SUMMARY: crashes during dump

Date: Wed May 12 1993 - 11:33:28 CDT

My original query was:

   We have a Sun 4/280, 128MB, Xylogics 7053 controller running 2 Hitachi disks
   Xylogics 472 tape controller running a 9-track tape. We run SunOS 4.1 with
   some patches. The machine is heavily loaded around the clock.
   The last three nights we have had crashes around midnight during multiuser
   incremental file backups. The crash messages from the 3 incidents are:

   [details deleted]

   Other facts: The crashes all happened during dump(8), but not necessarily
   first dump of the evening...The system reboots and the operators rerun the
   dumps with no further problem that night...dump(8) is running at nice -5...
   dumps are the only time the 9-track tape gets used.
   I have found no patch that seems to match this problem. The FEs suspect
   memory. I wonder about the tape controller. What do you think?

Thanks to all repliers. The suggestions were:

1. Test memory and the tape drive.
2. Upgrade the OS.
3. Apply patches 100330 and 100274.
4. Don't run at nice -5, as per the dump(8) man page.

The 100330 patch doesn't apply to SunOS 4.1, which I run. I had already
applied 100274; it took only a couple of days after installing the xd
controller to find that I needed that patch.

Upgrading is a major hassle on this machine. And I hope to replace it soon.

I had not seen the comment about nice(1) in the dump(8) man page, so I tried
removing the nicing. And for 2 weeks there have been no crashes. So my
conclusion is that the nicing drives some kernel bug which caused my crashes.
I don't know what bug or what patch to apply, and I would believe that a later
release of the OS would solve it, but I am content to leave the nice off.

                                                Steve Campbell

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