[clug] Re: sata card+drive on old system woes

Rodney Peters rodneyp at pcug.org.au
Thu Aug 23 06:08:53 GMT 2007

On Wednesday 22 August 2007 13:04:56 linux-request at lists.samba.org wrote:
> Encapsulated message
>   [clug] sata card+drive on old system woes
>  From: Nemo <wombat at nemo.house.cx>
>  To: CLUG List <linux at lists.samba.org>
> Hi guys,
> I've just been putting together a new (for PIII/933mhz/256MB ram values of
> 'new') fileserver and part of the upgrades has resulted in a sata card and
> drive for bulking up my storage space.
> Turns out the mobo doesn't play nice with the sata when booting at all.
> It's intended to boot from the ide drive... but initially nothing would
> boot when it was all plugged in, a mobo bios update later and it would boot
> ide drives, but ignore the cdrom, regardless of the bios setting.
> Hotplugging the sata in *after* a lilo/grub screen from the CD would give
> me a clean boot however...
> One Debian install later, and it's booting off the harddrive fine with no
> need to hotplug. Then last night (half-way through testing new raid), it
> spontaneously reverts to original behaviour. It wont boot anything at all
> with the sata card+drive plugged in. (the POST completes, gives PCI devices
> listing, and then nothing, system hangs with no keyboard response.
> Power/reset switch only) Again, hotplug the drive on the grub menu, and it
> runs smoothly from there...
> So, helpy question/request time. Has anyone encountered this kind of
> behaviour before and can give any hints where the problem might be? I'm
> assuming the sata card is taking the boot process via a bios extension, and
> not handing it back. It is a cheapish sata card unfortunately, but I'm not
> wanting to lay out more money on another one in case the problem is with
> the motherboard (ASUS CUSL2)
My ASUS mobo is later (K7/1800MHz) but has an onboard Promise SATA controller. 
Took me ages to figure out how to boot off the SATA controller.  Two steps:

1.	find the BIOS setting (typically in "boot-order") "boot off-board chipsets 
first".  Enable that.  In my case, it was the on-board "off-board" chipset 
that had to be booted first - very intuitive.  On older mobo, this might 
degenerate to setting SCSI first.

.2	change the order of lines in GRUB's /boot/grub/device.map so that if more 
than one drive is physically present at boot, the line, be it hd0 or hd1, 
that relates to the SATA is ahead of any others.  Might just have to 
experimebnt here.

That ought to fix it, but things will probably screw up if you continue 
hot-plugging the SATA, because GRUB will then change the drives it 
automatically maps as hd0 etc.

All assumes that you are using a kernel having SATA support for the chip in 
your card.  2.4.27? or later.

> Or I could get an ide/sata bidirectional converter so the sata drive
> appears as IDE to the motherboard... Has anyone had experience with those?
> They seem kinda dodgy.
> The other option is to ask if anyone wants to swap old motherboards (it
> works fine in all other respects) for something that will work fine for ide
> and sata (I don't much care about the mobo spec, so long as the drives
> talk... (oh, and it fits in a generic 2RU server case :)
> cheers
> .../Nemo



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