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SubjectRe: dying hdd causing MCE and panic (libata)
> - Is it normal that a simple hard disk failure (that is not even
> the system disk) causes MCEs and kernel panics?

No but with old style (pre AHCI) IDE it can because the system may MCE if
the CPU<->Disk hangs. If a drive is causing PSU problems it could also
occur I guess - ditto heat. You'd need to decode the MCE

> - Is this a problem that is induced completely on the hardware
> level (eg. the southbridge going crazy and making the whole
> hardware platform unstable) or a problem that could be fixed
> or handled properly on the software (kernel) level?

An MCE the hardware can recover from is reported and we continue. CPU
Context Corrupt means the processor internally set a "cannot carry on"


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