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Old 10-17-2005, 02:48 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Germany & Belgium
Distribution: debian
Posts: 24

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Exclamation Computer hangs when formatting

I'm trying to install knoppix on my computer but when the installer want to format my partition, the computer hangs.

I have:
- an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard
- on hda, a MAXTOR Diamond Max Plus 9
200 Gb ATA/133
- on hdc, a Western Digital (WD400)
40 Gb ATA/100 (I assume)
- on hdd, a Plextor DVDR PX-708A

I have this problem already a long time and I'm not sure if it is a hardware problem. Everything works fine under Win XP...

Before, I had the problem already when I booted knoppix and tried to mount my HD. My configuration then was Maxtor on hda, WD on hdb and plextor on hdc. Now I can run knoppix live with the first mentioned configuration. I also have to say that for my 2nd IDE, I'm now using an 80-conductor Ribbon Cable. I don't know what the difference is with 40-conductor (I mean for the computer than, not physical), but I've tried already a lot...

Help is very welcome.

Note: formatting and partitioning hdc, the WD disk, is no problem.
Old 10-20-2005, 01:25 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Germany & Belgium
Distribution: debian
Posts: 24

Original Poster
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I reinstalled my HD in my bios and I can format now. However, the problem has moved now. I needed three attemps to install linux to my HD. The computer always hanged when copying files.

My third attemp was succesful and I can run linux now but the computer still hangs from time to time ...
Old 10-27-2005, 03:46 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Belgium
Distribution: debian 5.02
Posts: 73

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hello liefmans,

what type of cable are you using for the first disk? 80-ribbon cable is ok but 40-ribbon cable limits the busrate to 66 MHz. Furthermore the first configuration jumps from hda to hdc without using hdb. This gap causes problems in some distro's (not in Fedora or SuSE)
As only the first disk gives the problem it could be a problem with IDE0 connector. Check out the color of the connectors :


blue gray black

motherboard slave disk master disk

The harddisk jumper of the Maxtor should be set for "cable select" or "master" (better). If you can't see clearly go to the website of Maxtor.

Otherwise it could be the motherboard, the BIOS setting (both unlikely) or the power supply which isn't strong enough (350 W is probably too light). Good luck!!!


Old 10-29-2005, 07:05 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Germany & Belgium
Distribution: debian
Posts: 24

Original Poster
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thank you for your reply. On IDE0 and IDE1, I have now 80 ribbon cables.

I don't think it is the gap because previously I had Maxtor on hda, Wd on hdb and the CD on hdc and I had the problem too with this configuration.

I think we can exclude the IDE0 connector too because windows makes no problem of it.

But the situation has improved , since I have changed the hardware configuration, I haven't had the problem with knoppix HD installed (I'm touching wood now). Before I had it with the HD-installed knoppix too and I noted that linux doesn't react well on a reset; last time I had to reinstall linux.

Today unfortunately, I have seen the problem again but this was with the live version of knoppix. Most of the time, the problem happens when I'm accessing my Maxtor Hd. When I'm doing e.g. a format, a find file, copying data, ... Today, I had it when I was HD-installing knoppix and when the installer was copying data. So maybe it is the power supply which is ... 350W. When I'm referring to my previous hardware configuration, the swap partition was on the other drive what asks I'm afraid more power...

How can I calculate the required power?

If this is the problem, then remains the question: "Why is winXP not suffering from this problem?"

Last edited by Liefmans; 10-29-2005 at 07:08 AM.


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