[Techtalk] Upgrading machines with SATA drives to 2.6.8

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at edsons.demon.nl
Mon Dec 6 01:02:50 EST 2004

Mary wrote:

>Hi again folks,
>For various reasons today I've been trying to upgrade a machine running
>kernel 2.6.3 to 2.6.8 or 2.6.9 (the Debian builds, which are usually
>quite close to the vanilla kernel).
>It appears from various hazy webboard discussions that starting from
>2.6.8, SATA hard drives are being treated as SCSI hard drives rather
>than IDE hard drives -- ie they're becoming /dev/sd* rather than
>/dev/hd*. In addition, it seems like all the driver names for the
>various SATA controllers have changed.
As far as i know, unless you take special action they were under SCSI 
for all of 2.6. At least all of my SATA drives have always appeared 
under SCSI.
This is for a good reason: the SATA command set is much closer to the 
SCSI command set than to PATA. Thus integrating under the SCSI 
sub-system is easier than doing the same under the IDE sub-system.

>I have a machine with a ASUS A7N8X motherboard (see earlier thread) with
>a PATA (IDE) CD-RW (/dev/hdb) and a SATA hard-drive. I believe this
>board has a Silicon Image SATA controller. I am completely unable to
>boot this machine into 2.6.8 or 2.6.9. The drive used to be /dev/hde,
>it's probably now /dev/sda or /dev/sde (I'd love to know which), but the
>output of the boot process just before pivot_root only shows it
>detecting /dev/hdb).
If you have no other SCSI drives it will be /dev/sda

You will have to use a kernel with SCSI support. From the above my 
impression is that you are using an IDE only kernel.
I am keeping my systems on 2.6.7 whereas and 2.6.9 are 
acknowledged less stable.

When you compile your own kernel, go into the SCSI low-level drivers. 
There you will find SATA support and the different chip set supports 
mentioned. You do not really have to know the driver name. The chipsets 
supported are mentioned there.

>Does anyone know either:
> - which driver this SATA controller should use under 2.6.8/9;
> - how I make sure that this driver is included in the initrd; or
> - where I can find a reasonable guide to the SATA changes in 2.6.8 that
>   isn't along the lines of "yeah, it worked great for me" or "you're
>   using SATA? HAHAHAHA."?
Good Luck.


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