[Techtalk] Serial ATA on the A7N8X Deluxe (Sil 3112)

Mary mary-linuxchix at puzzling.org
Mon Apr 28 18:58:58 EST 2003

Hey everyone,

I have a new computer with a Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard. The
motherboard uses the Silcion Image Sil 3112 Serial ATA controller.

At present I have two parallel ATA (this is just regular IDE) devices,
/dev/hda (a 80GB HDD) and /dev/hdb (a CD drive), and a functioning
Debian install.

I would like to use a 80GB serial ATA HDD instead of the parallel ATA
HDD. The only reason the parallel ATA drive is in there is that most
installers's kernels do not yet have the siimage support required to
drive the Sil 3112 SATA controller, so I installed Debian onto the PATA
drive instead just to be able to get *something* going.

I have:

 - compiled the 2.4.21-rc1 kernel, which has the siimage driver. I
   compiled siiimage into the kernel, rather than compiling it as a

 - booted this kernel. The kernel detected the SATA drive as /dev/hda,
   paused for well over a minute (at the stage where it would normally
   detect other disk drives), and then the kernel paniced because it
   couldn't find a root partition.

During this boot process, neither of the PATA drives were detected by
the kernel, despite the fact that it was booting from the MBR of one of

So, my question is, is it possible to use both the PATA and SATA
controllers on this system? If so how? Where will the PATA devices show
up in /dev ?

If not, are there rescue disks (installer disks, the bootable business
card, anything) that support the Sil 3112 SATA controller? I'll
boot-strap a new Debian install from the hard drive if this is the case.
(I'll also be annoyed because it means purchasing a SATA CD drive :( )

I've googled for everything I can think of, the only results I'm getting

 - linux-kernel posts about SATA support in 2.5.x

 - glossy pro-SATA brochures

 - instructions on getting the rest of the hardware on the A7N8X working
   (which were useful before it was working, and are not now that I have
   the NICs going)

 - posts from people who used a physical SATA-to-PATA converter


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