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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