It seems some SATA drives have a tendency to spin down and not come back to life quickly enough to suit the drivers -- or even the BIOS. My fileserver, which has a pair of 400GB Seagates, seems to be afflicted. Twice, recently, I've come home and found it hung, and when I power-cycled the thing it took no less than two resets before the drives were happy. This does not make me happy.
As far as I can tell, every damned one of my four SATA drives has this problem, in varying degrees. Grrr. I seem to have it most often with drives that are left unused for a long time -- it mostly seems to hit the backup drives (though not always). For now I'm enabling swap on my mirror drive; I don't think it was this bad back before I disabled it to save wear and tear on the drive.
But I'm seriously considering sticking them in a RAID box where they'll get plenty of exercise, and replacing them with IDE drives. Not what I was planning to spend money on, though.
Meanwhile, I've been spending the last hour or so running malware scans on the flower_cat's stupid Windows machine. And disabling the virus scanner, which seems to be causing a host of problems all by itself. Did I mention that I *HATE* Windows?
22:19 Did I mention that I'm an idiot? Seems the fileserver's bootloader menu is a mix of various and sundry old bits that don't go together anymore. No, I do not want to boot from the swap partition! Nor do I want the year-old multimedia kernel that seems to have stuck itself in for the hell of it. That's the problem with not rebooting for a long time...