Sunday, December 20, 2009

Losing Battle?

Although uptime is now 20 hours - the best since the initial install last weekend - I am not optimistic about 2.6.32 on BH.

I jumped the gun yesterday and re-compiled for SMP & Hyperthreading. And I did a quick test to see if I could lose the SiS5513 IDE driver (which has ZERO native options for disabling DMA) and run with the generic EIDE driver. No such luck. That experiment left me with an unbootable system (easily repaired, though).

I also considered the possibility that the drive is going bad. Since it supports S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) natively I downloaded a few tools to see what the drive had to say about itself. It appears to be happy and healthy, although the "uptime" value is blatantly wrong. It says it's been up for 191 days, but in reality that drive has been running 24x7 for almost two years now (do the math). If that's wrong, the health report may be bogus as well.

The thought occurred to me to check a Release Candidate (RC) version of 2.6.33, but I ran across this little bit of bad news in the ChangeLog...

The current Kconfig text for CONFIG_IDE doesn't give a hint to users that this subsystem is currently in maintenance mode and isn't actively developed.

Yes, kiddies, IDE is nearly extinct. This motherboard doesn't do SATA and since it only has a grand total of ONE PCI slot (currently occupied by the second NIC), SATA isn't going to happen. But the thought occurred to me that someone, somewhere must make a combination SATA/Ethernet card so I started searching and actually found one.


And it's no longer in production, probably because it could do SATA or Ethernet, but not both at the same time.

So right now I'm waiting on the next crash. In preparation for that I think I'll fire up a Deb 4 VM and see what I can get out of the latest stock Debian kernel.

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