mythbuntu 10.4 upgrade -> "Input/Output error" ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi:

I have run into a very strange problem when upgrading my mythbuntu 9.10 to 10.4. The install appears to succeed, but after every reboot, the system gradually becomes un-usable in a very strange way.

Symptoms are, when running seemingly-random commandline programs (e.g. "find", "locate", "aplay" etc.) bash will respond "Input/Output error" and not run. When this happens, if I try to use the GUI to run apps from the menubar, I can select the apps, but they also fail to run, though sometimes they do. Gradually fewer and fewer things work, and I can't even run "sudo shutdown" and have to do a hard reset of the box.

After a reboot, it will work fine for a while (where "a while" has been anywhere from 20 minutes to more than a day), but eventually the symptoms recur and the system becomes un-usable again.

I tried reformatting the system disk and reinstalling from the mythbuntu live CD. (MD5 checked out.) Same symptoms.

I tried checking the HDD for errors. Spinrite shows it as clean, no errors. (and it had been working just fine under 9.10 and previous.)

I replaced the DVD drive (it had been acting flaky) with a new one, thinking it might be a read/write error from the CD install. No change.

I used another spare HDD I had as a replacement system disk. No change.

I have googled the error and there is not much out there, what is there suggests hardware failures (bad sectors, etc.) but using other HDD hasn't solved the problem.

Anyone have any other ideas that I can try? I am not a wizard and am running past my limited knowledge.

Thanks!

/Greg
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 06:02 PM
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What does dmesg show when you start getting the errors? Also, what is the output of "sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda"?
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Run memtest, too, if you haven't already.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, for the responses. I tried an install on yet a third HDD I had in the drawer and got the same results.

memtest was run at least twice with no errors.

can't run 'smartctl' because I get the I/O errors :/

dmesg ends with a series of entry groups which look like this one:

Code:
[197869359] as 0:0:1:0: [sda] Unhandled error code
[197869361] as 0:0:1:0: [sda] Resutl: hostbyte-DID_BAD_TARGET driberbyte=DRIVER_OK
[197869364] as 0:0:1:0: [sda] CDB: READ(10: 28 00 01 02 1b d8 00 00 08 00
[197869371] end request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 16915416
The ones I can see all have the same sector number.

Looked at the tail of syslog and it has a series of errors as well:

Code:
....... ata1.01: revalidation failed (errno--5)
....... ata1 soft resetting link
....... ata1.01 qc timeout (cmd 0xf8)
....... ata1.01: failed to read native max address (error mask=0x4)
etc.  failed to IDENTIFY (I/O erro,...)
less of a perfect repetition than dmesg, but a lot of similar errors.

To my untrained eye these look like disk errors, but what are the odds it happens on three disks in a row, after the first one was working just fine before the upgrade to 10.4?

Does this help anyone help me?

Thanks again...

/Greg
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 10:27 PM
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I can guess the problem isn't with the hard drive itself, since you get the problem with 3 drives. But it does appear to be a problem communicating with the hard drive. It could be:

- a bad cable (try a new cable)
- a bug in the driver (try IDE mode instead of AHCI in the BIOS settings, or try a different kernel version, you can use a live CD to test this)
- bad power supply (try a different PS)
- motherboard drive controller going bad (try an add-on drive controller card)
- something else...
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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I'd go back to 9.10 and see if it's still ok, because that would rule out any kind of a hardware issue. It certainly *sounds* like hardware at this point -- maybe a bad cable or your mobo tricking out on you.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks k_ross & mythmaster, for the helpful suggestions.

I should have mentioned that running off of the live CD seems to work pretty reliably so far. Perhaps that rules out the mobo as the culprit, I will certainly see if I have some spare cables, etc. to try out.

/Greg
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 10:49 PM
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Is this a mythbuntu 10.4 live CD? (I don't use mythbuntu, so I don't even know if it has a live CD). If it isn't, does the live CD you're using use the same kernel version and kernel parameters as mythbuntu 10.4?
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-09-2010, 11:06 PM
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Also, are you doing something that actually exercises the hard drive when booting from the live CD, since live CD's typically don't touch the hard drive at all?
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-10-2010, 07:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryK View Post

...I will certainly see if I have some spare cables, etc. to try out.

Try different SATA ports, too.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-10-2010, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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k_ross, I am using the mythbuntu live CD. When the system has been stable long enough, I have been able to run Synaptic and get all 132 updates, including kernel updates, but it still eventually becomes un-usable as described.

mythmaster, your suggestion was good - problem is in 9.1 so I think we're in hardware land.

I swapped out a IDE cable with one from the parts bin and have rebooted into a 10.4 install from the original disk; now to see if it stays running or eventually degrades. Thanks, and I'll keep you posted.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-10-2010, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: I quit.

•*tried a different IDE cable; still got the errors
• tried a SATA drive; still got the errors

...at this point, my friendly local 'admin' and I have been at this "upgrade" for a week and tens of hours, more than my time is worth.

I still think its hardware somewhere, so I have ordered a new mobo (the Asus that northbear recommended on the sticky thread) and IDE cable, and will hope/pray that the new hardware "fixes" the problem.

Thanks again for all the helpful responses, guys.

/Greg
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-10-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Well, I guess I should have mentioned this before you ordered the mobo, but see if you can find a power supply tester and check the +12V rail(s) on the PSU first. I've seen PSU's appear to work just fine but not put out enough power on the +12V rail causing I/O errors like you're getting. If this is the case then you will have the same problem with a new mobo, too.

You can get one for around $20-$25 -- maybe it's not too late to add one to your order, and it's good to keep one around. Here are some at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...CE&PageSize=20
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-17-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Update: it must have been a hardware error, I replaced the motherboard with an ASUS and was able to get the system up and running. So far its been about 3 days and no crazy "Input/Output Errors" with the new hardware.

I am going to keep an eye on the power supply, though, per mythmaster's suggestion, since the motherboard asks for 400W and my existing PS is 430W, and I have 3 SATA drives and a PATA drive in the box.

Thanks to everyone for the troubleshooting help. The (coincidental?) timing of the hardware failures at the same time as my Lucid upgrade made it hard to diagnose for myself ... it had been running fine before I started the upgrade.

/Greg
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-17-2010, 10:50 AM
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Cool, glad to hear you're up and running!
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-17-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Glad to hear it.

It was probably *starting* to go bad and the extra I/O stress of installing an OS pushed it along to where it became obvious. I don't know if you're using a UPS or not, but they can usually prevent these kinds of problems which are typically caused by power surges and/or outages.
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