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Old 12-12-06, 07:13 PM   #24
krader
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Default Re: nForce 4 corrupting data written to HDD

> No one in the LKML thread you referenced reported files getting corrupted
> on-disk

Please read that discussion thread again. I reported that the on-disk copy was corrupted. Also, I deliberately tested the case where the copy of the file would remain wholly in memory. I copied a file just over 1 GiB in size with no other activity on the system. An immediate cmp(1) of the source and copy showed no errors. I then read two different 2 GiB files in order to clear the buffer cache of those original files; thus forcing the copy to be synced to disk. Running cmp(1) again showed multiple bytes were corrupted.

Test results like the above are why I originally suspected the fault lay with the nForce 4 SATA controller. However, subsequent tests showed the corruption occurs even when the disks are attached to a Promise TX2 controller in a PCI slot and when using the onboard Silicon Image 3114 RAID controller. Multiple disks of different models were also tested and the problem occured with each disk. The SATA cables were also replaced without affecting the symptoms.

So we know the problem is definitely not the SATA controller, cables, or disk. There is good reason to believe the problem is not due to defective memory. This leaves the nForce 4 chipset, the AMD Athlon64 X2 CPU, a mainboard design error, or an error in how the ASUS BIOS is configuring the hardware as the remaining possibilities. Since different people are reporting similar systems with mainboards from different vendors the mainboard design can probably be ruled out. Note that as part of testing this I flashed the BIOS to the most recent version. That had no effect on the symptoms.
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