[Techtalk] Upgrading machines with SATA drives to 2.6.8

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at edsons.demon.nl
Tue Dec 7 03:53:31 EST 2004

Late reply, i was hoping somebody else would answer, as, although i use
debian in some cases:
- i am not a debian expert
- i am not an initrd expert (one of the many things on my todo list:
figure out how building that works)

those disclaimers out of the way:

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004, Mary wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 05, 2004, Rudy Zijlstra wrote:
> > 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.
> It always came up as hde durng the boot sequence, although yesterday I
> found that sda works *as well*. I'm not exactly sure which driver I was
> using, it was the standard driver for the Silicon Image controller.
> I'm a bit reluctant to use an intermediate kernel: 2.6.4, 2.6.5 and
> 2.6.6 all caused read errors on that hard drive that locked up the
> machine (separate problem from current freezes). I want to use 2.6.8/9
> because the new SATA driver (which I now know is called "libata") may
> have fixed this problem.

I suspect I have found your problem. In 2.6.4 and later the SiS SATA
support is present both in the ATA secsion and in libata (located under
SCSI / low-level / SATA.
The latter is the more stable and better supported. I suspect that in
debian 2.6.3 kernel only the ATA based support is enabled. In the kernels
that caused read errors you may have both enabled, and that may well cause
clashes. In later kernels then only libata is enabled, which uses the pure
SCSI sub-system.

One way to solve this - though only temporary - is to build a custom
monolithic kernel with all needed drivers in it. Or custom with essentials
build in, and use hotplug to than load the other drivers once it is past
initrd stage. You can then at ease start learning how to build a correct
initrd, while testing if your problems are solved this way.



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