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Old 07-28-2004, 07:28 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
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Slackware 10 SATA errors.

Hi, I have an Abit Nforce 7 S motherboard and am using a SATA adapter on my existing harddrive. (i know there might not be much point in it - but I have windows on the drive and for some weird reason it won't boot if I swap it back to a plain old IDE drive - and I'm not in the mood to redoo a 5 month install all over again).

Well anyhoo I keep getting this error message during boot:

hde: sata_error = 0x00000000, watchdog = 0, siimage_mmio_ide_dma_test_irq
The message is repeated over and over maybe 50 times - kind of like what you would see during a panic - although in this instance it eventually seems to stop and then booting continues as normal.

I did a search (somewhat unusually perhaps) and found this message on the Linux Kernel archives of a possible workaround:

The driver needs to have "drive->id->hw_config |= 0x6000;" added in
siimagemask... for the device id only.

This commits a LIE, but so what.

We just tell the driver that SATA does not care about cable detect.
The question is, how do I do this? I mean if I have to pass some perameters to the SATA driver, where exactly do I write them?

Also I'm something of a Slackware n00b, so could anybody kindly tell me how I get my preferred drivers to load during boot time? I mean what do I have to do exactly if for example I wanted to get the 'radeon' driver to load during boot time?

In any case my impressions of Slackware 10 are mixed.

The main improvement seems to have been in terms of speed - as it certainly feels quite responsive.

However I am extremely dissaponted that there is no 2.6x Kernel included. I undstood that it wasn't included as default, but I thought I would at least be able to select it as an option during the install.

This means a huge amount of buggering about, downloading compiling the kernel and whatnot in the hope that if/when I do, I can still get everything to work.

Slackware 10 also seems unable to get my audigy 2.0 soundcard to work via digital out (I have unmuted everything in alsamixer and added myself to the audio group) and I still have no accelerated video. I know ATI's fglrx driversare propriatory, but hell for once I wish there was a simple way to download and install them. So all in all this pretty much represents zero progress (beyond some minor graphical refinements) in the 2 and a half years I have been using Linux.

All in all, a very dissapointing experience.

I possibly wouldn't bother, except that I paid for my Slackware CDs this time - so it's not like I'm just bitching while doing nothing to support them.

Any input anyone can offer would be very much appreciated.


Somewhat depressed,

Old 07-28-2004, 05:20 PM   #2
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The /dev/hde designation of your SATA device suggests that you are using the siimage driver from the kernel distribution. It is not only buggy but it is also practically abandoned. You should look into using the libata driver instead, but switching can be a bit tricky. First you need to build a kernel without siimage support but with libata Silicon Image driver built-in. Then edit your /etc/fstab and rename all partitions from /dev/hde? to /dev/sda? and of course update your bootloader.

Please keep in mind that this can render your system unusable. It's quite tricky and you might be better off looking for a Slackware install disk (a boot floppy would do along with your existing CD's) that uses the libata driver.

Old 07-28-2004, 06:21 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 393

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OK, well where would I get such a CD? The driver does seem to think that I'm using an IDE disk - which I thought was kinda weird.

Will this mean having to reinstall everything again?

I have compiled a new 2.6 kernel - but I can see the danger that you are speaking of right now, because there are no valid block devices devices currently listed in /dev going by a designation sda anything (or sdb or sdc for that matter).

I think I need to know the syntax for mounting modules during bootime in Slackware. I had a look at modprobe.conf and I can't make head nor tail of what's going on. It talks of 'alias' and 'char-major' etc. which I'm afraid is something of another language to me.

How do I get simple modules to load at boot time in Slackware?

Maybe if I can do this I can get the SATA driver to spot my SATA drive and to mount it appropriately.

Old 07-31-2004, 09:34 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: GER
Distribution: slackware 10.0
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Originally posted by hw-tph
The /dev/hde designation of your SATA device suggests that you are using the siimage driver from the kernel distribution. It is not only buggy but it is also practically abandoned. You should look into using the libata driver instead, but switching can be a bit tricky. First you need to build a kernel without siimage support but with libata Silicon Image driver built-in. [...]
configuring the [vanilla] 2.6.7 kernel, what exactly should I do to get rid of the siimage driver from the kernel distribution and be able to use the libata driver instead?
Old 07-31-2004, 02:42 PM   #5
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I use Slack 10 on a box with mixed IDE & SATA drives on a NV7S. One drive is native SATA, one uses a SATA adapter and on is native IDE. All worked from a virgin install of slack 10. The only thing I had to do was edit my fstab files which I did by starting at hdb and working up to see what mounted :-) (it's also got a CDRW, a DVD & a DVDRW in it so things get a little complex sometimes).

WinXP had a nightmare trying to do it but that was long enough ago now to let me talk about's important if you want to boot from the SATA to tell the BIOS to look there...d'oh.

Backup your data, do a clean install (2.4.26) and watch it all work.

Re your graphics card...I've seen one post of success with Ati and myself have Nvidia working on two boxes. Go buy nvidia, d/l the latest xorg.conf (1.0.5) and watch that work as well.


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