Originally Posted by kr0w
it's a 60gb partition and no, I can't umount it and mount it again because once the error occurs the whole system stops working: every command I try turns into a "input/output error" message.
I used "mkfs.ext3 /dev/xxx" to format the partition. No options.
Maybe I'll try XFS and see how that one goes.
I'm thinking there is an incompatibility with the kernel and either the drive or the controller. When you get up to certain sizes of transfers, I think the kernel uses different types of IO access, and if there are problems, the driver essentially shuts down.
Find everything you can about the hardware disk controller and drive model with respect to Linux hardware compatibility lists. Also, there's a way to disable dma transfer from the kernel at boot time (via grub or lilo bootloaders). Disabling dma transfer might allow you to determine if the problem is that for sure. However, the disk performance will be noticeably slower.
Keep us up-to-date on your progress, please.