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HDD degraded performance and SMART not working

Posted: 27 Dec 2019 08:10
by Zero Angel
So, i'm running SolydK on a 500GB SSD as my system drive and using a 1.5TB HDD for all my media storage. Downloads, Pictures, Documents etc are all on an NTFS partition on the HDD and symlinked to my home directory. It's been set up this way for years with no issues.

Anyways, yesterday i've been noticing that's been taking *ages* to open any folder on that HDD. Even system bootup is extremely slow now (from 30 seconds to 5 minutes)

I tried to run smartmontools to check the SMART status of the HDD but it keeps saying "Read SMART Data failed: scsi error badly formed scsi parameters". So thus I cannot check the health of the HDD. dmesg shows the following output once in awhile.

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[32586.394499] ata5.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
[32586.394507] ata5.00: failed command: SMART
[32586.394516] ata5.00: cmd b0/d0:01:00:4f:c2/00:00:00:00:00/00 tag 21 pio 512 in
                        res 40/00:01:06:4f:c2/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)                                                                                                                                                      
[32586.394521] ata5.00: status: { DRDY }
[32586.394526] ata5: hard resetting link
[32592.786020] ata5: SATA link up 6.0 Gbps (SStatus 133 SControl 300)
[32592.787479] ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
[32592.787499] ata5: EH complete
[32600.409490] ata5.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
[32600.409499] ata5.00: failed command: SMART
[32600.409508] ata5.00: cmd b0/d0:01:00:4f:c2/00:00:00:00:00/00 tag 18 pio 512 in
                        res 40/00:ff:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/40 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
[32600.409513] ata5.00: status: { DRDY }
[32600.409518] ata5: hard resetting link
[32610.409401] ata5: softreset failed (1st FIS failed)
[32610.409410] ata5: hard resetting link
[32620.336057] ata5: SATA link up 6.0 Gbps (SStatus 133 SControl 300)
[32620.337318] ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
[32620.337341] ata5: EH complete
Anyone have suggestions or advice about what I can do?

Re: HDD degraded performance and SMART not working

Posted: 27 Dec 2019 09:12
by Arjen Balfoort
I have had so many problems with NTFS partitions in the past that I have converted all to ext4 and replaced devices that did not recognize ext4.

Now, if that is a bit too rigorous for you, you can always mount the HDD on a Windows machine and run chkdsk. That sometimes helped but always just temporarily, I'm afraid.

Re: HDD degraded performance and SMART not working

Posted: 27 Dec 2019 17:25
by ilu
The smartmontools message is bogus for "kernel, device and me don't understand each other". The kernel log shows that the SMART command on ATA05 was aborted by the driver with "timeout". Then the driver tries to reset the device. Why it's doing this I don't know. There have been reports of smartmontools failing with recent (?) kernels. Check whether ATA05 is the HDD, SDD or something else.

You could deinstall smart and its tools to see whether the bootup problem is smart-related. Since smart won't tell you anything useful anyway you could decide to run without it.

(smartmontools report imminent failure of my system SSD for more than 2 years now ...)

But beware, it might also be a sign of a failing file system or a failing drive. Backup rulez!
Besides that, what Arjen said: Use ext4. Since there is only Win10 now there is no use for anything but Linux.

If the boot problem persists check the output of

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systemd-analyze blame
systemd-analyze critical-chain