Category Archives: SATA

Strange mSATA SSD behaviour on Dell Latitude E7240

One of our Dell Latitude E7240 exhibited strange mSATA SSD behaviour. Disk requests didn’t complete on time. This computer ran the A13 firmware.

The case was eventually solved by upgrading to the A21 firmware executed from an USB stick as the mSATA SSD was unreliable at this point. Apparently, the A18 firmware corrected some mSATA port settings. Also, this was a good opportunity to rid us of Intel’s SA-00075.

This isn’t the first case where disk behaviour suddenly changes to the worst on Latitude E-series laptops, only to be rectified by a firmware upgrade.

VirtualBox 4.3.18 and AHCI

Update 2014-11-30

Upgrading to Oracle VirtualBox 4.3.20 removed the timeout messages shown below.

The bug was acknowledged in the change log as

Storage: fixed an interrupt acknowledge issue causing hanging guests or slower I/O (4.3.18
regression)


Since upgrading Oracle VirtualBox from 4.3.16 to 4.3.18 on my Windows 7 x64 host, most of my FreeBSD guests from time to time shows kernel messages like the ones below.

ahcich2: Timeout on slot 7 port 0
ahcich2: is 00000008 cs 00000000 ss 00000000 rs 00000080 tfd 50 serr 00000000 cmd 1000c717
(ada2:ahcich2:0:0:0): WRITE_FPDMA_QUEUED. ACB: 61 40 62 d4 9c 40 00 00 00 00 00 00
(ada2:ahcich2:0:0:0): CAM status: Command timeout
(ada2:ahcich2:0:0:0): Retrying command

It doesn’t matter if your FreeBSD guests run version 4.3.16 or version 4.3.18 of the emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions port.

Someone else reported similar kernel messages on physical servers, making me believe some recent changes in FreeBSD can be blamed. Or, maybe this is just a coincidence, despite the similarities.