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Old 08-08-2009, 11:45 PM   #1
edh56
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Sure fire method or work-a-round to break the 137GB disk size limit


Finally had it with MS, the last straw was the something like the 6th time in the last 3 years I have had to restore from ghost backup after MS would not boot for some random reason.

So I test drove a few Linux distros this week, I installed Fedora and Ubuntu so far and got them both running on my laptop. I've got Ubuntu v 9.04 installed and running currently, but might try a few more distros before I settle on one.

Purchased a new 320GB WD3200BEVE 2.5" laptop hard drive for my Gateway 4540GZ laptop and was going to Ghost restore Windows XP back to that drive when I decided to take the Linux plunge.

My Gateway 4540GZ laptop is ~ 4 to 5 years old and the BIOS apparently doesn't support 48 bit LBA. When I am in the Phoenix Bios it shows the 320GB drive as 137GB max :-( I looked all over www.gateway.com for a BIOS update for my laptop with 48 bit LBA support and there is none that I can find for my particular model. I think a BIOS update would be the easiest solution, but can't find an upgrade.

I read that the Linux OS itself has no problem with large drives and supports 48 bit LBA out of the box, assume that is true?


So my question is:
does anyone have a sure fire method that they have actually gotten to work to get past the 137GB limit and let me see an entire drive under Linux?
I don't care if I have to partition it into 3 or 4 partitions or reformat it. I have attempting several different ways to see all 320GB. I won't tell you what I have tried so far, so I don't taint your responses.

Please let me know, or point at another post that is a sure fire method to see drives greater than 137GB. Great detail is appreciated at this point.

Information about my system:

lspci


00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
00:00.1 System peripheral: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
00:00.3 System peripheral: Intel Corporation 82852/82855 GM/GME/PM/GMV Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 83)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 03)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) IDE Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
02:07.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev a9)
02:07.1 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev a9)
02:07.2 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C552 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 01)
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
02:09.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2200BG [Calexico2] Network Connection (rev 05)

uname -r
2.6.28-14-generic

dmesg excerpts from the part that pertains to the ATA and hard drive

[ 1.831590] input: Macintosh mouse button emulation as /devices/virtual/input/input4
[ 1.831622] Driver 'sd' needs updating - please use bus_type methods
[ 1.831633] Driver 'sr' needs updating - please use bus_type methods
[ 1.831722] ata_piix 0000:00:1f.1: version 2.12
[ 1.831730] ata_piix 0000:00:1f.1: enabling device (0005 -> 0007)
[ 1.831933] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKC] enabled at IRQ 10
[ 1.831937] ata_piix 0000:00:1f.1: PCI INT A -> Link[LNKC] -> GSI 10 (level, low) -> IRQ 10
[ 1.831981] ata_piix 0000:00:1f.1: setting latency timer to 64
[ 1.832092] scsi0 : ata_piix
[ 1.832296] scsi1 : ata_piix
[ 1.833501] ata1: PATA max UDMA/100 cmd 0x1f0 ctl 0x3f6 bmdma 0x1810 irq 14
[ 1.833505] ata2: PATA max UDMA/100 cmd 0x170 ctl 0x376 bmdma 0x1818 irq 15
[ 2.046420] ata1.00: failed to set max address (err_mask=0x1)
[ 2.046424] ata1.00: device aborted resize (268435456 -> 625142448), skipping HPA handling
[ 2.046431] ata1.00: ATA-8: WDC WD3200BEVE-00A0HT0, 11.01A11, max UDMA/100
[ 2.046434] ata1.00: 268435456 sectors, multi 16: LBA48
[ 2.060254] ata1.00: configured for UDMA/100
[ 2.240352] ata2.00: ATAPI: TSSTcorpCD/DVDW TS-L532A, TS30, max UDMA/33
[ 2.256460] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 2.257044] scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access ATA WDC WD3200BEVE-0 11.0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.257167] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 268435456 512-byte hardware sectors: (137 GB/128 GiB)
[ 2.257188] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 2.257191] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[ 2.257222] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[ 2.257292] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 268435456 512-byte hardware sectors: (137 GB/128 GiB)
[ 2.257309] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 2.257312] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[ 2.257340] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[ 2.257345] sda: sda1 sda2 < sda5 >
[ 2.275551] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk
[ 2.275600] sd 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
[ 2.279429] scsi 1:0:0:0: CD-ROM TSSTcorp CD/DVDW TS-L532A TS30 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.285609] sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 24x/24x writer cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 2.285613] Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
[ 2.285706] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[ 2.285748] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
[ 2.286470] ehci_hcd: USB 2.0 'Enhanced' Host Controller (EHCI) Driver
[ 2.286681] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKH] enabled at IRQ 3
 
Old 08-09-2009, 02:49 AM   #2
MS3FGX
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There should be no special setup or requirements for Linux to see the entire drive, Linux as a rule completely ignores the BIOS when it comes to disk drives. It doesn't matter that your BIOS can't recognize how large the drive is, the kernel should still automatically detect it. My file server at the house here is much older than the laptop you are working with, and I have no problems running 500+ GB drives with single partitions; I don't even bother to enable the drives in BIOS, I just let the kernel figure it all out.

To be on the safe side, your kernel should be on the absolute first partition on the drive so that there is no issue with the BIOS initially loading the kernel image. But once the kernel is up, there shouldn't be a problem. A common layout would be to make a very small /boot partition (/boot holds the binary kernels) of say 128 MB or so, and then partition the rest of the drive however you like. 128 MB is many times more space than /boot actually needs, but with filesystem overhead you don't want to make a partition too small; and with a 320 GB drive, it won't kill you to lose a few extra MB.

But I am guessing you already tried this? What happened?
 
Old 08-09-2009, 04:49 AM   #3
tallship
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Exclamation /boot mounted at /dev/hda1

My recommendations are to use a /boot partition on /dev/hda1 of no more than about 20 or 30 megs - Kernels are a bit bigger nowadays w/some out of the box distros, and I recommend you use Slackware 12.2 or d/l the 'slackware-current' of Slackware13. This is a no frills distro that will both aquaint you w/all of the things you NEED to know as well as giving you an excellent workstation or server.

Instead of spending time figuring out that you need to spend a few hours disabling things after you've been rooted, you can spend a little less time both learning how to customize your system and enabling the features you want w/o worrying what's open for script kiddies.

I would use fdisk and Lilo, beginning with completely deleting all partitions, writing the info and then rebooting and beginning the process of fdisking all over again prior to beginning the installation. If you make /dev/hda1 /boot w/about 30 MBytes, that's way more than enough to hold a couple of kernels come time to compile and install a custom kernel later on when you know exactly how you want it.

Also, make PRIMARY partitions (two). The first partition will be your /boot and the second will consist of all the extended partitions containing /var /usr /usr/src and your swap partition.

Lilo is small, easy to use and manipulate.

When you mke2fs /dev/hda1 as ext2 type file system, make sure you use something else like XFS or ReiserFS on the other partition(s) - I am not a fan of ext3, etc, and everything supports ext2 which you'll be fine w/on your /boot partition.

Once you complete your partitioning and formatting, you can go back w/cfdisk to see your partitions in a friendlier manner, but use fdisk to set everythign up the way you want it since you have more control that way.

Hope that helps

Last edited by tallship; 08-09-2009 at 04:52 AM.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 05:25 AM   #4
lazlow
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Be aware (referring to tallship's post) that many of the newer version no longer use the hdX designations (for pata/ide). They now use the sdX designation for both pata and sata.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 08:04 AM   #5
johnsfine
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Everyone who answered so far has been answering the wrong issue. That isn't surprising since the correct issue is buried deep in the dmesg output in the original post.

If you didn't know about this issue, it's impressive that you decided to include dmesg output in the first post. If you did know about it, you should have pointed it out, rather than let people assume you were asking a simpler question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edh56 View Post
[ 2.046424] ata1.00: device aborted resize (268435456 -> 625142448), skipping HPA
Until you fix that issue, the common rules of Linux seeing the whole drive regardless of the BIOS don't apply.

I did a google search for "device aborted resize" and found lots of pages mentioning or even discussing it. I didn't read many of them and the ones I did read didn't have the solution. So I don't know if the solution is available from more careful reading of those pages.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
edh56
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OK, everything so far is giving me hope that I can see the entire drive (soon I hope).

I put in the log files and the dmesg information because the very first sticky post in this linux_hardware forum strongly suggested specific information to post including dmesg. Since this was my first post on LinuxQuestions.org, I read the posting suggestions (read them twice actually :-)

Sorry about that, before posting last night I had never heard of dmesg. I am impressed that Linux has all these nifty logging utilities with easy access. So last night, as I was cutting and pasting the dmesg info I did noticed the same skipping HPA line that you also noticed. The actual process of posting the log files got me a little deeper into the issue myself, but didn't know what to do with this HPA information, or if it was the culprit.

It sounds like once I get past the skipping HPA issue, I can follow the other 3 first posts to setup the partitions?

I will do a little research on "skipping HPA" and "device aborted resize" and post back here with my findings. If anyone has any input or experience in this area please let me know in Detail.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 01:37 AM   #7
edh56
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I'm now trying to adjust the HPA size on the disk, and having a problem.

I found a Linux program called hdparm that is used to permanently change the HPA size. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_protected_area http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdparm

I used USB disk creator utility that is included with the Ubuntu install to create a Ubuntu bootable flash drive. I booted from the USB flash drive, opened a terminal, became root, then ran this command

hdparm -N /dev/sda

which showed that I do indeed have an HPA area set to 268435456 Sectors out of 625142448 Sectors on the /dev/sda disk (the 320GB drive)

next I ran this command

hdparm -N625142448 /dev/sda

but I get an Input/Output error and it will not change the HPA size. I also tried several other sizes that are slightly smaller than the max with the same error.

Has anyone successfully used hdparm or know how to use hdparm to change the HPA area?
 
Old 08-10-2009, 03:02 AM   #8
lazlow
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There is also sdparm, which is much younger than hdparm. sdparm is meant for sdX designated drives, as opposed to hdparm for hdX designated drives. sdparm may not have all the features you require, but I have not used it in couple of years.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 04:57 AM   #9
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Host Protected Area seems to be a hidden partition. This link might help. It refers to Dells, but some of the solutions might help.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:47 AM   #10
edh56
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I read wiki on sdparm and looks like the s most likely stands for SCSI and sdparm is for SCSI drives only. But thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming! Here is a link to some sdparm info.

Dancemans link above has several good utilities that I had not previously known. I am going to attempt a few of them. HDD capacity restore tool looks promising, except I think it runs on windows only.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 01:06 PM   #11
lazlow
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edh56

Understand that the push now is to handle all drives with the same tools. This is why the hdX designation is going away. Since you are using /sda/ your drive is being treated as a scsi device (sort of). Until sdparm is brought up to speed, hdparm will be around(probably years) but it will be depreciated at some point.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:42 PM   #12
jefro
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Pretty sure your system has to also support 48 bit lba no matter what the OS. The only way around that is a jumper on many drives that limits cylinders.
 
Old 08-11-2009, 05:56 PM   #13
edh56
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Yes, after my latest attempt, I am leaning towards thinking you are correct and you need a 48 bit BIOS. The only reason I kept at this so long is because other people said they had 1996 vintage PC's running 500GB drives and seeing the entire drive. So I thought there must be a way.

What I tried this morning: I pulled the 320GB drive out of my Gateway laptop and put it into my Daughters 3 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop. With the way my luck has been going lately, I backed up her entire drive first, just in case. I booted the Toshiba from a Ubuntu LiveCD flash drive that also had Gparted installed. I was elated to see all 320GB show up instantly in Gparted. So yes, the BIOS has everything to do with it. Just putting it into another newer system "seemed" to do the trick.

While still on the Toshiba, I did an install from the Ubuntu liveCD to the drive and selected advanced partition. I then repartitioned the entire drive to 40GB root EXT2 primary partition + 6 GB swap partition + the remained (about 275GB) to /home EXT4 primary partition. It only took about 20 minutes total.

I put the freshly partitioned 320GB back into the Gateway, and you guessed it; back to 137GB. It wouldn't boot all the way into Ubuntu, it couldn't see all of the /home partition.

Hate to admit it, but I am about ready to throw in the towel. I have been spending a ton of time on this with no progress. In order to see the entire 320GB drive, I have to either get a new laptop, switch back to Windows XP, somehow find a 48bit BIOS for my Gateway, or find a Linux based software that can enable the OS to see the entire drive like the Western Digital drive utilities do under Windows that I have used before.

Unless anyone else has any other ideas?

Thanks :-(
 
Old 08-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
edh56
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Thought of one more idea that I could use my Gateway Laptop that only will see 137GB maximum. I could get an SSD 128GB hard drive since anything over that size is pretty expensive. Does anyone have any experience with them? Are there IDE solid state drives available in a 2.5 format for laptops?
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:25 PM   #15
tredegar
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Can you update the gateway's BIOS? (You'll need windows to do this, I think)

SSD can be very slow YMMV. They are expensive, and I am not aware of any that come with a 2.5" HDD connector.

A 120GB 2.5" drive should be cheap.
 
  


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