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Old 12-06-2007, 09:38 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: New York City
Distribution: Gentoo, FC
Posts: 133

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Gentoo not recognizing SATA drives

Been tooling around with this problems for a few days now, and haven't found really solid answers.

Installed Gentoo on a 2nd SATA HD in my computer with XP as SATAHD, using lilo:

drive configuration:

/dev/sda = Windows install
/dev/sdb1 =/boot
/dev/sdb2 = SWAP
/dev/sdb3 =/root

Boots Fine, MBR prompt comes ups, Select Gentoo, Lilo comes up. Hit Enter. Starts Boot Process:

Then things start getting weird, when it loads my two HD's they come up as:

/hda = Windows
/hdb1-3= Linux

Obviously, i then get the error:

!!Block device /dev/sdb3 is not a valid root device
!!The root block device is unspecified or not detected

Loadup busybox shell:

Dev list confirms the above information.

I can chroot into the Gentoo installation and everything works great.

Tried 9 different manual kernel configs, tooling around with the SATA configuration because everyone on the internet instructed me that it was a SATA related error. Finally after extreme frustration i broke down and at the advice of someone i used genkernel (I KNOW! I was desperate) with --menuconfig option and selected EVERY SATA option on, just to cover all bases.

Still no luck. Suggestions?

Other info:

Lilo config:


append="init=/linuxrc ramdisk=8192 real_root=/dev/sdb3 udev"

Last edited by weisso5; 12-06-2007 at 09:40 PM. Reason: grammer!!
Old 12-07-2007, 12:22 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: New York City
Distribution: Gentoo, FC
Posts: 133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Solved- Chipset Problem Read:

from Gentoo Forums Team:
NeddySeagoons' Rough Guide to Intel ICH7 Chip Set

You have an Intel ICH7 Family chip set. genkernel will net set this one up correctly, so you have to help it if you want to use genkernel.
In make menuconfig choose the following options:-
Device Drivers --->
< > ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support --->
turn off the ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support menu item entirely.
You may think this will prevent your CDROM working - it won't. I'll explain later.
<*> Serial ATA (prod) and Parallel ATA (experimental) drivers --->
<*> Intel ESB, ICH, PIIX3, PIIX4 PATA/SATA support
notice how it says PATA/SATA in the name. This driver is a combined driver for both SATA and IDE modes - its peculiar to Intel. All other options on this menu must be off, including the two Intel PATA options close to the bottom. If you get that wrong your hard drive will appear as an IDE drive and be very slow as you will not get DMA modes.
Thats the low level drivers set.
Now the high level driver
go back up to
SCSI device support --->
Inside that menu choose
│ │ < > RAID Transport Class
│ │ -*- SCSI device support
│ │ < > SCSI target support
│ │[*] legacy /proc/scsi/ support
│ │ *** SCSI support type (disk, tape, CD-ROM) ***
│ │ <*> SCSI disk support
│ │ < > SCSI tape support
│ │ < > SCSI OnStream SC-x0 tape support
│ │ <*> SCSI CDROM support
SCSI CDROM support may be either <M> or <*> but your CDROM is going to be treated as a SCSI device now. It will have two entries in /dev, /dev/sr0 which is the block device you use in the normal way and /dev/sg0 which is its controlling charater device. Normally, you don't need to know that as udev takes care of creating the symlinks properly. However, if your CDROm is listed in /etc/fstab as /dev/hd... that will need to change.
Old 02-01-2008, 10:50 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2008
Location: Gent, Belgium
Posts: 2

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Cool Thanks this was just what I was looking for ...

I had the same problem but with a ATI chipset sata device
and thanks to this info I found I've been able to fix this... It took me 2 install's and numerous kernel builds to get this system to boot from the SATA HD into gentoo.
And thanks to this tip relating to the intel chipset that I've managed to get Linux booted. This should go into the gentoo X64 installation manual or in a faq on the gentoo web site. Then poeple with newer systems would not have to be stuck like I was.
Old 02-02-2008, 11:20 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: New York City
Distribution: Gentoo, FC
Posts: 133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I found most of my info on the Gentoo Forums, so I assume it will eventually make it into the Gentoo Handbook. They are currently working on the 2008 build, so it might already be in it.


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