[TriLUG] IDE Hard disk limitations BIOS and Linux
rick.denatale at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 21:47:07 EST 2004
Well my BIOS doesn't give any option other than by hard/floppy/cd disk number.
It's also a little odd in the way it boots for SCSI.
When you power on you get the IBM splash screen, with the F1 prompt to
Regardless of whether you press F1 or not, the next thing you see is a
message from the Adaptec SCSI BIOS with another F key prompt to enter
SCSI setup, I think that this just lets you map SCSI device numbers to
BIOS device numbers, but I haven't really mucked with it so i'm not
I've pulled the IDE card out so that I can boot, but IIRC when it's in
the raid setup prompt comes up either right after the splash screen or
after the Adaptec SCSI "dialog". I don't think that I can even get
into the bios setup
I've done a bit of googling on this silicon image chipset, and there
seem to be both raid and non-raid cards using the chipset. Some
comments talk about re-flashing the card, some cards seem to have ROMs
rather than flash though. There are two chips on the card, and the one
which I presume contains the bios has a big red sticker over it so I
can't determine whether it's ROM or flash. In any event the flashing
tools all seem to require Windoze, and the only windoze machine I've
got access to is a Thinkpad and none of the little swinging doors seem
to be big enough to accomodate a PCI card (even a smallish one like
In any case, it does seem now that the built-in IDE on the MOBO and
Linux >2.4.19 seems to see the drive as a 160MB so I can proceed
without the card. I do like the idea of a separate card, and separate
IDE channels for each of the IDE devices I have, but ...
In any event it's a learning experience. Most of the time I deal with
high-level software architecture issues, I'm really catching up on all
the hardware stuff I've missed since the mid to late 1980s. <G>
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 20:53:50 -0500, Aaron S. Joyner <aaron at joyner.ws> wrote:
> Rick DeNatale wrote:
> >On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:47:53 -0500, Aaron S. Joyner <aaron at joyner.ws> wrote:
> >>Yes, it works quite well. :) I would certainly recommend it from the
> >>sheer perspective of separating out the drives onto individual channels.
> >I'd love for you or anyone else tell me how to use it.
> I'll do my best. :)
> >I decided to buy the drives, and the controller after confirming that
> >I could return an unopened drive without a restocking fee.
> Even better optimization (with proper verification)!
> >I installed the card and one drive. When I boot, it asks me to hit F3
> >to get into the RAID setup utility. This only seems to allow creating
> >raid sets. If I escape out of this (or ignore the prompt to hit F3
> >it simply shows that the drive is in the 1st RAID set and the system
> >never gets past that in the boot sequence.
> >According to the specs RAID is supposed to be optional for this
> >controller, but I've got no clue how to get around this.
> Let's assume for a moment, that you don't have any other drives on
> on-board controllers. You're going to need to configure your BIOS to
> boot to the IDE raid controller, which depending on your BIOS may show
> up in various ways. In an older BIOS, you may have to choose a SCSI
> boot option, which will attempt to boot to the controller. The
> controller will boot which ever drive is attached as the lowest device -
> unless of course you RAID them up, in which case it will boot to the
> array itself. If you want to do a regular install, go ahead and setup
> the CDROM as the first boot option, and go from there. When you reboot
> to the drives the first time, you'll need to drop back and address which
> drive the controller is going to boot to, and you'll have a bit more luck.
> Just to briefly touch the other side of the equation, if one of these
> drives is on the on-board controller, make that your boot drive, and go
> on with life. You'll be in good shape that way, too.
> If you're still having trouble, feel free to post again with more
> details and I'll see if I can steer you in the right direction.
> Aaron S. Joyner
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