large disks in old machines

Rob Shugg rshugg at
Mon Aug 26 12:04:27 EST 2002

I am setting up some file servers on old P2's and have come across some

the disk is a Seagate Barracuda 80G.
initially i had no joy on the pentium 2 so I put it in my newer P3 and it
detected ok. I then tried fdisk but it complained about the partition table
being missing. I had to use sfdisk to write a partition table and I had to
manually set the C,H,S values as the kernel had got it wrong. I then made a
reiserfs and mounted it ok.

I then tried to copy about 20G over to it. I got a few IDE timeouts and CRC
errors doing this. So then I put it on an 80 wire ide cable, made a new fs
and repeated the copy with no errors.

That was on a Mandrake 8.1 box. the fileserver is Debian woody, I wanted to
mount this disk on /home in that box.
I had to put the "limit drive capacity to 30G" jumper in in order to get the
bios to detect it. that was fine. The trouble is it wont mount the
I get page full of errors ending in something like "bad filesystem" This box
supports reiserfs. I thought this might be a version problem for reiserfs
between the debian and MDK systems. 

I then tried to create a ext3 fs on the debian box but this produced a stack
of CRC errors and IDE resets. These errors looked similar to ones that were
fixed with the 80 wire cable so I thought i would try that. This was not
possible because the cable I have has 39 pins (one blank for orientation)
and my motherboard has the full 40 pins.

has anyone else experienced this or do I have a dud disk?
do i need to put a PCI IDE card in the P2 to support the new disk?
do all 80 wire cables have 39 pins?


PS I read some stuff that reiserfs is still a bit immature. is this the

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