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Old 12-31-2007, 03:02 PM   #1
JoeFisher57
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HD access disabled, can I enable it?


I apologize if this is the wrong forum. It's hardware related, but I'm a linux newbie, so I just flipped a coin.

Here's the story.
I'm a teacher at a small rural Montana school. For the past several years, I've used a computer with Mepis Linux on it as a fileserver. It's worked great!

However, just before Christmas break, the Linux box dropped off the network. I did quite a few tests, determined that the integrated NIC is toast.

I drove a few hundred miles to Helena on Friday to pick up some computers from the "boneyard", where the state takes their computers when they get new ones.

I picked up 4 computers, 2 servers and 2 regular computers, figured I'd install Linux on one of them and be off to the races.

I'm 0 for 4

I'm trying to install mepis linux on one of the servers. It installs OK, but when I restart it w/out the disk I get the following message:
"Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device, or Insert Boot media in Selected Boot Device"

I went into the Bios and looked at the Boot sequence.
I have 3 choices:
1-CD Rom
2-3 1/2" floppy
3-Disabled

I tried the usual, clicking on choice 3 to enable it. But that's not a choice. The only option is Disable.

It appears that, since it was on a network, booting from the HD is disabled. Is there any way for me to *enable* booting to the HD?

If not, could I boot to a boot disk, then access the HD? Or is this computer unusable?. I tried booting to the Mepis disk, but when I do that, I can't do much of anything since Mepis is running live, not from the HD.

Same problem with the other server. Can't access the HD. With the 2 "regular" computers, the only vid res I can get is 640X480. I can't see all the buttons to click on at that resolution.

Suggestions appreciated!

Joe Fisher
Teacher, K-8
Marion, MT

Last edited by JoeFisher57; 12-31-2007 at 03:03 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
XavierP
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You should be able to reenable the HD. What's the make and model of the PC and do you have any details ont he BIOS (manufacturer, version number, etc)?
 
Old 12-31-2007, 03:30 PM   #3
JoeFisher57
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Here are the details.
When it starts up, it says "Fastrak Bios, S150, Version 1.00.0140.03"
But when I press F2 to access the Bios, it doesn't say a brand, but it says Version WP87510A.86B.0034.P07

Computer is US Micro.can't find the model #. It's a P4, 2.4G with 2G of RAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
You should be able to reenable the HD. What's the make and model of the PC and do you have any details ont he BIOS (manufacturer, version number, etc)?
 
Old 12-31-2007, 03:52 PM   #4
lazlow
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Fastrak is the name of promises raid controller (if I remember correctly). The chips where put in some motherboards. Unfortunately it is soft raid or fake raid rather than true hardware raid. You should be able to disable the raid function (even with 1 drive) and use it as a standard ide controller. Cruise around the bios a bit.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 04:13 PM   #5
JoeFisher57
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You're right, it is a Promise. There are, for lack of a better term, 2 Bios'.
The one I accessed previously, is the Bios you see on most computers with a bunch of different options on different pages.
Just this last time I noticed a message on the splash screen that said to press Ctrl-F to access Setup.
I did so, it was the Promise Fastrack Raid stuff. However, I couldn't delete the raid array. I was on the page with the arrays, there was pretty much no information, all it said was "array 1, array 2, array 3, and array 4"
At the bottom it said to select and array, then press the <Del> key to delete the array. It didn't do anything. I cruised around, but I couldn't see where I could do anything.

I looked in the box, there are 2 SATA drives.

Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
Fastrak is the name of promises raid controller (if I remember correctly). The chips where put in some motherboards. Unfortunately it is soft raid or fake raid rather than true hardware raid. You should be able to disable the raid function (even with 1 drive) and use it as a standard ide controller. Cruise around the bios a bit.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 05:48 PM   #6
JoeFisher57
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Well, I guess I'll scratch taking out the controller card and trying it without it, there *is* no card. The Drives are connected directly the the SATA ports on the mobo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFisher57 View Post
You're right, it is a Promise.

Joe
 
Old 12-31-2007, 06:12 PM   #7
lazlow
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When you change the array you will loose everything on the drive.

I do not have a machine with promise sata but I do have one with promise ide. I just deleted all the arrays and rebooted. It coughs up no array defined (every boot) hit <ESC> to ignore. I then just formated normally. Works fine. It is a PITA hit escape every boot, but then again I only have to boot when I update the kernel.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 06:17 PM   #8
JoeFisher57
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It would be great if I could do that! Here's what I've tried that hasn't worked.
-Went into the Promise RAID setup to delete the array. It won't let me.
-Went into the BIOS to set the first boot device as the HD, according the the BIOS, there is no HD
-Opened the box to take out the controller card. There is no controller card, apparently RAID is done on the mobo.


This is quite a nice machine, P4 2.4G, 2 G RAM, 2 SATA Hard Drives. I'd really like to be able to use it.

Joe
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
When you change the array you will loose everything on the drive.

I do not have a machine with promise sata but I do have one with promise ide. I just deleted all the arrays and rebooted. It coughs up no array defined (every boot) hit <ESC> to ignore. I then just formated normally. Works fine. It is a PITA hit escape every boot, but then again I only have to boot when I update the kernel.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 07:08 PM   #9
lazlow
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Assuming you do not care what is on the drives: Try swapping the sata cables. That should get a response from the controller that you can work with.

Edit:

I seem to remember that on some of those motherboards the first two sata ports were on one controller and the other were on another controller (different chipset). You might try that as well.

Last edited by lazlow; 12-31-2007 at 07:10 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 07:10 PM   #10
JoeFisher57
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I just did that, so far no response.
Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
Assuming you do not care what is on the drives: Try swapping the sata cables. That should get a response from the controller that you can work with.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 08:37 PM   #11
JoeFisher57
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Thumbs up

Yay, it works! I unplugged the drives, then plugged one of them into a SATA plug. I had to do that several times, but it finally worked.
Thank you for all of your suggestions!

Joe
 
  


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