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Daws 08-23-2007 01:20 PM

DVD Drive Weirdness - Debian (possibly grub) makes my dvd drive disappear
Fairly odd problem from where I'm standing, but here goes:

I bought a new laptop, I installed XP, leaving some space for Debian. Everything is great. No problems.

I install Debian, using a netinstall cd. Everything goes fine.

I boot Debian. I have no dvd drive (I think: meh, no biggie, I'll fix it later). There is no device for it, maybe udev is not doing it's job? (it should be /dev/scd0 according to the /etc/fstab the installer left there). Everything else on Debian is still ok though.

Now for the weird bit: I boot XP and the DVD drive has disappeared here too... Does anyone else think that is a bit weird?

I tried lots of things on both OSes to make it reappear, but it did no good. I have reinstalled three times now. XP and the DVD drive are fine, until the moment I boot Debian, which still can't read the dvd drive.

The laptop can still boot live cds, install cds etc and the bios knows that it is there.

At no time does Debian have access to the ntfs partition, which is why I have a theory that grub is somehow involved...

Anyway I am wondering if anyone else has had or heard of grub messing with dvd drives for either OS?

mikieboy 08-24-2007 04:41 AM

Weird! GRUB can of course change these things. Back in Sarge with a 2.4 kernel I used the boot parameter hdc=ide-scsi in GRUB to get my DVD drive working. This is deprecated in the 2.6 kernel. You could check to make sure you don't have any strange boot parameters. However, I fail to see how that would affect XP. If I can find anything more useful I'll post back.

knobby67 08-24-2007 04:50 AM

Same happened to me with an Acer laptop, the odd thing was I went to show someone about a week later and it had magically reappered. I'm still not sure if it was a hardware issue, some line not quite connected correctly?

mikieboy 08-24-2007 07:48 AM

Do you have a SATA drive? It seems that GRUB has some issues with SATA, especially if there is a PATA drive on the same system (see link below).

Daws 08-26-2007 08:35 AM

Thank you for the replies. I have fixed the problem now. Special thanks to mikieboy for the SATA/PATA tip. As it turns out the hard drive is SATA while the DVD drive in question is a regular ATAPI PATA. Your tip lead me down the yellow brick road as it were.

The problem it seems is with GRUB. This particular drive along with other similar drives available with laptops has a problem communicating with the BIOS or something. GRUB2 has the same problem. No matter what I do GRUB and GRUB2 cannot do the job...sigh.

The solution is to use LILO, the drive now works in both Windows and Debian, which is a shame because I really don't like LILO.

Thanks again.

makuyl 08-26-2007 09:10 AM

Did you try removing a possible entry for the drive in /boot/grub/

Daws 08-26-2007 10:50 AM

Yes, I came across that possible solution while I was trying to get it to work. However the only entry that was ever in was:


(hd0)  /dev/sda
...the SATA hard disk. So I left it as it was.

makuyl 08-26-2007 02:10 PM

Oh well, have a shot at this perhaps:

Daws 08-26-2007 04:50 PM

hehe... I found that page too. Google to the rescue...or not. Unfortunately that did not work either.

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