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Am getting the following dmesg output when I try to mount an HDD or try to boot the PC with the HDD connected:

[   65.553627] ata4: limiting SATA link speed to 1.5 Gbps
[   65.553634] ata4.00: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x3 SErr 0x4090000 action 0xe frozen
[   65.553637] ata4.00: irq_stat 0x00400040, connection status changed
[   65.553648] ata4: SError: { PHYRdyChg 10B8B DevExch }
[   65.553651] ata4.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
[   65.553656] ata4.00: cmd 60/20:00:00:08:b3/00:00:1a:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 16384 in
[   65.553656]          res 40/00:08:08:09:84/00:00:ae:00:00/40 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[   65.553658] ata4.00: status: { DRDY }
[   65.553660] ata4.00: failed command: WRITE FPDMA QUEUED
[   65.553664] ata4.00: cmd 61/40:08:08:09:84/00:00:ae:00:00/40 tag 1 ncq 32768 out
[   65.553664]          res 40/00:08:08:09:84/00:00:ae:00:00/40 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
[   65.553666] ata4.00: status: { DRDY }
[   65.553670] ata4: hard resetting link
[   70.574212] ata4: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
[   70.575983] ata4.00: configured for UDMA/133
[   70.590125] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590129] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[   70.590132] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590134] Sense Key : Aborted Command [current] [descriptor]
[   70.590138] Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
[   70.590140]         72 0b 00 00 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00 
[   70.590150]         ae 84 09 08 
[   70.590154] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590156] Add. Sense: No additional sense information
[   70.590159] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb] CDB: 
[   70.590160] Read(10): 28 00 1a b3 08 00 00 00 20 00
[   70.590169] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 447940608
[   70.590184] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590186] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[   70.590188] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590189] Sense Key : Aborted Command [current] [descriptor]
[   70.590192] Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
[   70.590194]         72 0b 00 00 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00 
[   70.590208]         ae 84 09 08 
[   70.590210] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb]  
[   70.590211] Add. Sense: No additional sense information
[   70.590212] sd 3:0:0:0: >[sdb] CDB: 
[   70.590212] Write(10): 2a 00 ae 84 09 08 00 00 40 00
[   70.590216] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 2927888648
[   70.590220] ata4: EH complete
[   70.590250] Aborting journal on device sdb1-8.
[   71.008917] EXT4-fs error (device sdb1): ext4_journal_start_sb:370: Detected aborted journal
[   71.008923] EXT4-fs (sdb1): Remounting filesystem read-only
[  101.131028] [drm] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: PFIFO: unknown status 0x40000000
[  103.350801] [drm] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: PFIFO: unknown status 0x40000000
[  155.407876] ata4: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x4090000 action 0xe frozen
[  155.407879] ata4: irq_stat 0x00400040, connection status changed
[  155.407880] ata4: SError: { PHYRdyChg 10B8B DevExch }
[  155.407883] ata4: hard resetting link
[  160.430297] ata4: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
[  160.432121] ata4.00: configured for UDMA/133
[  160.446222] ata4: EH complete
[  163.768313] ata4: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x4090000 action 0xe frozen
[  163.768318] ata4: irq_stat 0x00400040, connection status changed
[  163.768321] ata4: SError: { PHYRdyChg 10B8B DevExch }
[  163.768326] ata4: hard resetting link
[  169.237531] ata4: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
[  169.239249] ata4.00: configured for UDMA/133
[  169.253459] ata4: EH complete

What can I make of this?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is more of a guess based on common sense and past experience.

ata4: limiting SATA link speed to 1.5 Gbps

If you're expecting a 3 or 6 Gbps link, this could indicate a broken cable/connector or severe radio interference.

Furthermore, (ATA bus error) also indicates in this direction.

It could also indicate that one of the endpoint is failing on the (S)ATA bus transmission. Read this as: hard drive or controller failure is imminent or has already failed.

I see these options from here:

  • Verify that AHCI is chosen in the BIOS setup. Deselect any 'IDE compatibility' if enabled.
  • Try another data cable.
  • Try another SATA port on your mainboard.
  • Verify if the disk is working or dead, by putting this drive in another machine you know is working.
  • See if there are firmware updates fixing incompatibilities with your (S)ATA chipset. For SSDs, I've seen examples of this in changelogs of SSD firmware updates.
  • Some mainboards feature two SATA controllers. Try using a port hooked to the second controller.
share|improve this answer
    
Very complete answer I must say. –  Luis Alvarado Jan 3 '13 at 1:15
    
Ok, 1 full hour after changing Sata Cable and power cable (And running fsck just in case) and no problem at all. Going to bookmark this since you touched several important facts about checking the hardware. –  Luis Alvarado Jan 3 '13 at 2:49
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