Testing disks on an Alphaserver

It is possible to use the built-in exerciser to test the disks in an Alphaserver from the console.

Note – You need to initialize the system right before running the exerciser otherwise you will get an error.

00000000 is not a valid zone address

>>> init Initializing... 384 Meg of system memory probing hose 0, PCI probing PCI-to-ISA bridge, bus 1 probing PCI-to-PCI bridge, hose 0 bus 2 bus 0, slot 9 -- ewa -- DE500-BA Network Controller bus 0, slot 11 -- ewb -- DE500-BA Network Controller bus 0, slot 13 -- dqa -- Acer Labs M1543C IDE bus 0, slot 13 -- dqb -- Acer Labs M1543C IDE bus 0, slot 14 -- vga -- Radeon 7500 PCI bus 2, slot 0 -- pka -- NCR 53C875 bus 2, slot 1 -- pkb -- NCR 53C875 bus 2, slot 2 -- ewc -- DE500-AA Network Controller Testing the System Testing the Disks (read only) Testing ew* devices. System Temperature is 39 degrees C AlphaServer DS10 466 MHz Console V7.3-1, Feb 27 2007 13:17:58

Use ‘show devices’ to see what disk are available.

>>> show device d
dka0.0.0.2000.0          DKA0          COMPAQ BD009122C6  B016
dka100.1.0.2000.0        DKA100        COMPAQ BD1468A4C5  HPB4
dqa0.0.0.13.0            DQA0                    CD-224E  9.9A    
dva0.0.0.0.0             DVA0   
>>>

Attempting to exercise the first hard disk by reading and writing sectors using the exerciser without changing the device permissions fails.

>>> exer dka0 -a 'rw' dka0.0.0.2000.0 is write protected
file open failed for dka0 >>>

However you can execute a read/write test on the disk if change the device protection first. Make sure that you really want to do this before making the change once you have over written the contents of the disk there is no way to get any data back. (Note that you will need to specify the full device name).

>>> chmod +wr dka0.0.0.2000.0 >>> exer dka0 -a 'rw'

It is also possible to use the exerciser to write a predefined pattern (or zeros) to a device. The following command shows how to fill three blocks beginning at block 256 with all ones.

>>> exer -sb 100 -l 3 -d1 255 -a 'w'  dka0 

This can be confirmed by dumping blocks 255 to 259. Notice that while the exerciser uses hexadecimal to specify the start block number, the hex dump utility uses decimal!

>>> hd -sb 255 -eb 259 dka0
block 255
00000000  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
  :
  :
  :
000001f0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
block 256
00000000  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
  :
  :
  :
000001f0  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
block 257
00000000  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
  :
  :
  :
000001f0  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
block 258
00000000  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
  :
  :
  :
000001f0  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
block 259
00000000  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
  :
  :
  :
000001f0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
>>>

To fill the whole disk with zeros you just start at the first block and omit the number of blocks to write.

>>> chmod +wr dka0.0.0.2000.0
>>> exer -sb 0 -d1 0 -a 'w'  dka0

Just don’t expect it to be quick! If you want to monitor how many bytes have been written to the disk you can append an ampersand to the exerciser command to have it execute in the back ground and monitor it’s progress using the shuw status command.

>>> chmod +wr dka0.0.0.2000.0
>>> exer -sb 0 -d1 0 -a 'w'  dka0 &
>>> show_status | grep dka
00000c26 exer_kid dka0.0.0.200    0    0    0    7321796608     0

Running the exerciser in the background also allows you to erase more than one disk at a time.

>>> chmod +wr dka100.1.0.2000.0
>>> exer -sb 0 -d1 0 -a 'w'  dka100 &
>>> show_status | grep dka
00000c26 exer_kid dka0.0.0.200    0    0    0    7398211584     0
00000e52 exer_kid dka100.1.0.2    0    0    0    1821638656     0

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