Pfsense v123 - kernel: ad0: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA

  • I have tried 3 different hdds in my pfsense box. I get this type of error with all 3 -

    kernel: ad0: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (1 retry left) LBA=15430735

    Sometimes it shows only in system logs, sometimes I see it in logs as well as on screen of pfsense box. I know the current drive is a bit old but I also know how much it has been used as I bought it new. It has had very minimal use, as it was in a file server I had for lan parties we used to have. It has been run perhaps 200 hours in total.

    I have tried what options I see available as well as some I have seen here. Nothing seems to fix this. Drives work in other boxes (windows and a couple lamp boxes) without issue. Is it possible there is an issue with pfsense?

    The chip is

    • atapci0: Intel ICH2 UDMA100 controller
      and the drive is
    • ad0: IBM DPTA-372050 P76OA30A (Capacity: 20.05 GB)

    like I said, I know the drive is old, and on a well used older drive, I might expect to see odd behaviour. But on this drive, whose purpose was very specific and very little used, I would call it "pristine" shape.

    Any thoughts?

  • Do the errors always report the same LBA? If not, its possible its just the drives developing a bad spot.

    If you have a Linux system you could attach the drive to you could use the badblocks utility and a write test to check out the drive. Maybe something like Ultimate Boot CD or System Rescue CD includes a diagnostic for your

    I understand "modern" drives have a number of spare blocks which can replace blocks found to be bad. I have no idea if your drives are "modern" enough.

  • All hard-drives have a set life the second they roll off the line at the factory. NO-ONE knows this life. I have seen hard-drives last 10 years, 6 months, 3 weeks, 10 minutes, and everything in-between. You don't know when its demise will happen. The hard-drive manufacturers can give an estimated time based on their "testing" of samples of hard-drives from production, but that's what it is, estimated. There are outliers. "Pristine Shape" is not quantifiable, you have no way of telling.

    That said, these errors come up when your drive is going bad. Unfortunately, the price of new hard-drives have skyrocketed because of the flooding in Thailand.

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