Re: FC5: High system load when copying data to slow USB media

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Phil Meyer wrote:
Boris Glawe wrote:
Hi,

I have a problem with my 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo Card. The card itself is an orginal MemoryStick PRO Duo from Sony.
I am using this card in my cell phone. The phone is a Sony Ericsson
W810i, which is capable to appear as an usb mass storage device. I
also have an USB 2.0 card reader. The problem described below happens
with both the card reader and the cell phone.
Are you certain that it is in fact a USB 2 card reader? You should be getting at least 5MB/sec transfer rates from that card, whether in the phone or on the reader.
Yes I am sure. It supports many different card types. With compactflash
cards it runs extremely fast.
Here is simple benchmark: "file" is 50MB big:

# time { cp file /media/disk/; sync; }

real    0m30.390s
user    0m0.004s
sys     0m0.256s

This seems to be 1.6 MB/Sec, which is the speed of USB-1 devices. I am sure though, that it is a USB-2 device. According to a german wikipedia page (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorystick), the actual tranfer rate isn't higher than 2MB/s for MS Pro Duo cards, though they are marked with 20MB/s.
Some USB busses have trouble with mixing USB 1 and USB 2 devices. Is
there any other USB device connected to the system?
nope, no problems.

Some mother boards use the same USB bus for fron and rear connections. That means that a USB 1 device connected to the front, and interfere with a USB device plugged into the rear.
Lets say you have an old USB mouse plugged in. Maybe its old enough
to be a USB 1 device. It is possible to have the symptoms you
describe in this case. The USB 1 mouse will interfere with a USB 2
disk drive at the hardware layer. It will cause the entire USB bus to
drop to USB 1 speeds.
In order to help prevent that, the USB 1.1 specification allows a slow
device to advertise itself as a fast device. This does not always work.
# yum install usbutils
# lsusb

Is there more than one USB bus? Is the card reader or phone on a bus by itself?
Each device is connected to it's "own" bus:

# lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:c506 Logitech, Inc. MX-700 Cordless Mouse Receiver
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 058f:6362 Alcor Micro Corp.
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000


My problem is, that copying large amounts of data (a few hundred MBs,
for example) to that device causes the system load to increase to
almost 100% and, under certain circumstances, to lock my desktop from
time to time during the copying process. It is normal that copying
takes very long, as the card itself is very slow in writing, but the
high system load in combination with the lack of responsiveness of
the whole system seems to be a bug!?
This really sounds like a conflict.
It can be caused by an interrupt conflict, and/or a device conflict.
Plug the card in and:
# dmesg | tail -30
What do you see? Is the system quick to recognize the drive? Any errors?
Here's the output from "tail -f /var/log/messages" after I have plugged
in the device:
Sep 19 20:23:19 machine kernel: usb 3-6: new high speed USB device using
ehci_hcd a nd address 4
Sep 19 20:23:19 machine kernel: usb 3-6: configuration #1 chosen from 1
choice
Sep 19 20:23:19 machine kernel: scsi3 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass
Storage devices
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Vendor: Generic Model: USB SD
Reader Rev: 1 .00
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Type:
Direct-Access ANSI S CSI revision: 00
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi removable disk sdb
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Vendor: Generic Model: USB CF Reader Rev: 1 .01 Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI S CSI revision: 00
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:1: Attached scsi removable disk sdc
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Vendor: Generic Model: USB SM Reader Rev: 1 .02 Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI S CSI revision: 00
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:2: Attached scsi removable disk sdd
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:2: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Vendor: Generic Model: USB MS Reader Rev: 1 .03 Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI S CSI revision: 00
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:3: Attached scsi removable disk sde
Sep 19 20:23:24 machine kernel: sd 3:0:0:3: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0




It is true that the latest kernels in FC5 are having flush on unmount
problems with removable media. The last working kernel was the last
2.6.16 kernel (2133). There are currently several USB related kernel
bugs in the 2.6.17 kernels. Enough to cover the symptoms you see when
you try to unmount. Many folks are seeing that.
However, if we can figure out what is happening in regards to your
system thrashing during writes, the too slow flush at unmount will be
eased a bit.
It is common practice for me to 'count to 10' now days before pulling
out a memory card after a umount. I currently work with CF and SD
cards nearly every day. I feel your pain.

If you say, that there are bugs around, I'm sure that this issue will be
fixed soon.
In my case I have to count to 500, as I am copying hundreds of MBs :-)

Thanks for you hints!!

greets

Boris



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