Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 239592
USB harddisk read&write causes computer lockup
Last modified: 2008-06-16 21:18:57 EDT
Description of problem:
writing and reading from an external USB harddisk seems to cause the computer to
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
hung the computer 3 times today
Steps to Reproduce:
1.copy data to USB disk
2.at same time read from USB disk
computer should continue to work
This happened a few times today and I am sure this used to work fine with this
HD about a month ago. I am writing data (~700 kB/s from network) to the USB
disk. Everything works fine as long as I don't access the disk (much) at the
same time. Relevant part of /var/log/messages is attached.
Created attachment 154415 [details]
part of /var/log/messages
Created attachment 154416 [details]
Created attachment 154417 [details]
lsusb -v output
I don't think I can do much if a disconnect happens. It is always initiated
by device. Try to find an external enclosure which does not disconnect.
I think there are 2 problems:
1) the device is relatively new (5 months old) and worked fine until about 1
month ago. While it is of course possible that something went wrong with the
device I was wondering if there had been changes to the USB driver/kernel that
could cause that.
2) even if the device disconnects for some reason, it should not be able to
bring the computer to a crawling halt that I can only get out of by rebooting
(sometimes CTRL-Alt-Del works, sometimes only a power off!).
Quite so. Although the host does not ever disconnect any USB devices,
the software can precipitate a disconnect by making the firmware in the
device to crash. Some of them are really fragile, especially anything
OEM-ed from Gensys.
BTW, FC-6 ships with ub enabled. What does happen if you boot with
libusual.bias="ub" in grub.conf? Mind, the mount devce will move
from sda1 to uba1 for the test. Look into /proc/partitions to check.
I have been running today with libusual.bias="ub" and the drive seemed to work fine.
(This is a mass-update to all current FC6 kernel bugs in NEW state)
I'm reviewing this bug list as part of the kernel bug triage project, an attempt
to isolate current bugs in the Fedora kernel.
I am CC'ing myself to this bug, however this version of Fedora is no longer
Please attempt to reproduce this bug with a current version of Fedora (presently
Fedora 8). If the bug no longer exists, please close the bug or I'll do so in a
few days if there is no further information lodged.
Thanks for using Fedora!
I am currently using Fedora 7 and intend to wait for 9 before upgrading again.
About a month (IIRC) after I sent comment #7 the libusual.bias="ub" kernel
parameter vanished in FC6 and the behaviour of external USB drives got worse
again. I then switched to Fedora 7 to see if there was an improvement, but this
did not help.
The current manifestation of the problem is no longer a kernel lock up but a
shutdown of the USB subsystem (or so it seems). For example, if I have a USB
mouse connected, then connect the USB disk and write to the disk I will loose
the use of the USB mouse at a random point in time. Unplugging the mouse and
reconnecting it (to the same or another USB port) does not make it work. Only a
reboot makes the mouse available again, while the touchpad is working all the time.
Another manifestation under Fedora 7 is that the USB HDs disconnect (on read or
write) and then automatically reconnect. This is seen in the window manager as
the disk icon vanishing and then reappearing. This can happen a few times after
which the disk stays lost. Unplugging and plugging the disk back in again does
not make it accessable again. Only a reboot helps. The problem starts at a
random time and sometimes one can work for hours without a problem.
I have seen this problem now with 3 different enclosures. Apart from the i686
laptop I have also seen this happen with Fedora 7 on a x86_64 desktop, although
(it seemed) less frequently. Older versions of Fedora (eg. FC5) however do not
seem to have a problem with these external disks.
Correct, ub is not supported anymore in Fedora. It should be possible
to emulate some of its lighter load characteristics by:
echo 32 > /sys/block/sdb/queue/max_sectors_kb
But honestly I suspect a new motherboard is the solution here.
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