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Finding out where biowait is stuck

I have a problem where a process is getting stuck in a biowait and I was wondering if there is any way to find out where in the code (or in the kernel) this is happening. Once it is in this state it is unkillable so it doesn't process signal 11 to get a core dump. I am 90% sure it is the access to an external disk array which is causing it but I can't find a way to verify this. I have control of the source code so can compile it with symbols etc.

Are there any tools I can use to debug this. At present I have scripted a ps and fstat to log periodically so I can check these when it occurs but I don't know of anything else which would give more focussed information. The problem is it only happens every few days or so.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,


PS. Would this be better sent to Users?

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