Ubuntu thought the disk was a sound card?

28 June 2008, 14:35 CDT

Had some problems with my Ubuntu server at home which I wasn’t able to resolve – something with the BIOS settings getting lost when the power went out rearranging the disks in such a way that the box wouldn’t boot. There was more to it than that, but after a few hours of diagnostics and getting nowhere I just decided to reinstall the OS. I wanted to upgrade from 6.x to 8.04 anyways.

Everything seemed to be fine, until I powered down the box last night to put it behind a UPS. I first noticed the problem when I logged in remotely and it couldn’t cd into my /home directory, which is on a separate physical disk than the OS. First off, I’m not entirely sure why, but Ubuntu is treating the IDE disk as a scsi device. I don’t think this is a problem per-se, but seems strange.

tinman kernel: scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access     ATA      ST3320620A       3.AA PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
tinman kernel: sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] 625142448 512-byte hardware sectors (320073 MB)
tinman kernel: sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
tinman kernel: sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't
support DPO or FUA

The problem is the next line of the log

Jun 27 21:48:31 tinman kernel: [   39.495985]
sdb:<6>input: PC Speaker as /devices/platform/pcspkr/input/input4

So not only is the PATA drive a SCSI device, but now it is a sound device as well? Being detected as a sound device, I believe is what caused the filesystem to appear corrupt, but there were no complaints when the disk was mounted

tinman kernel: [   83.035617] EXT3 FS on sdb2, internal journal
tinman kernel: [   83.035621] EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.

The complaints started later trying to read the disk

tinman kernel: [  157.659996] attempt to access beyond end of device
tinman kernel: [  157.660003] sdb2: rw=32, want=37486616, limit=530082
tinman kernel: [  157.664594] attempt to access beyond end of device

Because it is sdb, and wasn’t able to set me up in /home anyways when I logged in, I was able to unmount the disk. I ran e2fsck which said it was clean, so I remounted the partition and everything went normally. It seems fine now, but it is a bit puzzling why the OS decided that the disk looked like a sound device and half-treated it as such? Starting to wonder if there isn’t something wrong hardware wise, either with the disk itself or with the controller.


Leave a Reply