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I have the following setup

The pi is powered directly from a charger while the external drive is powered from the USB hub.

The problem that I see is that every couple of hours I lose connection to the external drive, with a reported 'I/O error'.

A relevant snippet from /var/log/messages is below

Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870665.931179] usb 1-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 26
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870665.931207] usb 1-1.2.1: USB disconnect, device number 27
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.172957] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 28 using dwc_otg
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.274700] usb 1-1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0608
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.274730] usb 1-1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.274747] usb 1-1.2: Product: USB2.0 Hub
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.275914] hub 1-1.2:1.0: USB hub found
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.276346] hub 1-1.2:1.0: 4 ports detected
Oct 28 20:51:14 pluto kernel: [870666.553166] usb 1-1.2.1: new high-speed USB device number 29 using dwc_otg
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.295030] usb 1-1.2.1: New USB device found, idVendor=1058, idProduct=0730
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.295061] usb 1-1.2.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.295079] usb 1-1.2.1: Product: My Passport 0730
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.295093] usb 1-1.2.1: Manufacturer: Western Digital
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.295106] usb 1-1.2.1: SerialNumber: 575836314143305539303136
Oct 28 20:51:15 pluto kernel: [870667.299610] scsi12 : usb-storage 1-1.2.1:1.0
Oct 28 20:51:16 pluto kernel: [870668.294250] scsi 12:0:0:0: Direct-Access     WD       My Passport 0730 1012 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
Oct 28 20:51:16 pluto kernel: [870668.295758] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] 976707584 512-byte logical blocks: (500 GB/465 GiB)
Oct 28 20:51:16 pluto kernel: [870668.296381] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Oct 28 20:51:16 pluto kernel: [870668.297641] scsi 12:0:0:1: Enclosure         WD       SES Device       1012 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.051795] usb 1-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 28
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.051824] usb 1-1.2.1: USB disconnect, device number 29
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.062910] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] Unhandled error code
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.062942] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb]  Result: hostbyte=0x01 driverbyte=0x00
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.062965] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] CDB: cdb[0]=0x28: 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 00
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.063359]  sdb: unable to read partition table
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.069271] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] READ CAPACITY failed
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.069304] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb]  Result: hostbyte=0x01 driverbyte=0x00
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.069326] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] Sense not available.
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.069568] sd 12:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.303096] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 30 using dwc_otg
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.404717] usb 1-1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0608
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.404748] usb 1-1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.404765] usb 1-1.2: Product: USB2.0 Hub
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.405919] hub 1-1.2:1.0: USB hub found
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.406354] hub 1-1.2:1.0: 4 ports detected
Oct 28 20:51:19 pluto kernel: [870671.683176] usb 1-1.2.1: new high-speed USB device number 31 using dwc_otg
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.425050] usb 1-1.2.1: New USB device found, idVendor=1058, idProduct=0730
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.425080] usb 1-1.2.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.425098] usb 1-1.2.1: Product: My Passport 0730
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.425111] usb 1-1.2.1: Manufacturer: Western Digital
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.425124] usb 1-1.2.1: SerialNumber: 575836314143305539303136
Oct 28 20:51:20 pluto kernel: [870672.429651] scsi13 : usb-storage 1-1.2.1:1.0
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.424243] scsi 13:0:0:0: Direct-Access     WD       My Passport 0730 1012 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.425782] sd 13:0:0:0: [sdb] 976707584 512-byte logical blocks: (500 GB/465 GiB)
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.426396] sd 13:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.427718] scsi 13:0:0:1: Enclosure         WD       SES Device       1012 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.732721]  sdb: sdb1
Oct 28 20:51:21 pluto kernel: [870673.738654] sd 13:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
Oct 28 20:51:58 pluto kernel: [870710.608534] quiet_error: 3 callbacks suppressed
Oct 28 20:52:15 pluto kernel: [870727.287804] quiet_error: 22 callbacks suppressed
Oct 28 20:53:13 pluto kernel: [870785.258101] quiet_error: 1 callbacks suppressed
Oct 28 20:53:17 pluto kernel: [870789.177150] lost page write due to I/O error on sda1

If I remount the drive it works just fine, but I'm both worried that I might damage it and annoyed by having to manually remount it each time.

Update:

  • I've determined that the connection is lost also if the drive is not mounted , although it takes at least a day for that to happend.
  • the connection is reset if another USB device is plugged into the hub, even if the hard disk's connection is untouched.

How can I solve the problem of the hard drive becoming periodically unavailable?

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1  
Does it behave the same in active use and if attached but left to idle, not mounted or otherwise used? –  XTL Oct 29 '12 at 6:54
    
@XTL I'll have to try and see. It's used as a dlna server and I notice the problem when I try to play something and it does not work. –  Robert Munteanu Oct 29 '12 at 7:42
2  
Could be a power issue, a cable issue, or a faulty drive.. Test the said drive on another machine to try to replicate the problem, with/without new cable. Essentially test said disk on a working system, check logs, read/write to said disk on test system and confirm. Otherwise, look into Pi/kernel specific problems. It's likely a cable/power issue though. –  Munkeh Oct 29 '12 at 22:48
    
With your update it sounds even more like a power issue. –  Jivings Nov 4 '12 at 18:14
    
@Jivings what would be the suggest approach then? Replace the USB hub? Remove the power wires from the USB cable ( I found a reference to that somewhere but I can't find it ) ? –  Robert Munteanu Nov 4 '12 at 18:15

2 Answers 2

Had the same issue with powering up things as you did. When i used a single usb hub to power both the pi and the hard drive i got stable usage from it for over two weeks (never had it on longer than 2 weeks between two reboots). I had my boot loader on the sd card and the OS on the usb hard-drive. My usb hard drive is also a westerd digital password (but an older version).

I actually gone through 10 usb hubs and around 15 chargers before i found something stable. The currently used usb hub is a no-name hub, rated for 2A max over 4 usb ports. I have used the hub with the pi and 2 usb drives and a wifi card.

If you can, get a multimeter and test the voltages of the pi across tp1 and tp2.

Also, i powered everything all the time from a 1100w ups. I never plugged anything in directly in the wall. If you have power fluctuations, burnouts or anything similar, that might also be an issue.

Also be careful of using the same socket for all the power adapters you're using. Never use two sockets on different power lines or a socket and a ups on the same time.

Noroc! (good luck in romanian - for everyone else that doesn't speak it)

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I finally managed to get a stable setup ( no connection lost for 10 days ). I have given up on the USB hub and the current Raspberry Pi charger.

Instead, I have purchased a dual USB charger and a split USB cable

USB Charger enter image description here

Both the PI and the external drive are powered from the same source - the USB charger and the data connection is plugged in directly from the PI.

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