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Old 08-12-2004, 10:11 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Installation problem with SATA drive and Intel ICH6 controller


I want to install Linux on my Dell Dimension 8400.
Unfortunately I have a SATA drive (Seagate barracuda 160 Gb).
My SATA controller is an Intel ICH6 (as far as I can tell).
In the BIOS this drive is set to "RAID / AHCI", and the
other options are "RAID / ATA" , just plain "RAID" , or "Combination" mode.

When I try to install, the drive is not detected. With some
newer kernels (e.g. using Fedora Core 3, or the latest Gentoo linux
which have the 2.6.* kernel) , the SATA controller seems to be detected
but the drive is not seen.
When this is the case I can change the BIOS option to RAID / ATA
or Combination mode and the drive *is* detected but then I can't
boot up Windows XP anymore.

What I want to do is to repartition my hard drive so that I can dual
boot into Linux and XP. If I can do this without losing my current
XP installation, then I'll be very happy.
Is it possible to partition the system under Linux (with the BIOS set
to RAID/ATA) and then to change the BIOS back to AHCI and have
Windows XP work ?

Does anybody have any suggestions ?
I know almost nothing about the hardware and software issues
that I'm trying to describe so please excuse me if this email is vague
or misguided.
Am I right in thinking that a problem might be in the Software implementation
of RAID ?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I don't have a floppy drive.
Old 08-13-2004, 05:15 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Hungary
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
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Yes, ICH6 is software RAID
Old 08-13-2004, 03:04 PM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Original Poster
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Now what ?

Thanks, but what can I do to install Linux ?
That link leads me to another link from which I can
download a kernel patch (?) that allows linux to detect
the hard drive. But Linux isn't installed on my system, so
how should I proceed ?

Any ideas ?
Old 08-14-2004, 07:29 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Hungary
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
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Useful links:

The second page describes what can be done. There are two methods:
Using Linux Software Raid (Today I installed a Linux server (ICH5R, 2x 120G Samsung SATA HDD) and successfully made it. - here is a nice howto:

Using dmraid - it is the only option if you insist on using dual boot. But it seems to be in beta status, and also said to be much slower than the Linux SW Raid, which is fast and reliable.
I didn't try this, so i don't know what can be done - especially if you don't have Linux now. I think you might need to install Linux to a third HDD first, if you can get/borrow one.

Good luck


Last edited by knightg; 08-14-2004 at 07:37 AM.


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