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Sorry for the length of the post, just want to include all relevant info.
One of my hard drives (/dev/hdb - formatted ext2) started reporting drive seek errors and dma timeouts (expiry) a couple of days ago, so I thought I just had a bad hard drive. After further research, I believe it may be something else.
I think this may be a motherboard (I/O controller?) problem, but the hardware diagnostic software (SeaTools) doesn't report a problem with the controller. SeaTools runs very slow and sometimes freezes (after the "quick" test has been running for an hour or so). But when/if it does complete, it reports that the drives are okay. I did have a power supply die about a month ago, so I'm guessing these are the after effects.
hda is formatted NTFS and hdb is ext2, don't know if that would affect the hdparm output numbers. These are non SATA drives (just vanilla ide). Motherboard bios is set to default.
I've tried different hard drive cables, another hard drive, and a different video card but the hdparm results are the same. I also ran memtest86 (no errors). I don't have another computer that can handle a 120GB drive, so I haven't tested the drives in another machine.
Motherboard: Asus P4P800 SE
Chipset: 865PE ICH5R
Hard Drives: (2) Seagate 120GB Drives, Model ST3120026A (not SATA)
Gathered while running Damn Small Linux:
root@ttyp0[dsl]# hdparm -tT /dev/hda
Timing buffer-cache reads: 3000 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1500.00 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 10 MB in 3.14 seconds = 3.18 MB/sec
root@ttyp0[dsl]# hdparm -tT /dev/hdb
Timing buffer-cache reads: 2936 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1468.00 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 10 MB in 28.97 seconds = 353.47 kB/sec (yes kilobytes!)
I also have the output of "hdparm -I /dev/hdx" if that would help. Has anyone had an issue similar to this?