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N54L – HP P410 – Ubuntu – Disk Sleep?


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Hi All


I posted a month or 2 back a thread on Hardware Considerations for my N54L project.


Since this then I also replaced the fan and installed a Pico PSU to quieten everything down as it was in my bedroom and was too noisy. That all went fine. One main reason I started the project was to setup a TV server using either TVHeadend or VDR in Ubuntu. To cut a long story short with ESXI installed on a USB, I setup a new VM with Ubuntu Server and installed the TV server software and used a USB DVB-T stick in pass through mode in vSphere. I had lots of problems with what looked like the USB stick constantly losing connectivity and eventually found other people stating that they had similar problems and to install Ubuntu and the TV server software on the physical server and any other vm's run off of that using Virtual Box. So that’s what I have started to do…….


Which brings me to yesterday……Quick reminder of my set-up:


Microserver: N54L


PCI Slot: Intel

Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter

PCI Slot: HP P410 with 512 cache and battery

              RAID 5: 4 WD reds (3tb x 4)

              RAID 0: 1 Crucial V4 SSD 256 GB

Pico PSU + Fan replacement

Icy Dock ToughArmor MB994IPO-3SB

Ubuntu Server x64 12.04.2 LTS


So with the RAID all ready to go from my last ESXI adventures I installed Ubuntu Server x64 onto the RAID 0 SSD. The install went fine. I then started configuring and installing stuff in Ubuntu such as virtual box and tv server software etc. I had a monitor attached as a console until I enabled SSH and noticed that if there was 5 minutes (or so) of idol time, the screen would go into power saving mode. If I hit a key to wake the monitor I would starting getting errors in Ubuntu


End_request: I/0 error, dev sda, sector 578408 *sda is my


Buffer I/0 error on device dm-0 logical block


The OS then goes into read only mode and the only way to sort it out is a hard reboot. It seems as long as I don’t let the server go idol it doesn't happen.


These are my thoughts :


Ubuntu power saving problem. I have looked into this and by default power saving/hibernation is disabled


Microserver power is not enough: The Pico I put in is a 150W and have had no problems before messing around with Ubuntu


SSD is dying – it’s a new SSD and had no problems with it with ESXI. Or would it be worth testing with the stock 250GB disk that comes with the server?


HP P410 is dying – bought it second hand so possible I guess but was working fine with VMware. I haven’t upgraded the firmware on this card


BIOS – I did the BIOS Mod from here and modified settings such as SATA IDE, EPS, Power on. Could something here be causing the problem?


I am really stuck with this and am literally pulling my hair out trying to figure it out. Are any of you Linux savvy who can make any suggestions? I'm not 100% its Linux related


Any suggestions would be massively appreciated. 

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 There is a LOT of variables you have listed so forgive me if I start asking a lot of questions later in the posts.  :)


1st question is about the "Raid 0" you have mentioned.  How do you have a RAID setup with 1 disk?   What is the output of something like " sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda "  ?  Have you checked SMART status?


When you say you have installed Ubuntu Server I am guessing you are running some GUI / window manager on top of it (KDE, Gnome, Unity, etc) if so which one?  


If I can help I will.  With that error though one of the  1st things I AM thinking is SSD or controller failure/going bad.  

Edited by FiLiNuX
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Hi FiLiNuX


Agree, there are allot of things going on here:


My HP P410 has 2 RAID's set-up

x1 SSD for OS - this is in a RAID 0 at the moment but I will be adding a second drive soon to make into a RAID 1

x4 WD Reds 3tb in a RAID 5


I have installed Ubuntu Server with no GUI. I am not hugely experienced with Linux and it wont be my main computer (I have a macbook pro) so wasn't so bothered about a GUI. It will only be used for TV server and VM's of which I will use virtual box with virtualboxphp. Do you advise me to have a GUI? if so would I just not install Desktop version instead?


I did a load of testing last night. Upgraded firmware on SSD amongst other things which didnt work. I took the SSD off the HP P410 and connected it directly to the Microserver via the spare sata port on the mother board and had stability.  I then realised that I read somewhere that when setting up my Icy Dock ToughArmor MB994IPO-3SB, to plug my mini-sas to x4 sata cables into each sata slot on the icy dock (each drive has 2 sata sockets - have a look at this pic). So I took out the 2nd sata cable for the disk - Its early days but this system has not crashed once. Could it be that having x2 sata cables attached to 1 drive could have caused this issue?

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My question about the RAID 0 (forget the other RAID 5 for now) is HOW DO YOU HAVE A RAID SETUP WITH ONLY ONE DISK?  From a wiki: "RAID 0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume) splits data evenly across TWO or more disks "  thats why I asked you to run/post the   " sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda "  command.  I thought maybe you had some kind of whacky virtual disks on the SSD running in a virtual RAID or something I had not heard of.   You can't have ANY (typical, before people post about something obscure:)  RAID with only 1 disk.  


"Do you advise me to have a GUI?"  

NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO! :) Today is my birthday and if I have done anything to help here you can give me a present and it can be that you will continue to learn & use the command line and leave all that power leaching GUI stuff for the non-server hardware.   Honestly Ubuntu Server is so much better without a GUI.  My server is using less the 256 MB of system RAM while doing several things and is MUCH more stable because there is less there to goof up without a GUI. 


Could it be that having x2 sata cables attached to 1 drive could have caused this issue?

Could be.  The 2nd sata port on the back of your IcyDock is for SAS and is not required when standard SATA devices are used (thats from the link ).  

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