I need advise before 3rd reinstall in 1 month
Ok, here's the thing. My computer has apparently gone mad, and before I reinstall YET AGAIN, I'd like some advise on how to prevent the past repeating, or getting worse.
First off here is the system:
AMD k6-2 450MHz on Asus P5A (AWARD BIOS 1010 beta 001)
Radeon 64MB AGP (different things ID it as 7000 or 7200, I don't know for sure because I bought it 2 weeks after the Radeon cards first came out and weren't numbered yet).
SBLive! X-Gamer 5.0
Belkin Ultra ATA/133 PCI IDE controller.
Drives: MB IDE 0,0 = 20G Windows drive
MB IDE 1,0 = DVD-ROM
PCI IDE 0,0 = 160GB Linux Drive
PCI IDE 1,0 = DVD±RW
I use Debian, mostly etch, but I try to keep KDE and a few other things more up to date with sid.
Initially, with an install that used GRUB I had the kernel randomly deciding that the drives went backward so that what had been /dev/hda was /dev/hde and vice versa down the line. I could reboot one, twice, maybe a dozen times and it'd be back to normal, or I could just tell GRUB to have root=/dev/hde.
Something else went wrong so I reinstalled. Wound up with GRUB not being able to install because I'd experimented with a different partition type and had to use lilo. Everything was fine for awhile, then it started doing the same thing... briefly. After a time it steadfastly refused to see the drive as anything but hde, and I could never get lilo reinstalled to just look at hde instead.
So enter 2nd reinstall. Did this one with GRUB, and it seemed fine. Even did a bunch of reboots to be sure. All is well, so I get to the task of installing the software, and decide that maybe it was the 2.6.16 kernels that were the problem and forced it to keep 2.6.15. No. One day I rebooted for some reason, and I have the same old, PCI is hde and won't change (even a kerenl compiled to look at OFFBOARD IDE first didn't change matters), no biggy, I have GRUB so I fix it. It still won't boot. It gives:
Unless I turn off the on board IDE controller so that there is no /dev/hda.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-prmount ...
attempting manual resume
attempt to access beyond end of device
hda2: rw = 16, want = 8, limit = 2
Kernel panic - not syncing: I/O error reading memory image
I'd just put all the drives on one IDE controller except that
- My DVD-ROM doesn't much like the ULTRA ATA card
- I need to be able to boot from CD sometimes and can't if it's on the external controller
At this point I've no idea what to do. I'm willing to change distros (though no RPM based. I used to use them, and after using apt now for over a year I never will again), whatever might fix this. FWIW Knoppix never has this problem. I have a CD install of it that I use to back up the linux partitions when things go wrong. The odd thing is that it appears to actually just be a live-CD of debian etch that doesn't seem to uses some different HW detection besided udev. Any advise on what to do during install, what to install, what not to, what anything might keep me from having to do a 4th reinstall would be welcome.
I would like to stay with debian if there's a way to keep it from having these identity crises.