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Re: [vox-tech] ATA/100 Controllers on Linux?
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Re: [vox-tech] ATA/100 Controllers on Linux?



On Mon 14 Jul 03,  9:09 AM, Ryan Castellucci <ryan+lugod@cal.net> said:
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> On Monday 14 July 2003 07:42 am, Michael Dunham wrote:
> > I am reviving an old Pentium II machine to use as my desktop at home.  I
> > got an old copy of Mandrake up on it and I am making good headway getting
> > the hardware organized into something that I can then upgrade to either a
> > more current version of Linux or FreeBSD.  My current problem is the BIOS
> > doesn't read larger hard drives.  I have a 13gb that would work fine as the
> > root disk but for now I am restricted to the original disk at 1.9gb which
> > is just plain too small.
> >
> > I tried upgrading the BIOS but it is an ASUS and they haven't issued any
> > upgrades for this board since 1998. The upgrade they have didn't address
> > drive sizes. Ugh.  There is a 2 channel ATA/100 board from Startech
> > (http://www.startech.com/ststore/itemdetail.cfm?ProductID=PCI2IDE100&topbar
> >= topbario.htm) that some of the online outlets list as a "Linux compatible"
> > (Startech doesn't mention it) but I haven't been able to find any evidence
> > that anyone has actually used one for a Linux installation.  My concern is
> > that some boards require drivers and they are only available for Windoze
> > generally ;-(
> >
> > Does anyone have any experience with this or other add-on controller boards
> > on a Linux installation as a workaround for larger disks?  It seems like it
> > should be a normal thing to do...
> 
> Mike, try installing with a small (20 oe 30 megs or so is what I use) 
> partition at the begining of the drive, and place /boot there. Your kernel 
> may be able to address the whole drive without any problems. A quick way to 
> tell if this will work is to try a boot disk (CD or floppy) and see if it can 
> access the whole drive.

another good resource is the "large disk HOWTO" which should be with all
the other HOWTO's.  you may be able to solve this without splitting off
a boot partition.

it's been (at this point) many *years* since i've needed to read it, but
i recall that if your BIOS is incapable of accessing the part of your
drive that holds the kernel, you might want to put either "lba32" or
"linear" in /etc/lilo.conf.

IIRC, the problem is that the size of the data type that holds the
number of X on your disk (where X is something like cylinders or
sectors) is too small.  these two directives instruct the boot loader to
make assumptions about the geometry of your disks, regardless of what
size BIOS thinks they are.

like i said, it's been many years since i've needed to do this, but this
is what i seem to recall.

of course, to do this, you'll need to boot a rescue disk (debian install
disks are good for this sort of thing), mount the root partition, make
the change to /etc/lilo.conf and run lilo.

note that if you run lilo with root mounted under, say, /mnt, you'll
need to tell lilo where the actual root partition is (because it's
really under, say, /mnt).   i think it's -r, but i need to use the man
page everytime i do this...

this is all hazy for me.  corrections welcomed...

hth,
pete

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