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Old 11-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
jiobo
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Sata 2 on motherboard with Sata 1 controller?


Are there particular drivers that are needed to run a Sata 2 disk on a Sata 1 motherboard? I have a 500GB WD Sata 2 harddrive that I just bought on sale during the weekend sales. Most of the posts that I read in LQ on Sata 2 indicated that they are backward compatible and should work. I've had Sata 1 harddrives with the motherboard and they worked.

M/B is NForce-3A.
BIOS does not recognize the harddrive, nor does a Linux installation disk, nor does Linux running 2.6.24-5 (that did recognize the Sata1, but the BIOS also did).

There is a jumper on the harddrive, but the drive indicates that a jumper is not needed for Master / Slave settings. The jumper is for Power Up in Standby.

I have been able to get drives recognized that the BIOS did not recognize before...but that was a lot of work. Since Sata 2 is backwards compatible, but at a Sata 1 speed, I was hoping it would just work. The slower speed is okay for now as long as it works.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiobo View Post
Are there particular drivers that are needed to run a Sata 2 disk on a Sata 1 motherboard? I have a 500GB WD Sata 2 harddrive that I just bought on sale during the weekend sales. Most of the posts that I read in LQ on Sata 2 indicated that they are backward compatible and should work. I've had Sata 1 harddrives with the motherboard and they worked.

M/B is NForce-3A.
BIOS does not recognize the harddrive, nor does a Linux installation disk, nor does Linux running 2.6.24-5 (that did recognize the Sata1, but the BIOS also did).

There is a jumper on the harddrive, but the drive indicates that a jumper is not needed for Master / Slave settings. The jumper is for Power Up in Standby.

I have been able to get drives recognized that the BIOS did not recognize before...but that was a lot of work. Since Sata 2 is backwards compatible, but at a Sata 1 speed, I was hoping it would just work. The slower speed is okay for now as long as it works.
An SATA 2 disk should work fine on an SATA 1 controller. It will run at SATA 1 speeds. Although SATA 2 increased the data transfer rate, very few drives are fast enough to require the extra speed. If you're worried about disk access you're better off to spend the money on a second drive and configure RAID 0.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
jiobo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_FL View Post
An SATA 2 disk should work fine on an SATA 1 controller. It will run at SATA 1 speeds.
My concern is how to get it to work. What do I need to do to get it to work...it is plugged in, the BIOS does not detect it though I could try to manually enter in the BIOS information. Linux does not seem to see it either.

According to posts on LQ, I thought that it would work. What steps are there to get it to work?

Code:
lspci
IDE interface: nVidia CK8S Serial ATA controller v2.5 rev a2
What is the sata driver that I could try to modprobe to see if it solves the problem of not seeing the Sata 2 drive?
 
Old 11-29-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiobo View Post
My concern is how to get it to work. What do I need to do to get it to work...it is plugged in, the BIOS does not detect it though I could try to manually enter in the BIOS information. Linux does not seem to see it either.

According to posts on LQ, I thought that it would work. What steps are there to get it to work?

Code:
lspci
IDE interface: nVidia CK8S Serial ATA controller v2.5 rev a2
What is the sata driver that I could try to modprobe to see if it solves the problem of not seeing the Sata 2 drive?
If the BIOS doesn't detect the drive then the problem is hardware. The BIOS has the necessary software to detect the drive and doesn't need a driver. Since the BIOS has to access the drive to boot from it, there is no additional software required for the BIOS. Check to make sure that the drive is enabled in the BIOS. Also make sure that you don't have the BIOS configured to use RAID. RAID will not see drives until you configure an array, and (fake hardware) RAID will not work easily with Linux.

Post your exact motherboard or computer model and I will look at the manual to see what settings are required for SATA drives. Usually it isn't necessary to tell the BIOS if a drive is SATA 1 or SATA 2.

Double check that you have power connected to the drive. An SATA drive requires two cables. The smaller cable is a data cable. The cable with a larger connector is for power.

Motherboards often have Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) ports that are yellow as well as SATA ports that are red. Make sure that you don't have the drive connected to a SAS port. Your motherboard may have more than one SATA controller chip. Make sure that you are connecting the drive to a SATA port on the controller chip that you have enabled, or enable all the controller chips in the BIOS.

The motherboard manufacturer's web site or the nVidia web site should have more detailed information about what kinds of drives are compatible with the CK8S Serial ATA controller.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
jiobo
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NForce3-A is the M/B.

I am not trying to boot from the harddrive, at first. I just want it to work with the Linux that is booting from another drive, a non-Sata drive.

I'll ask again. What driver do I need to modprobe for the Sata controller? It looks like it is not built into the kernel.

What other command-line troubleshooting can I do?

Last edited by jiobo; 11-29-2009 at 05:48 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 08:21 PM   #6
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiobo View Post
NForce3-A is the M/B.

I am not trying to boot from the harddrive, at first. I just want it to work with the Linux that is booting from another drive, a non-Sata drive.

I'll ask again. What driver do I need to modprobe for the Sata controller? It looks like it is not built into the kernel.

What other command-line troubleshooting can I do?
It doesn't matter if you're trying to boot from the disk. The fact that the BIOS did not detect the drive means that the disk controller chip did not detect the drive. So, it won't work even with the correct driver in Linux.

The driver for the supported nVidia controllers is "sata_nv". nForce 3 appears to be supported by the Linux driver.

To see if the driver module is loaded you can use "lsmod | grep sata_nv". I would expect that driver to be built into most kernels and not present as a separate module. If there is a separate module it will be called "sata_nv.ko".

If you use "modprobe sata_nv" you will probably get a message saying that the file is not found because it is built into the kernel. Assuming that the module is present, it will unload again if it detects no devices.

To troubleshoot the problem find out why the BIOS is not detecting the drive. That is probably also the same reason that Linux is not detecting the drive. The drive may be bad, disabled in the BIOS, or the disk controller chip on the motherboard may be bad. Connect the drive to a different computer if possible to test the drive. Connect the drive to a different SATA port. Make sure that the drive has power and that the BIOS settings enable the drive.

Make sure that you don't have the controller or BIOS set for RAID. In that case drives will not show up in the BIOS until they have been added to a RAID array.

Last edited by Erik_FL; 11-29-2009 at 08:23 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
jiobo
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After rebooting, I was able to verify that I already have the latest BIOS version 1.0F. I have used a Sata 1 HD with this M/B before, so I know that the Sata controller was working before. I verified that the Molex power cable is working that is connecting to the Sata power cable.

I took a look at the BIOS settings, and it only has Autodetect as an option for the Sata ports, which it has two. They are both master. While I would have to check the manual to see which one is which, I verified that both are Enabled. There is a Raid option that I verified is disabled.

The BIOS does not recognize the Sata 2 drive. What Linux driver would I be able to utilize to get it to be recognized? I took a look in

Code:
/lib/modules/2.6.24.5/kernel/drivers/ata
and only found sata_inic162x.ko
Code:
dmesg | grep sata
sata_nv: version 3.5
scsi2: sata_nv
scsi3: sata_nv
 
Old 11-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #8
lazlow
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If the bios cannot see the drive then you are at a dead end. Until the bios sees the drive, linux cannot see the drive.

Please state the exact model of the drive. Some of the newer drives will not work with the pata to sata power adapters, they need the real deal. Is the drive spinning up?

Edit: Here is the 1.5Gb/s jumper settings for a 500GB WD Caviar Blue drive:


Last edited by lazlow; 11-29-2009 at 09:06 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
jiobo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
If the bios cannot see the drive then you are at a dead end. Until the bios sees the drive, linux cannot see the drive.
Well, I have been able to get Linux to see drives that the BIOS could not see...

Quote:
Please state the exact model of the drive.
Here it is.

Western Digital did not seem to have a link for the manual.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
lazlow
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There is a difference between getting linux to see drives that the bios will not die to size constraints and getting it to see drives that are running at a faster (transfer) speed than the hardware can handle.
 
Old 11-29-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
jiobo
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This link to Western Digital indicates that some chipsets have had problems with the WD Sata 2 HDs.
They did not list the nVidia CK8S Sata Controller, but it could also have the same problem. For this Sata 2 drive, how can I tell if it is actually powered on?

The jumper did not solve the problem.
Quote:
There is a difference between getting linux to see drives that the bios will not die to size constraints and getting it to see drives that are running at a faster (transfer) speed than the hardware can handle.
It is Off topic, but the drives that I had previously gotten to work with Linux were not seen at all by the BIOS, just as in this case. It was not a case of them being seen as only 30GB when they were 500GB...so it had nothing to do with size contraints!
 
Old 11-29-2009, 10:21 PM   #12
jiobo
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what Sata 2 PCI controller to get?

The nVidia CK8S Sata 1 Controller chipset could be unable to autonegotiate the Sata link with the Western Digital 500GB HD. This could be a problem, so I am thinking of just going to the computer store to get a PCI Sata 2 Controller to close off this post as solved with a hardware addition.

Does someone have a suggestion for a reasonably priced PCI Sata 2 controller that would work with Linux and the Western Digital 500GB Sata 2 disk?

Edit: Western Digital has a compatibility list for the Blue 500GB Sata 2 that lists NForce 3 250 with a Sata 1 Controller. Not the NForce 3-A with NVidia...

Last edited by jiobo; 11-30-2009 at 12:21 AM.
 
Old 11-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #13
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiobo View Post
The nVidia CK8S Sata 1 Controller chipset could be unable to autonegotiate the Sata link with the Western Digital 500GB HD. This could be a problem, so I am thinking of just going to the computer store to get a PCI Sata 2 Controller to close off this post as solved with a hardware addition.

Does someone have a suggestion for a reasonably priced PCI Sata 2 controller that would work with Linux and the Western Digital 500GB Sata 2 disk?

Edit: Western Digital has a compatibility list for the Blue 500GB Sata 2 that lists NForce 3 250 with a Sata 1 Controller. Not the NForce 3-A with NVidia...
If you got a drive to work on an on-board controller when the BIOS did not recognize the drive that was an unusual situation. I wouldn't expect that to be typical of most motherboards. nVidia chipsets seem to do strange things so I don't doubt what you're saying.

There is one situation where I would expect the BIOS to not see a drive nor controller even when everything is working. That is when using a plug-in controller card that does not allow booting and lacks a BIOS extension ROM. Most plug-in controllers also have BIOS ROM so that the BIOS can detect drives and boot from them.

Your choices at a computer store are likely to be quite limited. They often only sell one brand, sometimes two. The best thing to do is make sure that you can return it if it doesn't work. Watch out for places that always charge a 15% restocking fee no matter why you return the product. If you're in a hurry the computer store is probably the fastest way to get your hands on something.

You will have a lot more choices from newegg.com or perhaps tigerdirect.com. To get it right away you will have to spend a lot of money on shipping.

I haven't bought any SATA 2 controllers so I can't recommend any particular one. Buyer comments on places like newegg.com can sometimes be helpful. You can read them even if you buy the product from somewhere else.

Don't bother spending extra money for a RAID capable controller. Most of those are "fake hardware RAID" and just use normal SATA 2 ports with special BIOS software and drivers. The "special" RAID drivers are unlikely to be available for Linux. You can usually run those fake hardware RAID controllers as normal SATA 2 controllers with Linux since they often use standard chip-sets. If you can only find a "RAID" controller then it should work as an expensive SATA 2 controller.
 
  


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