2009.01.27 in personal
The plan was for Jayne (the machine that serves this blog, the rest of my web stuff, Robb's blog, lots of code, backups, etc.) to be a reasonably stable and very large (storage-wise) machine. The storage part worked, more or less, but the stability is ehh-not-so-much. I have a very consistent problem with libata, but it's not clear why...
Anyway. Here's the facts:
- I'm using Debian unstable, with Linux 2.6.28.
- I've got a Shuttle case, and a 100 W PSU (!!).
- I get the libata errors above, but only after the machine is up for two or so weeks.
- I didn't get the error at all during a one-month-long winter break, but it happened once again, two weeks after coming back to RPI.
- The problem has never happened when the case is open and a large house fan is on top of the case, which was true for a significant part of last semester.
- After the problem occurs, the machine must be left off for a few hours before it will successfully restart.
- The disks never report getting anywhere over about 44 degrees C.
- Only the root partition ever acquires any errors. Not the big (1.2TB) main partition.
- The total potential power use of the system is well over 100 W, and Shuttle recommended against putting both a Core 2 and two disks in this particular combination of case/mobo/PSU.
I've thought about it a lot, and cannot seem to come up with a reasonable explanation. If it's power, software, or the cables, the cooldown time doesn't make any sense; if it's the disks, running for a long time doesn't make any sense, and I've spent a lot of time beating on the disks to try to reproduce it and cannot; if it's heat (which seems most likely), the fact that it's 20 degrees C under the acceptable working temperature of the disks makes that make very little sense (and I never get SMART warnings or anything, just libata transmission errors!)...
If not, I'm pretty sure a good bit of RCOS money this semester is going to head towards a new case/mobo/PSU (keeping the CPU/disks/memory/etc. from Jayne). Unfortunately, that will end up being a much bigger case... I'd also, in that case, have a really adorable little case that would almost definitely work fine with a single disk/an Atom/etc... anyone, anyone?