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About three weeks ago my system spontaneously started freezing, while using the Linux 2.4.22 or 2.4.23 kernel.
I isolated the issue down to one of my hard drives that contains the /usr and /home partitions; it was apparently ceasing to respond after a random period of time after I enabled DMA on it. It's a relatively new WD Caviar, 7200 RPM, with 8 MB of cache. About a year and a half old, tops, maybe less.
It's been working with the following command:
hdparm -c1 -d1 -A1 -a64 -M16 /dev/hda
I had to change the -d1 to -d0 to prevent further lockups, but once I did that it started working fine again. What I want to know is: is this drive toast, or is there a realistic chance I can fix it somehow? If so, how?
Also, since I'm at work a lot, I tend to do things like compile the kernel or at least configure it remotely, via SSH. My system has a strange tendency to crash when I do this, though it stopped doing that lately. (I recompile a lot due to various performance experiments I'm doing.)
Does anyone have an idea just what could be causing instability or a bottleneck that I might be able to fix?
And one last thing: since I installed an additional 512 MB stick of RAM, bringing my total to 1 GB, my system won't run Prime95. It gives a hardware error, when running the torture test. I ran the latest version of Memtest86 overnight, and there were no errors at all when I checked after ~10 hours of testing, so is it reasonable to assume my RAM is okay?
If so, how can I further diagnose this issue and possibly determine what system component is breaking?