Problem in SCSI error handling 2.4/2.6
From: Mark Mokryn
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 03:23:47 EST
According to the SCSI spec, a LUN may abort all outstanding commands in
case of an error (bit QERR set in the control mode page).
This may occur on many SCSI/FC drives or storage systems, and will
certainly the case for SATA (libata) when dealing with NCQ or TCQ drives.
The problem is that the Linux SCSI error handler (2.4 & 2.6) identically
handles commands failed due to MEDIUM_ERROR and ABORTED_COMMAND by
marking both types as NEEDS_RETRY.
What we have seen in such a case is that the error handler will simply
requeue these commands, and in most cases, the exact scenario (several
commands requeued and then aborted due to a single medium error) will be
repeated ad nauseum until the retry limit. The result is often that all
of the aborted commands are needlessly failed.
The correct fix is to never retry commands failed due to medium error.
Rest assured that when a drive returns this status, exhaustive retries
and error correction algorithms have been applied at the drive level. No
storage system has the incentive of returning medium error if the error
If the error handler insists on retrying such commands, then at least
set a lower retry limit on medium errors (though I believe this is
pointless, and may just cause more aborted commands).
In any case - setting the same retry limit on medium errors and aborted
commands is a bug.
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