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  1. LINUX

The following are reports of serious problems (eg system lockup) which were due to smartmontools. There are DARWIN, LINUX, FREEBSD, SOLARIS and WINDOWS sections below.


You may also wish to search the linux-kernel mailing list for problem reports concerning smartmontools.

PROBLEMUsing smartd/smartctl on USB "SCSI" storage devices can cause kernel hang
SYSTEMAny system with USB ports and USB storage devices
REPORTERsee link below
NOTEUSB storage devices are handled as SCSI devices by the kernel. But many of these devices do not comply with SCSI specs, and can cause the kernel to hang. Avoid using smartd/smartctl on these devices (they don't do SMART anyway). In particular, the use of smartd DEVICESCAN in /etc/smartd.conf can cause these devices (typically represented by /dev/sda or /dev/sdb) to hang, and the kernel to lock up.
FIXEDThis problem should be fixed in smartmontools-5.25 and greater.

PROBLEMsmartd makes NTP time drift
SYSTEMIntel 875WP1-E motherboard with SATA drives on motherboard's SATA ports
NOTEWhen using SATA disks, linux kernel k_smp-2.4.21-108 (SMP because of hyper-threading) and xntp-4.1.1-177, the server time went out of sync with system time. Problem goes away when SATA disks removed.

PROBLEMLocked up, needed to be rebooted
SYSTEMDell servers using AACRAID (SCSI)

PROBLEMSmartctl locks system solid when used on /dev/hd[ef].
SYSTEMBox with Promise 20265 IDE-controller (pdc202xx-driver) and > 2.4.18 kernel with ide-taskfile support
REPORTERGeorg Acher <acher@…>
NOTELockup doesn't happen with 2.4.18 kernel, and doesn't affect /dev/hd[a-d] This appears to be a problem with the pdc202xx-driver and has been reported to the pdcx maintainers. If you enable the Promise-BIOS (ATA100-BIOS) then everything will work fine. But if you disable it, then the machine will hang.

PROBLEMSmartctl locks system solid
SYSTEMBox with Promise 20262 IDE-controller
REPORTERBen Low <ben@…>
NOTESimilar to previous report: Promise Ultra66 2-port card (20262) which, with linux 2.4.20, suffers from the lockups reported above. But it was impossible to enable the Promiste BIOS. A kernel patch is referenced to fix the problem.

PROBLEMSmartctl locks system solid when used on CDROM/DVD device
SYSTEMPromise 20265 IDE-controller
REPORTERsee link below
NOTEProblem seems to affect kernel 2.4.21 only.

PROBLEMSystem freezes under heavy load, perhaps when running SMART commands
SYSTEMPromise IDE-controllers and perhaps others also
REPORTERMario 'BitKoenig?' Holbe Mario.Holbe@…
NOTEBefore freezing, SYSLOG shows the following message(s) kernel: hdf: dma timer expiry: dma status == 0xXX where XX is two hexidecimal digits. This may be a kernel bug or an underlying hardware problem. It's not clear if smartmontools plays a role in provoking this problem. FINAL NOTE: Problem was COMPLETELY resolved by replacing the power supply. See URL above, entry on May 29, 2004 by Holbe. Other things to try are exchanging cables, and cleaning PCI slots.


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PROBLEMCan't switch off SMART, can't switch off auto-save, can't run short tests.
SYSTEMAny system before Tiger
REPORTERGeoff Keating <geoffk@…>
NOTEThere's a bug in the system library: when you ask it to do any of these things, it does the inverse (switches on, runs extended tests). Radar 3727283.

PROBLEMWhen drive is asleep, SMART commands fail
SYSTEMAll known systems
REPORTERGeoff Keating <geoffk@…>
NOTEYou can prevent the drive from sleeping by saying pmset -a disksleep 0 or by unchecking the 'Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible' checkbox in the Energy Saver preferences. Radar 4094403.

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