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Old 12-21-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2007
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Linux 64 bit SATA drives not found

I am trying to get a 64 bit version of Linux to run on a brand new machine using 3 SATA drives setup in a RAID configuration, AND I want a dual head video setup (or span) with my GeForce 8500GT. Ultimately I would like to be running 64 bit Virtual Machines for multiple 64 bit Operating Systems. I have been focusing on the Linux software RAID which worked well in SUSE 10.3, but I was unable to get SUSE to work in a dual head video mode with my PNY GeForce 8500GT. I tried to install Fedora 8 and it does not recognize the SATA drives at all. Kubuntu 7.1 did recognize the drives in the partition program, but locks up during the install. I got desperate so I installed an adaptec 29320 SCSI card with a 37GB Maxtor Atlas which Fedora liked during the initial partition setup. When Fedora was actually trying to boot after the install it crashes with a message regarding IRQ 19. I researched the IRQ 19 message and found it was in regards to SATA, so sure enough when I disabled the SATA controller it booted fine. I went this route because I was trying to find out if Fedora would run my display in a Dual Head mode “out of the box”, which it did not. I have since switched back to the SATA drives only as this needs to be the end configuration. I have tried changing the 3 settings in my BIOS for SATA drives (IDE, RAID, and AHCI) and I get the same results with Fedora. Kubuntu recognized the drives when they were set to IDE mode, but as mentioned before it hangs on the install (no error displayed).

I would like the following partition setup:

SDA Partition 1 - 40GB RAID1 (Mirrored with SDB partition 1, SDC partition 1 as a hot spare - RAID label MD0) mount point “/”

SDA Partition 2 – 2GB RAID0 (Striped with SDB partition 2 and SDC partition 2 - RAID label MD1) SWAP

SDA Partition 3 – 208GB RAID5 (Striped with SDB partition 3 and SDC partition 3 - RAID label MD2) mount point “/usr”

I am running the following hardware:

A-Bit IP35 Pro Motherboard
ICH9R chipset
Intel Quad Core Processor
3 Segate 250GB SATA 300
PNY GeForce 8500GT pci-e (1 DVI and 1 SVGA)
22” Acer LCD model AL2223W 16:10 aspect with native support for both SVGA and DVI

I am about to give up and run Windows!
Old 12-21-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Distribution: Gentoo
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I am using the Kernel version 2.6.20 and did not have any problems with ICH9R - not in IDE mode nor AHCI (now everything is running in AHCI mode). Which kernel version are you using? ICH9R is quite new, so yours might be a little bit outdated.

Eh man, perhaps it is now time for you to switch to a more flexible distribution building up your system with specific kernels (and kernel options) for your drives/controller & graphics card and specific options for the software you want to install?

Have a look at Gentoo. The installation handbook for 64-bit systems is the one for the amd64 arch here.
Feel free to delete this comment.
The Gentoo distributions I installed are currently running very well:
- VIA Epia SP8000 800Mhz Via Eden CPU in 32-Bit mode.
- Notebook 2Ghz Pentium-M CPU, nVidia GeForce Go 6600 GPU in 32-Bit mode with VmWare-VMs installed.
- Server Core 2 Duo 2.13Ghz in 64-bit mode, nVidia 1950 Pro, P35 with ICH9R in AHCI mode for all HDs, with Xen-VMs installed.

I say this because I was using first Suse and after some time Red Hat but ultimately I switched a few years ago to Gentoo because of its flexibility and performance - I am still loving it - and if you start now fiddling around with VMs, specific hardware configs and software RAID and eventually LVM you'll end up having even more wishes that standard distributions won't be able to satisfy.
The downside is that the initial installation is manual and slower than Suse & Co., but once it's set-up and works you'll have less troubles than with the other distros. Have a look at this for a small introduction.
Feel free to delete this post as it does not directly relate to your problem.
Old 12-22-2007, 11:57 PM   #3
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return to SUSE

I tried Gentoo with high hopes, but ran into enough road blocks that I gave up for the time being (will try again on older hardware). I set the bios back to AHCI and installed SUSE 10.3 again. Software RAID works great and I was able to get the dual head video setup. I believe the reason I didn't get the dual head to work the first time was because I had setup Compiz's 3d desktop. I have since tried to setup Compiz in addition to the twinview setup with no success. I found a youtube video showing this working on a spanned display, but have not found anyone who has it working on a true dual head setup. I will try to get my display to span across the two screens and then retry Compiz. I also want to note that I was able to get Mandriva 2008 to run on the AHCI setup using software raid as well but I was unable to get the dual head video to work. I had installed Mandriva just before the post regarding Gentoo. I used Linux a long time ago, but definitely consider myself a BIG noob. I have to say that I've tried just about every distro on this new machine and by far SUSE 10.3 has been the easiest to install and the most stable. Long term I may run into issues, but I was ready to walk away in frustration again. My hat goes off to SUSE for providing a platform for a novice user to migrate to, maybe after some time I will grow into another distro. I also want to throw out a thank you for the quick response to my post!
Old 12-27-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 997

Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
You're welcome!


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