Re: Booting

From: Guest section DW (
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 17:32:19 EST

On Thu, Feb 24, 2000 at 08:25:28AM -0800, Jack Griffin wrote:

> Basically I recently purchased two Maxtor IDE 40 Gbyte hard drives, and an
> IWill DBD100 dual Pentium III motherboard. I got the two hard drives up and
> running in an HP Pavilion 8495 with no problems. Lilo installed and the
> kernel boots from the hard drive.
> When I installed the new motherboard however, lilo freezes after printing
> "LI". So I dug into what was available on large disks, lilo, etc. I got a
> real education in the history of disks drives in the PC.

Maybe you read
If not, you should.

> Basically what I have now is, the drives are set the LBA mode. The bios has
> an IDE autodetect feature that will probe the drive and set the values for
> the drive based on whether I want the drive in the LBA, LARGE, or NORMAL
> modes. The drive returns a size of 4982/255/63 (the 4982 is close but may
> not be exact as the drives are at home and I am at work). If I run
> that comes with lilo under dos I get 1024/240/63. If I run
> hdparm -g /dev/hdb (I am installing linux on the second drive), I get
> 5098/240/63 (using 2.3.47 kernel).

No doubt the drive itself says nothing at all, that is, it comes with
the dummy report 16383/16/63. The 4982/255/63 would then be the LBA
translation invented by your BIOS. The translations with 240 heads
are typically a result of asking the BIOS for Large instead of LBA.
hdparm -g will tell you what Linux reports as geometry.
The 240 heads that Linux invented may be from the partition table,
or they may be from the BIOS.

Anyway, it looks as if you have a confused setup where part of your
system thinks H=255 and part thinks H=240.

You can always force Linux' idea of the geometry by giving boot
parameters. But Linux does not use the geometry, only tells
LILO about it, and you can also tell LILO about it yourself.
Or you can give LILO the "linear" keyword, so that it does not
need a geometry at all. Make sure you have LILO v21 - earlier
versions have an integer overflow.
Two or three attempts should suffice to make things work.

In case you post again, "dmesg | grep hdb" gives the required
information about what Linux thinks, and "hdparm -I /dev/hdb"
and "hdparm -i /dev/hdb" give the disk report.

> Also, this motherboard has a built-in SCSI controller, but I don't want to
> (obviously) throw away 80 Gbytes of storage. Should I get a SCSI driver for
> booting and use the IDE drives for /usr, /home, etc.

Beware: in case you have built-in SCSI and both IDE and SCSI disks,
the BIOS reports about "disk 0" and "disk 1" (that is, e.g., int 13
with 0x80 or 0x81) may actually report on SCSI disks.
Thus, what Linux gets from the BIOS is useless in the general situation -
we have no easy way of finding out for what disk the report is.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 29 2000 - 21:00:10 EST