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After googling myself silly and posting a thread in the Fedora forum (in which I wrongly announced the solution to the problem) I think this may be a hardware issue. I say this because Ihave replicated the same problem with two distributions: Fedora Core 3 (32bit) and Ubuntu (32 and 64 bit).
Bottom line appears to be that as long as an install is made with GRUB written to floppy, both optical drives on my system are recognised by the OS and work correctly. If, however, the install is made writing GRUB to MBR, only one of the two optical drives (the slave, /dev/hdd) is visible and usable. The master (/dev/hdc) can only be accessed by creating a boot floppy and using that instead.
Booting from the MBR always leaves hdc missing from /dev. All attempts to identify it using hdparm or dmesg result in either a reference to there being no entry in the fstab, or if I create the entry and the missing cdrecorder file, to "the special device /dev/hdc does not exist".
Anyone else had this experience?
Kernel 2.6.10-1.737 on Fedora Core 3. Using Single SATA drive /dev/sda on a MSI Nforce 3 k8N MOBO and two optical drives (Sony DVDROM slave and LG DVD writer master)
while you are waiting for a better answer ....
I have master conroller one LG dvd read/cd burner combo
my /etc/fstab for that is (one line)
/dev/hda /mnt/dvd auto umask=0,user,iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,noauto,ro,exec,users 0 0
so yours could be
dev/hdc /mnt/dvd auto umask=0,user,iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,noauto,ro,exec,users 0 0
dev/hdd /mnt/cdrom auto umask=0,user,iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,noauto,ro,exec,users 0 0
using with root powers and don't forget to mkdir
2) Can you post the file names of your floppy and the output of floppy menu.lst
and file names of /boot/grub and output of /boot/grub/menu.lst?
I am experienced in grub with floppys and cdrs so we should have some hope
Thanks for thinking about this. The relevant lines of my etc/fstab when booting from floppy are:
/dev/hdd /media/cdrom auto pamconsole,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrecorder auto pamconsole,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto pamconsole,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
I understand "pamconsole" to be a security feature of Red Hat. /media/cdrecorder is fedora-ese for /mnt/dvd. When booting from MBR fstab is identical except for the fact that the /dev/hdc line disappears.
I tried booting from MBR, editing the fstab to reflect your entries and then rebooting from MBR- although the new line survived the reboot and mkdir ensured that /media/cdrecorder exists, the system still cannot read the dvd burner: it reurns the message "special device /dev/hdc does not exist"
Here is grub.menu.1st:
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You do not have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda1
# initrd /boot/initrd-version.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.10-1.741_FC3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.10-1.741_FC3 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
title Fedora Core (2.6.10-1.737_FC3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.10-1.737_FC3 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
title Fedora Core (2.6.9-1.667)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
The line dev=dev/hdc being my (ineffective!) attempt to persuade Fedora to recoginise hdc on boot.
Drives on this system: Hard Drive sda
Floppy fd0 /media/floppy
DVD Rewriter (when visible) hdc /media/cdrecorder
DVD ROM hdd /media/cdrom
floppy.menu.1st: floppy: device menu.1st not found in /etc/floppy Therre is in fact no such entity as /etc/floppy......
I'm very green in these matters and uncertain about this - and I cannot read the contents of my boot floppy, even as root. The disc appears empty, although it clearly is not - and fd0 is able to display the content of other floppies including hidden files????
Here's the device map:
Still no dvd rewriter without floppy...... Any further thoughts gratefully received.
Thanks again aus9. I've tried scsi emulation as you suggest - but the only effect is to give me a "special device /dev/scd1 does not exist" instead of "special device /dev/hdc does not exist". Interestingly, the slave dvdrom is assigned hdd, skipping hdc, without emulation, suggesting that the OS realises that somewhere there is a hdc - but in scsi it lables the slave sd0 - suggesting the master cannot exist at all..........
Removing pamconsole does not affect this issue - nor does altering the drive file names.
I guess I just have to keep digging. Perhaps I'll have a go at installing Mandrake in the spare partitions and see if it too cannot see the master.........
mdk 10.1 for grub device.map has no (cd) entry for me and on boot I can use my burner.....which is I have used.
If however, you follow my grub burn to cdr in the howto......grub will see your cd drive......cause of the special file.
grub looks for either ..... a storage device it can WRITE to.....or a device that has meaningful grub files such as a cd in your writer at the time that has the special grub burnt to it.
I am thinking.......I can use my burner in mdk and you can not.......I think 2 things may be affecting your mdk
you have enabled some SElinux thing or your /etc/fstab is wrong. Assuming you have mdk to check and play with heres my fstab
Thanks for not giving up on me aus9. The good news is that I have found a solution - I decided to open the box. Instead of manually setting master and slave jumpers I swapped the drives and set both to "CSEL". The mobo decided that the ordinary DVDROM should be master and the DVD Rewriter slave... and hey presto! Both work fine and are fully visible when booting from MBR. NO floppy required.
Which, of course, solves my problem. But given that the BIOS was perfectly happy with the drives as they were previously I cannot understand why this was necessary....... Anyway thank you for your your contributions - as ever in Linux the problem solving is a learning experience even while the problem remains unsolved. (and anyway in this case I've not really "solved" the problem - just found a way of avoiding it altogether!).