SUMMARY: can't kill process

From: Michael J. Freeman (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 08:56:03 CDT

   Unfortunately, the solution to my problem was to come in after business
hours and reboot the machine, which effectively cleared the dd process.
However, what appears to be the most promising solution comes from Regretfully I didn't receive this reply until after I
had rebooted, therefore I didn't get a chance to try it out. Thanks again
to all who responded.


I have had the same problem with my SPARC 1000 and Solaris 2.4. In my case
it was caused by a ufsdump command which was running and would not die.
Upon contacting Sun, I was told that there is an error with the device
driver in Solaris 2.4 which causes this to happen. I have a support call
logged at the moment (ref no: 5394867), with which I hope Sun will be able
to write a bug fix for this problem. The only other long term solution
that was suggested to me was to upgrade to Solaris 2.5 which should remove
this problem.

   I have also been contacted by other administrators who tell me that
they have experienced the same problem and the only way to clear the
problem is to reboot the machine. I do however have one possible
resolution to your problem which was sent to me by another sys. admin
which is as follows. The actual process would be in kernel mode, so would
have high priority but would be blocked on I/O and would be in a sleep
state, so would not respond to a kill -9. The only way to kill it would be
to catch it on one of its retries and this is the script which should
(hopefully) do this :-
   proc=`ps -aef|grep dump |awk ' $0 !~ /grep/ {print $2}'`
   while true
   kill -9 $proc
   done the script outputs nothing while the process lives, but when the
kill succeeds, the scrip outputs "no such process".
hope some of this will help,


manually mount a tape into the drive (write enabled, scratch) The process
may be hung on a tape IO op. Putting a tape into the drive may free the
process up so it can die.


try turning off the tape drive, which might abort the dd.


When the tape is in the middle of doing something you
will not be able to kill the process. Try press the tape eject button to
interrupt it. If you can take the risk try to power down the tape ONLY.


You're hung - the problem isn't killing that process, it is that process
is hung in the tape driver and is unkillable. I'd either check for
patches or file a bug.

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