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  1. #1

    No version of Linux works!!!

    Okay, here's the deal. I've only been able to get one version of Linux to work - Gentoo (which uses Grub). The rest fail at the same point. The computer loads LILO fine, the kernel then appears to load and when it come to detect the devices on the IDE buses it stops... that's it. But here's the interesting part. I can boot that partition/installation of Linux if I use a boot disc (e.g. using Slackware CD and specifying bare.i root=/dev/hd?? noinitrd ro). The boot disc is always using the same kernel image as the h/d.

    What is the solution??? I'm trying to get away without formatting (i.e. every last byte) my H/D, there's too much stuff to backup easily. I have an incling that my problem may be due to the fact that I've resized partitions using PartitionMagic, but I'm just clutching at straws here.

    If anyone's had similar difficulties in the past who could help me, or if anyone's got a clue where I could start I'd be grateful.

    P.S. The system dual boots with Win98 and has a H/D of 40Gb (although supposedly this shouldn't matter, including 1024 cylinder rule).

    P.P.S. Although I'm not a Linux expert I certainly am not a novice so please don't as me if I have checked my settings, checked my LILO config etc.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    Are you sure that the boot disks are using the same kernels as the complete installations? Usually they are using modified kernels that have very much built in to them, in order to support as much as possible without using modules. It could therefore be that you have a buggy IDE chipset (there are plenty of those), and the boot kernels have bugfixes for them compiled in. What IDE chipset are you using?

  3. #3
    Linux User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hong Kong, China
    Use Grub as boot loader instead dude!
    Signature removed by moderator - please see forum rules

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  5. #4


    Dolda2000 that sounds like the most plausable answer I've had so far (I've posted to forums other than this.

    I don't know if you're familiar with Slackware 8.1 (haven't got round to downloading 9.0 yet), but that's the distro I'm trying to get working.

    I'm using the installation menu that comes with Slackware and as far as I know I'm installing the very same image that is under the bare.i directory that I boot the install from.

    I'm using the standard IDE controller that came with my M/B I'll post back when I find out. But here's where I think you're theory might hold tight. I've got a second H/D running off a Promise Controller card (which is old btw). I'm gonna disconnect it right now and let you know how I get on.

    I still can't understand why (when it appears) that I'm using the same kernel with the same hardware/install it would boot the H/D with the kernel off the CD but not the H/D. Anyway I'm off to give it a whirl now.

  6. #5
    Dolda2000 thank you for your help. I'm now posting this from my Linux machine. I do feel foolish that I didn't look at the controller card before now. The signs were there, I guess I just needed someone to push me in the right direction.

    I couldn't tell you the model of the card, although it is a Promise ATA66 card (I think). I think upgrading the card wouldn't go a miss, so would you have any to recommend that are know to work well with the Linux kernel?

    The card I am (was) using IS old and wasn't up to the task I was using it for. Even if the drivers in the kernel are stable the card doesn't correctly detect the drives capacity. The drive was detected (at boot) as an 8Gb drive and it actually is 20Gb, but as windows had never complained and allowed me to use it as a 20Gb drive, I've never seen the reason to upgrade.

    I've been wanting to make the switch to Linux for a while now (I've still gotta keep Windoze for my games) and I finally can.

    Thank you once again

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    I also have a promise IDE extention card, so I know very well the troubles with them. The thing is that they appear (with the PCI class number) to be a normal IDE chipset, while they aren't really. That's why they can almost work sometimes, and sometimes not, because they seem to be using a whole lot of the actual PCI chipset standard protocol, but still differ in some places.
    The solution, however, is simple. Just recompile the kernel with support for the Promise PDC202?? chipset. You'll find it with the rest of the IDE hardware drivers.

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