I built a new machine with the following hardware (at least the relevant parts):

  • Asus P8P67 Deluxe
  • Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARX
  • 750W Power Supply (so there's plenty of juice)

Last night I tried to install Ubuntu 12.04, but kept seeing the error message:

ata9.01: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)

That HDD is a 6Gb/s SATA. The P8P67 has two different SATA controllers: an Intel (3 Gb/s and 6Gb/s ports) and a Marvell (6 Gb/s ports only). I tried plugging the drive into each controller and got the same results from both.

I pulled an old 1.5 Gb/s SATA drive out of an old machine, and this works fine plugged into a 3Gb/s port -- installation succeeded and the machine is running ok.

After installing onto the old drive, I tried plugging the new drive into the 3Gb/s Intel controller, with the same message when I try to format the drive.

The drive is detected, SMART (including the short self test) says it is healthy, and it looks like the partition table was at least partially written because the swap partition is there from when I tried to install onto it.

Some web searches indicated that the problem might be with AHCI, I went into BIOS and turned off AHCI -- same error messages.

  • Is the drive DOA or is this more likely to be a driver problem? Is there a way to prove it is DOA for an RMA (will I need to)?
  • Is there something I can tweak in the BIOS, kernel, or driver config to make it work?
  • What Kernel are you using? – Barton Chittenden May 1 '12 at 17:19
  • @BartonChittenden: The installation that succeeded identifies as kernel 3.2.0-24-generic-pae. I'm guessing that the installer uses this version or something close; it was just released. – bstpierre May 1 '12 at 18:28

Turned out it was DOA. Tried a couple of drives in the same slots and they worked fine, so I returned it, Amazon shipped a new one, and the new one works fine.

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