Re: Laptop mode causing writes to wrong sectors?

From: Vojtech Pavlik
Date: Sat Nov 19 2005 - 04:28:52 EST

On Sat, Nov 19, 2005 at 09:39:15AM +0100, Bart Samwel wrote:
> Pavel Machek wrote:
> >>My laptop also has a spindown (five min from memory) and I have yet to
> >>have a problem with it. Don't know if any of that is "spindowns without
> >>laptopmode" in a useful sense.
> >
> >Unless you can also reproduce the failure... no, probably does not help
> >much.
> Okay, let's recap.
> * There are a lot of people who are not having problems. The people who
> *are* having problems can usually reproduce them. My interpretation: the
> problem is triggered by some hardware and/or kernel config settings.
> * A significant proportion of the people who *do* have trouble see
> messages about DMA timeouts. The problems do also occur on other
> hardware, but seem to be most pronounced on Thinkpad T40s. On those
> machines, the DMA timeout problems are triggered *especially* when the
> madwifi drivers are loaded (see
> Perhaps I should start collection kernel configs and hardware specs, see
> if there are any unexpected commonalities. The influence of the madwifi
> drivers suggest that we could be be looking for anything really. What do
> you think?

The issue might be that these people are using

hdparm -S xxx


hdparm -y / -Y

while a much better way to do

hdparm -B 63

The -S option should in theory be safe, but I remember some drives did
behave unpredictably if this was used. -y/-Y is much tougher and some
drives will not work reliably unless first woken up manually before
issuing a read/write request.

On the other hand, -B is pretty safe on drives that support it, and all
IBM notebook drives do.

Vojtech Pavlik
SuSE Labs, SuSE CR
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