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Subject: ATA test, round 2

ATA test, round 2

From: Jens Arnold <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 00:44:11 +0200

Hello all,

You may already know that the fast disk reading and writing
routines are still disabled in the official Rockbox builds
because some users had reported problems with file system
corruption when the first assembler optimized disk reading
routine was introduced back in January 2004.

In March I developed an even faster reading routine, and
conducted a field test, which did only use the optimized
routines for reading and tried to detect errors.
Unfortunately this test did not reveal the reason for the
problems with some disks, because no errors occured.

As it would be really nice to enable the fast disk reading (and
writing, which I did optimize also), it is now time to conduct a
second test. As the first test did show that a synthetic test
does not help us much, this is a real world test, which I ask
as many of you as possible to conduct.

I'm especially interested in test results from users whose
Jukebox contains an early Hitach HD model (DK23CA/ DK23DA
series). (Trent, Lee, are you reading?)

This test may corrupt data on the Jukebox, so if you want to
conduct this test, make sure that you have a reliable backup of
valuable data! If you are unsure how to do this, this test is
probably not for you!

That said (if I didn't manage to scare you off), I ask you to
do the following:

1) Download the test package for your Jukebox model

   FM Recorder:
   Recorder v2:

2) Unzip the test package to the root of your Archos, replacing
   your current Rockbox installation. The default firmware file
   in it is a straight build from current CVS (2004-06-27, 13:00)
   and has fast reading/writing disabled so it is safe to use.

3) Please test your disk for filesystem errors NOW, to separate
   problems that are already there from those we want to examine.

   System utilities to do that:

   Windows 9x: Scandisk (start it from the drive's context
   Windows 2000/XP: Chkdsk (start it from the drive's context
                    menu or command line)
   Linux: dosfsck

   If there are errors, repair them, the re-check. There must be
   no errors before you continue.

4) Disconnect your box from USB (don't forget to safely remove)
   and boot into Rockbox. If your box is flashed (only possible
   for Recorders atm): RoLo into ajbrec.ajz.

5) Play around a bit in Rockbox, start and stop songs, browse
   directories, adjust settings etc. Connect USB again.

6) Test your disk for file system errors again, and note down
   if there are any, in the form:

   ajbrec.ajz (or archos.mod): Errors/No errors

   There should be no errors this time, or your box may have
   a hardware problem! If this is the case, it would not be
   wise to continue the test. Otherwise:

7) Disconnect USB again, boot into Rockbox and RoLo into
   ajbrec-fast.ajz (Recorders) or archos-fast.mod (Player),

8) Play around a bit in Rockbox, start and stop songs, browse
   directories, adjust settings etc. Connect USB again.

9) Test your disk for file system errors again, and note down
   if there are any, in the form:

   ajbrec-fast.ajz (or archos-fast.mod): Errors/No errors

   If there are errors, repair them, the re-check. There must
   be no errors before you continue. If there were errors, it
   is possibly a good idea to unzip the test build again to
   make sure the firmware files do not contain errors.

10) If there were no errors so far, you can skip to step 11 now.
    Otherwise please repeat steps 7..9 with ajbrec-fastread.ajz
    (archos-fastread.mod) and ajbrec-fastwrite.ajz

11) Prepare a report, containing the following info:

    - Archos model
    - Test results of the above
    - Some info to look up under Info->Debug->View HW info
      and Info->Debug->View disk info

    See sample report below.

If all went well, you may now re-install your favourite Rockbox
build, or simply continue using the test build. Otherwise (if
files were corrupted) you should restore your backup.


Sample test report (my box)

Model: Archos Jukebox Recorder 20

ajbrec:ajz: No errors
ajbrec-fast.ajz: No errors

(If the latter test would have shown errors, there would have
been two more lines for the results with ajbrec-fastread.ajz
and ajbrec-fastwrite.ajz)

(following data is from Info->Debug->View HW info)

ROM: 1.28
Mask: 0x0302
USB: positive
ATA: 0x200, master

(following data is from Info->Debug->View disk info)

Model: IC25N080ATMR04-0
Firmware: M040AD4A
Power mgmt: enabled
Noise mgmt: enabled
Read-ahead: enabled
PIO modes: 0 1 2 3 4
Cycles times: 240ns/120ns
IORDY support: yes
IORDY disable: yes


I'm looking forword to hearing from you soon, and hopefully
getting only positive results ;-)

Regards, Jens

Received on 2004-06-28

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