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Old 04-28-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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Unhappy Installer doesn't see my SATA HDD

I'm submitting this question in the 'Desktop' forum because I don't think it's necessarily related to Ubuntu. It seems more like a kernel issue to me.

I converted my old Vista gaming PC into a Mythbuntu box for my living room. The hardware is a few years old, but I thought it would be well-suited for this purpose. It is an AMD 64 on an Asus A8V-X motherboard with a WD Caviar 200GB Serial ATA HD (7200RPM/8MB/S-ATA-150) and 3GB of RAM.

The Ubuntu (9.04) installer does not see my SATA hard drive. When I get to the step where the partition manager runs, it comes back with no results. There is just a blank menu. If I start over with my external drive connected, it picks that up right away (but still doesn't see the internal SATA).

I had the same problem when installing Intrepid (8.10) on this computer, but I found a solution. If I added the all_generic_ide string to the boot options, it picked the drive up with no problems. This isn't working with the Jaunty (9.04) installer. I have tried all of the F6 options (acpi=off, noapic, nolapic, edd=on) together, alone, and in combinations. I have tried turning off ACPI 2.0 support, disabling ACPI APIC support, and changing the SATA IDE controller mode from 'SATA' to 'RAID' and to 'AHCI' in the BIOS settings. I have updated the BIOS to the most recent version I can find on the Asus site. Nothing has worked. I have tried adding 'all-generic-ide' and 'all_generic_ide' as boot options.

I'm out of ideas. I don't know what else to try. I've searched through Google for hours and been all through the Ubuntu forums. I started a thread there, but have not received any replies. I can't believe I'm the only one having this problem. I'm just perplexed as to why the 'all_generic_ide' trick worked for 8.04 and 8.10, but now it doesn't.

I have tried for hours to get the installer to detect the disk, but with no luck. I would really appreciate some assistance.
Old 04-28-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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Just googling around, I've seen other reports of erratic sata operation with this board. Apparently, there was a bios update that address these issues but you say you already updated your bios. You can try throwing the hard drive on another sata port but I doubt that would make much difference.

Your board appears to have a VIA VT8251 chipset sata controller and I see tons of reported hard drive detection problems with that item:

If you follow the last link through, you'll see that this solution worked for someone:

You need to add pci=nomsi to your kernel boot line.

Thanks for the hint. With this option enabled, the drive can be seen
from ahci-driver.
So that's probably worth a try, i.e. pass this boot parameter:


and have the bios set to use AHCI.
Old 04-28-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the prompt reply. I will try that as soon as I get home. I hadn't come across that boot parameter yet.

By the way, I love your screen name...I'm a big Vonnegut fan.

Last edited by chrisinspace; 04-28-2009 at 01:51 PM.
Old 04-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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Thanks, kilgoretrout! That worked perfectly. I really appreciate your assistance.


install, jaunty, sata, ubuntu

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