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saving files when ITS is down

In system 21.7, with microcode 604, on LISP Machine Five:
When I attempt to save a file on ML, when it (or AI?) is down, I get a message
to the effect that the file has been modified since I last saved it on disk, and
asking whether to saye it anyway.  This has happened a couple of times on different
CADRs, but I don't remember whether they were all system 21.7 or not.  I am quite sure
that neither time had the file actually been modified.

I don't really understand the implications of the fact that SUPDUP goes through AI
to get to ML, so I don't know whether what's actually happening is that ML is really
down or that AI is down so I can't talk to ML.