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Old 11-27-2007, 12:27 AM   #1
grgoffe
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Question Why does FC 7/8 install IDE drives as /dev/sda?


Howdy,

I have installed FC7 some time ago and FC8 recently. Both the i386 AND the x86_64 versions. What a disaster! Ask me ONLY if you really want to know.

The strangest thing I noticed in both of these was that the installed systems thought of my drives as scsi (i.e., /dev/sda). My system is an ALL IDE drive system without so much as a scsi ctlr present.

Does anyone know why this happened? And/or why the fedora folks would do such a thing?

Regards,

George...
 
Old 11-27-2007, 01:50 AM   #2
SilentSam
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Arch and OpenSUSE do this as well. I expect this will be standard practice in most distros come some time soon. The sad thing is that the limitations of SATA come with forcing all drives to be SATA.
 
Old 11-27-2007, 02:00 AM   #3
ps_sabu
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I agree. It is now standard in most popular distros to force the IDE hard drives to be labelled sda and so on. I wonder what is the purpose/advantages of this ???

Last edited by ps_sabu; 11-27-2007 at 02:03 AM.
 
Old 11-27-2007, 12:19 PM   #4
v00d00101
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Some other distros still do it the old way, which i prefer. I like to know that /dev/hd(a,b,c,d) refer to the four IDE controller slots available. I liked to also know that /dev/sd(x) referred to a SCSI or emulated SCSI device.

Nowadays everything is a SCSI device. Someone told me it had to with streamlining the code in HAL, and also the slow removal of all IDE interfaces in favour of SATA/SCSI interfaces.
 
Old 11-27-2007, 01:18 PM   #5
reddazz
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There was a code change in kernel 2.6.22 which resulted in IDE drives being referred to as sdX. This means that any distros that ship with kernel 2.6.22 or upwards, refer to IDE devices as sdX.
 
Old 11-27-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
wmakowski
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I don't have a reference for the change, but only a few bits and pieces I've read from various sources. I'm sure if we peruse the linux kernel mailing list there are discussions concerning the change.

From what I understand it is a desire by the developers to shift to the pata drivers and reduce the amount of code to maintain. Think of it as having two programs that do nearly identical things so rather than maintain both you consolidate them and make your life easier in the long run.

If you really want to see hda instead of sda you can compile your own kernel and include the old IDE drivers. However, as time goes by the shift will be to drop these in favor of the pata drivers since IDE will no longer be maintained.

Bill
 
Old 11-27-2007, 05:43 PM   #7
PTrenholme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v00d00101 View Post
<snip>Nowadays everything is a SCSI device. Someone told me it had to with streamlining the code in HAL, and also the slow removal of all IDE interfaces in favour of SATA/SCSI interfaces.
I just had a drive fail on me, and pulled an old one out of my junk box as a temporary expedient. It had Windows NT Workstation installed on it, so I was playing around a bit with NT 4.

Per your remark, I was quite surprised to see that NT4 (SP6) saw the drives on my box as "SCSI IDE" drives. (Of course, it "thought" that the ext3 partitions were "free" space, but that's another issue, and not worth discussing.)
 
Old 12-02-2007, 07:06 AM   #8
grgoffe
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Talking

Howdy,

Thanks for all the replies.

As it turned out, I had rebuilt a kernel and it panicked because /dev/sda did NOT EXIST! My inital installation specified /dev/sda in both /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.conf... Sigh...

Perhaps there is an option for this in config that I missed?

Anyway, thanks again for the replies.

George...

Last edited by grgoffe; 12-02-2007 at 07:07 AM.
 
Old 12-09-2007, 10:21 PM   #9
calroger
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Could this be the reason why Fedora 7/8 don't recognize an older IDE CDROM drive installed on my system. Windows XP Pro SP2 recognizes it just fine.

Cal Rasmussen
 
Old 12-10-2007, 06:19 AM   #10
grgoffe
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Smile

Howdy,

As it turns out, there is a STRONG movement to merge the device support for IDE with SATA AND in the process, drop support for older IDE devices.

This is the reason for the change.

I have an article link that discusses this in greater detail but it's at work... Sigh...

I'll post the link tomorrow.

Thanks to ALL who replied.

Regards,

George...
 
Old 12-23-2007, 06:57 AM   #11
ExoZagNoid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calroger View Post
Could this be the reason why Fedora 7/8 don't recognize an older IDE CDROM drive installed on my system. Windows XP Pro SP2 recognizes it just fine.
I'm having the same problem with a hard drive. Using FC8. I have a 200GB SATA which gets recognized properly as /dev/sda. The problem is, that I have a 40GB PATA(IDE) hooked up as primary master and FC doesn't see it at all. Nothing under fdisk -l except the 200GB. I know the drive is working. I see it in the BIOS and with XP just fine.

I'm assuming under the new naming convention that the primary master IDE drives are being renamed to /dev/sda and perhaps that's conflicting with my ACTUAL SATA /dev/sda?

Any ideas anybody?
Exo
 
Old 12-23-2007, 10:53 PM   #12
grgoffe
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Exo,

Actually I built a new kernel and then had to change /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.conf to use the "old" notation, /dev/hd?...

I just downloaded the kernel from ftp.kernel.org, ungzip/tar'd it, copied the .config from my older kernel to the dir that popped out, typed in make xconfig, just saved the file and then ran my kernel bld script... And, poof, new kernel, old drive notation active.

I didn't turn off anything specific in the kernel config.

My article that I keep trying to remember to post, is a good discussion on what's happening with the old ide and the new pata device support. I don't care much for it but it looks like the old ide support is a real nightmare and the newer is much easier to maintain... My objection is to the sacrafices that are made to implement the new method of support. Things like fewer partitions allowed in the new support scheme. :-(

George...

This link has some info, look for "3. Common problems and areas of confusion" at http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/kernel-config.xml

Another link at http://lwn.net/Articles/194866/ will show some more insight into what's going on.

Last edited by grgoffe; 12-23-2007 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Adding another link to this response.
 
Old 12-25-2007, 05:00 AM   #13
ExoZagNoid
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Wink

Thank you for the info grgoffe. I don't think I want to rebuild my kernel anymore due to constant system changing (usually cuz I get bored and try something new or another distro). Well I guess it's time to put the IDE drive into my kids computer or something.

I was just more curious as to what the heck was happening. In your link Cox mentions that they are working on implementing PATA better with the new layer. Maybe someday, but I can live without the drive.

I used to use it for a kind of storage drive accessible from Fedora and XP, but now with the nice NTFS support and windows ext drivers I think I'll be fine.

Thx again. Happy holidays!
Exo
 
  


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