Problems with SATA disks and Dell PE SC1435: how to fix

We have got a couple of Dell PowerEdge SC1435 (Dual Opteron) with a lspci output like this:


00:01.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom HT1000 PCI/PCI-X bridge
00:02.0 Host bridge: Broadcom HT1000 Legacy South Bridge
00:02.1 IDE interface: Broadcom HT1000 Legacy IDE controller
00:02.2 ISA bridge: Broadcom HT1000 LPC Bridge
00:03.0 USB Controller: Broadcom HT1000 USB Controller (rev 01)
00:03.1 USB Controller: Broadcom HT1000 USB Controller (rev 01)
00:03.2 USB Controller: Broadcom HT1000 USB Controller (rev 01)
00:04.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc ES1000 (rev 02)
00:07.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom Unknown device 0140 (rev a2)
00:08.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom Unknown device 0142 (rev a2)
00:09.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom Unknown device 0144 (rev a2)
00:0a.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom Unknown device 0142 (rev a2)
00:0b.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom Unknown device 0144 (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
00:19.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:19.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:19.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:19.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5721 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 21)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5721 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 21)
03:0d.0 PCI bridge: Broadcom HT1000 PCI/PCI-X bridge (rev c0)
03:0e.0 IDE interface: Broadcom BCM5785 (HT1000) PATA/IDE Mode

it may happen that, when there is disk activity, tha SATA disk just disconnects, causing the processes using the disk to freeze for 30-60 seconds. The output in /var/log/messages could look like something like this:


ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x40000000 action 0x2 frozen
ata1.00: cmd ec/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 tag 0 cdb 0x0 data 512 in
res 40/00:01:00:4f:c2/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
ata1: port is slow to respond, please be patient (Status 0xd0)
ata1: soft resetting port
ata1: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 300)
ata1.00: configured for UDMA/133
ata1: EH complete
SCSI device sda: 312500000 512-byte hdwr sectors (160000 MB)
sda: Write Protect is off
sda: Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
SCSI device sda: write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA

The solution is to put

pci=noacpi

in your Grub/Lilo configuration as parameter of the kernel you’re using. I’ve experienced this problem with kernels 2.6.18 and 2.6.20, both 32 and 64 bit

EDIT:

I’ve spoken too early, it seems that the trick doesn’t work, so we are here again with this SATA problem on these machines. Any idea from the web?

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Obtain the Dell service tag in FreeBSD/Debian/Gentoo

Well, the title could be a little misleading cause this actually works in Linux and with other manufacturer as well, but since we were searching info for this particular topic, and didn’t manage to find anything useful on Google…

Anyway, it’s very very simple. All you have to do is install dmidecode (from Alan Cox) with:

FreeBSD

portinstall dmidecode

or whatever manner you use to install FreeBSD’s ports :)

Debian/Ubuntu

apt-get install dmidecode

Gentoo

emerge dmidecode

NOTE: this work as well with HP servers’ serial numbers and, I suppose, with IBM, Sun etc too.

Once installed, all you have to do is execute

# dmidecode -s chassis-serial-number

et voilĂ , you will get your service tag printed on screen. Moreover if your server is in the datacenter and you cannot remember the exact model

# dmidecode -s system-product-name
PowerEdge 1750

for example.

Just a note: dmidecode is the program used by OCS Inventory client to collect all these data.