 0x0000, expected 0x43a5)
    The Western Digital drive is mounted as ext3 with default options.
    The CF card i mounted as reiserfs with the options sync and noatime.
    I have also tried installing Ubuntu Server 9.04. SAME PROBLEM!?!

    I have no idea what is wrong and what causes the Western Digital drive to be so slow when there is r/w activity on it.
    Please help?!

    /knutz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    7

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Same problem here. Tried everything I could think of including a new motherboard. It has to be something with the drive itself. I also know another person with the exact same drive and the same problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vanløse, Denmark
    Beans
    39

    Unhappy Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Thats weird! I shure hope not, that the drive is the problem. Have you tried other OS's than ubuntu?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    7

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    I'm using it for mythtv, so no. But I have tried several Ubuntu versions. I have an older Western Digital SATA drive in the same system that has always worked perfectly. It really seems like something with this specific drive and revision (WD15EADS-00P8B0).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Beans
    2,340

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Hi,

    Try disabling NCQ for the drive:-

    echo 1 > /sys/block/sdb/device/queue_depth

    Some WD drives don't work correctly with NCQ. It worked for me on a 500Gb WD drive.

    Regards
    Ian Dobson
    Walking on water and writing software to specification is easy if they're frozen.

    My corner of the internet http://www.planet-ian.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vanløse, Denmark
    Beans
    39

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    I have tried running the command, but I don't have the permission to do it, not even as root.
    But if I read the /sys/block/sda/device/queue_depth in 'nano' the contents of that file is "1".

    Does that mean that NCQ is already disabled?
    Last edited by knutz; October 26th, 2009 at 09:15 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    7

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    I talked to a 2nd level support tech at Western Digital and they won't acknowledge a problem with the drive under Linux. I was advised by the tech to install Windows XP or Vista. They did offer to RMA the drive, but they will return the exact same model, likely with the same issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    to try running that command to disable ncq, I googled and found you need to edit the /etc/rc.local file and add

    sh -c "echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/device/queue_depth"

    before the exit 0 line.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Beans
    470
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Boot with a live cd then mount and test the drive again.

    Also: check the cables ! I had some problems with some faulty SATA II cables.

    Switch their position, plug them in different holes on to motherboard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vanløse, Denmark
    Beans
    39

    Re: Extremely slow harddrive read/write

    Quote Originally Posted by kbrunsting View Post
    to try running that command to disable ncq, I googled and found you need to edit the /etc/rc.local file and add

    sh -c "echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/device/queue_depth"

    before the exit 0 line.
    Tried this and it didn't work. It still gives me a message that i permission is denied.

    I have no idea what to do with this anymore..
    I will try switching some SATA cables... See if that works.

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