megaraid_sas waiting for command and then offline

Brett G. Durrett brett at
Mon Dec 11 23:24:29 CST 2006

I am still seeing this and we have between 2 and 5 failures per week 
(across almost 20 machines).  I am seeing it on ext3 (we migrated all of 
the machines from XFS) and with ReadAhead disabled.

You mention a firmware update but I don't see any new PERC 5 firmware 
packages on Dell's site... can you give me a pointer to the firmware update?

Also, has anybody had this problem on RHE?  Dell does not support Linux 
unless it is RHE... I would be surprised is somehow RHE did not have 
this problem.


Joe Malicki wrote:
>>  I have the same or a similar issue running 2.6.17 SMP x86_64 - the
>> megaraid_sas driver hangs waiting for commands and then the filesystem
>> unmounts, leaving the machine in an unusable state until there is a hard
>> reboot (the machine is responsive but any access, shell or otherwise, is
>> impossible without the filesystem). While I do not have much debugging
>> information available, this happens to me about once every 6-7 days in
>> my pool of seven machines, so I can probably get debugging info. Since
>> the disk is offline and I can't get remote console, I don't have any
>> details except something similar to Dave Lloyd's post, below.
> Brett, is this still happening to you?  We're seeing this very
> sporadically, but it does concern us.  We've seen driver updates in
> 2.6.19 (v00.00.03.05) and a new Dell PERC 5/i firmware:
> Package Version - 5.0.2-0003
> Firmware Version - 1.00.01-0157
> SASBIOS Version - MT23
> Ctrl-R Version - 1.02-007
> MPT Version -
> and haven't been able to reproduce it, but we can't find a test case to
> reliably reproduce the problem to know that anything was fixed (out of
> 31 identically configured Dell 2950's with the PERC 5/i RAID controller
> (configured with 6 300MB SAS drives in a RAID 5, most (all?) of them
> Maxtor Atlas 10k, not hot spare).  Our 2950s do have 16GB of RAM each,
> so the firmware update (which mentions that it fixes DMA beyond 8GB)
> sounds promising, but I would think that if that was the problem we were
> experiencing, we would reproduce this much more often?  We are certainly
> using the RAM for cache and memory, it's not like we've never touched
> beyond 8GB.
> Does anyone have a test case to reproduce this problem reliably, or a
> detailed description of what actually happens (on low levels) when this
> problem occurs that can help to make a test?  We are more interested in
> making this reproducible now than in finding a workaround... if anyone
> has any tips on how to make this *more* likely to happen we'd like to
> know (so far, I know to try to use XFS and enable ReadAhead).
> We have seen this correlated with Patrol Reads going on at the same
> time, but aren't sure if this is a red herring, and haven't been able to
> force the issue to happen by enabling Patrol Reads.
> We've only ever seen these on two machines - one machine reproduces the
> problem in a little over a week, and the other has reproduced it a small
> number of times.  The machines that reproduce it run an experimental
> demo workload, but we have not found a test case so far to reproduce the
> problem on demand to find or verify solutions.  We're currently swapping
> out machines to verify that there are no hardware problems, but the
> machines diagnose themselves cleanly, and the workload they run is
> different enough that something about the workload we can't yet
> synthesize into a test case is the problem.
> Thank you!
> Joe Malicki
> Software Engineer
> Metacarta, Inc.
> email: jmalicki at
>> The only thing that the machines with these failures seem to have in
>> common is the fact that they are almost exclusively writes - they are
>> slave database machines with large memory and pretty much just
>> replicate. The read/write machines seem to have less failures.
>> I am happy to help provide debugging information in any reasonable way.
>> In the mean time, if there are any known suggestions or workarounds for
>> the problem, I would be grateful for the guidance.
>> Here are what details on the controller. If you want additional info,
>> let me know exactly what you need and I will do what I can to get it to
>> you.:
>> Product Name : PERC 5/i Integrated
>> Serial No : 12345
>> FW Package Build: 5.0.1-0030
>> FW Version : 1.00.01-0088
>> BIOS Version : MT23
>> Ctrl-R Version :1.02-007
>> B-

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