I've been reading the forum as a guest for a while, and as it often happens, my first post is because of a problem.
A friend of mine has just bought a Sony Vaio S5HP, and we tried to install linux on it.
We started off with Arch Linux just to see if it was worth keeping it, and we encountered the error in the title. Without losing too much time on it, we switched to Gentoo (I have successfully installed from stage 1 on several machines) and we got the same error.
The computer has the following hardware as far as the hard disk is concerned:
Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 80GB SATA HTS541080G9SA00
ICH6M (82801FBM) controller (rev.03).
What happens is that after we create the partitions (with cfdisk) we cannot format them, not in ext2 nor reiserfs or ext3. Well at least the swap partition works
The succession of errors was like this:
- on Arch 0.7 the computer crashed with something like a windows BSD but black.
- on Arch pre-0.7.1 we were actually able to see "ata1: BUG: timeout without command"
- on Gentoo the same thing.
- on Netwosix-2.0rc1 (188.8.131.52 kernel) we made an "improvement", if you can call it that: instead of the timeout without command, we get:
ata1: called with no error (01)!
Buffer I/O error on device sda3, logical block 11534341
and it goes on for each logical block after that.
The last thing we have to try is to delete all the partitions, make a 32Mb ext2 /boot partition at the beginning of the hard drive, a swap partition, and a relatively small /root partition.
dmesg and lspci show that the hard disk is correctly detected and initialized as /dev/sda, in fact we can do whatever we want with the partitions, as long as we don't actually USE them.
What I would really know is where do you think the problem is. Kernel? Distribution? ahci driver? I really have no clue.
A lot of people keep telling me "change distribution", but it is clearly not the problem here.
Thank you for your help!