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Re: [Xen-users] SATA drives will not start under xen

Quoting Mike Lovell <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>:

Chris wrote:
Quoting Mike Lovell <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>:

On 7/18/2009 6:57 PM, Chris wrote:

I am having a peculiar problem. I am running a dual amd64 system on a Tyan Tomcat h1000s S3950 motherboard with 4 Gigs of ram and two SATA 3.0 g/s seagate drives (in RAID 1 configuration using LVM2). I am using Gentoo Linux, current as of today.

When I boot the system, everything looks good until it starts the drives, then the system chokes and spits out a bunch of errors like these:

ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:0e.0[A] -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11
ata1: SATA max UDMA/133 cmd 0xffffc2000002c000 ctl 0xffffc2000002c020 bmdma 0xffffc2000002c031 ata2: SATA max UDMA/133 cmd 0xffffc2000002c100 ctl 0xffffc2000002c120 bmdma 0xffffc2000002c131 ata3: SATA max UDMA/133 cmd 0xffffc2000002c200 ctl 0xffffc2000002c220 bmdma 0xffffc2000002c231 ata4: SATA max UDMA/133 cmd 0xffffc2000002c300 ctl 0xffffc2000002c320 bmdma 0xffffc2000002c331
scsi0: sata_svw
ata1: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 300)
ata1.00: ATA-7: ST3250410AS, 3.AAC, max UDMA/133
ata1.00: 488397168 sectors, multi 16: LBA48 NCQ (depth 0/32)
ata1.00: qc timeout (cmd0xef)
ata1.00: failed to set xfermode (err_mask=0x4)
ata1: failed to recover some devices retrying in 5 secs
(starts over with SATA link up 1.5 gbps...)
Eventually the system gives up (after struggling for like 10 minutes) and locks up hard.

I found that if I disabled APIC in the BIOS, it will boot -- but as soon as I try to start the network, the logs fill with more of the same junk, and the system locks up hard.

I installed a regular gentoo kernel, and used the exact same config file -- the system boots just fine. No problems what-so-ever. So, this is definitely a Xen thing...

Anything I can do to fix this?

btw: using kernel version 2.6.21-xen -- the most recent kernel in portage -- and xen 3.4.0

Do you get these same errors on an non-xenified kernel? Also, do the
errors always contains errors complaining about ata1 or scsi0? If this
is the case, then the first disk on the controller is bad and probably
should be replaced. These errors are usually the driver detecting a
problem disk and trying to handle the errors. Hope that answers your


As I stated, I have installed a regular gentoo kernel with the same exact .config file, and I do NOT have these problems. Only with Xen. The controller is fine... Gotta be a Xen issue. It stinks of an IRQ or some similar conflict to me...

Any other ideas?

My bad for not completely reading your email. Sry.

Was the regular kernel you used also a 2.6.21 kernel? I am assuming so
since you said you used the exact same .config file and that is always
changing between kernel versions. I have never used a controller that
uses the sata_svw driver. One other option would be to use a newer
kernel. There may not be a newer version in portage, but there are
people that have made newer working tarballs.


Hunting around the mailing list archives should turn up some additional
resources. Hopefully these sites or the archives can help you out.


Bad news -- I added the overlay for 2.6.30-r2 xen patched kernel, used the same .config and recompiled... it won't boot. Goes right to a a black screen, then reboots. Tried remaking my initrd several times a few different ways, just to see (a total shot in the dark) -- but no dice.

Also, I downloaded a fresh, vanilla 2.6.21 kernel for kernel.org, copied over the same .config file I've been using -- and the system boots without complaint. The problem is definitely stemming from Xen. It either doesn't like the broadcom servworks sata_svw SATA chipset, or I'm having an IRQ conflict (or both). Since it will boot with APIC turned off in the bios, I'm thinking the latter. Starting up the network (with APIC off) causes the conflict. Booting with the APIC turned on in the bios, the conflict just happens sooner... (well, as good a theory as any other...)

I have now put in about 30 hours on getting this thing to work. I have been a very big Xen fan... but I am sad to say, since I'm on a deadline here, I may have to look to KVM or VMware... :(

I appreciate the input, Mike. If anyone has any great ideas here, I'd love to hear them, and soon!



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