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Slow Linux harddisk, please help

Posted on 2003-11-14
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I found that my harddisk does not use DMA transfer :

# hdparm /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 multcount    = 16 (on)
 IO_support   =  3 (32-bit w/sync)
 unmaskirq    =  0 (off)
 using_dma    =  0 (off)
 keepsettings =  0 (off)
 readonly     =  0 (off)
 readahead    =  8 (on)
 geometry     = 7297/255/63, sectors = 117231408, start = 0

And the speed is pathetic :

# hdparm -tT /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 Timing buffer-cache reads:   128 MB in  1.15 seconds =111.30 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  64 MB in 10.97 seconds =  5.83 MB/sec

Only 5.80+ MB/sec ...

However, it support some DMA transfer modes :

# hdparm -i /dev/hda

/dev/hda:

 Model=ST360021A, FwRev=7.73, SerialNo=3HV4ETBG
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs RotSpdTol>.5% }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=2048kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=4047/16/255, CurSects=16511760, LBA=yes, LBAsects=117231408
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
 UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5
 AdvancedPM=no WriteCache=enabled
 Drive conforms to: device does not report version:  1 2 3 4 5

But why I cant set to use DMA ?

# hdparm -d1 -X67 /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 setting using_dma to 1 (on)
 HDIO_SET_DMA failed: Operation not permitted
 setting xfermode to 67 (UltraDMA mode3)
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD(setxfermode) failed: Input/output error
 using_dma    =  0 (off)

Is this hardware related ? Kernel ? or ...

Please help.

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Question by:kapot
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
Gns earned 30 total points
ID: 9747612
Probably a question of kernel support for your chipset.... Example: http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=pes_linux&message.id=1409

What chipset do you have?

-- Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:g0rath
ID: 9747654
exactly...

Things that can impact this is what kernel version are you running, are they going to support UDMA with your chipset in the future, etc.

Yes your hard drive may physically support UDMA, but the driver support isn't there yet. If you post more info on your chipset, kernel version, maybe linux distro, maybe someone will have an idea as to when or if you be able to get better support.
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