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Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I'm sure this must be a FAQ, but I can't seem to find anything helpful googling for the answer. I'm trying to install Debian woody (3.0r2) onto a new hard drive (WD1800JB, 180Gig Western Digital) in a new computer. It is the only hard drive in the machine, and the only other IDE device is DVD+R drive. My understanding of how the computer (BIOS, OS, etc.) interact with a large (>137Gig) hard drive is a bit shaky, but I decided to try connecting the drive directly to the motherboard's (ABIT IS7) IDE connector and booting off a Debian CD. No ...

  1. #1

    Default Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card

    I'm sure this must be a FAQ, but I can't seem to find anything helpful
    googling for the answer.

    I'm trying to install Debian woody (3.0r2) onto a new hard drive (WD1800JB,
    180Gig Western Digital) in a new computer. It is the only hard drive in the
    machine, and the only other IDE device is DVD+R drive.

    My understanding of how the computer (BIOS, OS, etc.) interact with a large
    (>137Gig) hard drive is a bit shaky, but I decided to try connecting the
    drive directly to the motherboard's (ABIT IS7) IDE connector and booting off
    a Debian CD. No dice - the installer saw the hard drive as /dev/hda, but
    the partitioning program only saw 137Gig.

    So I installed the Promise Ultra100TX controller card that Western Digital
    ships with the drive, connected the drive to it, and tried again. The BIOS
    sees the drive fine, but the Debian installer always gets to a point where
    it tells me that it can't find any hard drives and I'm going to have to
    insert a floppy with drivers if I want to continue any further. This
    happens whether I use the "idepci" "bf24" or "compact" boot methods.

    Neither WD or Promise appear to have any Linux drivers I can use. So, how
    do I get Debian to see the drive on the Promise controller and proceed with
    the installation?

    Thanks very much to anyone who can help!


    George Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card


    "George Adams" <NOSPAM.com> skrev i meddelandet
    news:newsguy.com... 
    (WD1800JB, 
    the 
    large 
    off 
    BIOS 
    with 

    I have the same problem, but with a Promise 133 card, there is a kernel
    patch for 2.4.xx.

    I think you must get a newer kernel to start the install from.


    Conny Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card

    On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 02:30:03 -0500, George Adams wrote:
     

    I ran into the same thing, Debian's installer must be using a really
    antique kernel. The Promise Ultra100 has been around for several years,
    the Linux kernel has supported it for a very long time. When I saw that
    Debian couldn't handle a Promise Ultra100 card I decided ir was pointless
    to spend any time trying to make Debian work. Try Mandrake, 9.2, it will
    install on your system without any problems.


    General Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card


    "General Schvantzkoph" <com> wrote in message
    news:com... [/ref]
    (WD1800JB, [/ref]
    the [/ref]
    large [/ref]
    off [/ref]
    but [/ref]
    Digital [/ref]
    BIOS [/ref]
    where [/ref]
    how [/ref]
    with 
    >
    > I ran into the same thing, Debian's installer must be using a really
    > antique kernel. The Promise Ultra100 has been around for several years,
    > the Linux kernel has supported it for a very long time. When I saw that
    > Debian couldn't handle a Promise Ultra100 card I decided ir was pointless
    > to spend any time trying to make Debian work. Try Mandrake, 9.2, it will
    > install on your system without any problems.[/ref]

    Promise labeling is basically a bunch of familar names with dice rolled to
    generate the suffixes and which chpsets they will use. They *WILL NOT* tell
    you which chipsets are associated with what cards, you have to take it out
    and look with a magnifier or read messages at boot time. And the "Ultra100"
    is not the same as the "Ultra100TX". Been there, done that, have the scars
    and the phone bills to !#$ Asia. Basically, Promise cards only use is to
    clip them down and make funky earrings out of them.

    Debian "stable" is also one of the wost possible choices for hardware
    invented in the last 3 years, due to the age of the kernel and libraries.
    It's so stable no one can use it with modern hardware: this is fine for DNS
    servers that need to be rock stable, but it's pretty ful for poking
    around with new devices for home use. Mind you, I approve of Debian overall,
    but the stable is way the heck behind the times.

    And do not, under any cirstances, install the Linux drivers published by
    Promise. They've taken perfectly good drivers for the PDC20265 and other
    chipsets of theirs and deliberately renumbered the IDE devices, just so that
    their controller always shows up with /dev/hda. I can't begin to tell you
    how broken this is......

    What to do? Buy a vaguely modern SIIG card if you have a few bucks to spare.
    Or try RedHat or Mandrake.


    Nico Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can't install Debian on HDD w/Promise controller card

    [Cross-post eliminated in follow-up.]

    In comp.os.linux.hardware General Schvantzkoph <com> wrote:
     

    As always, the crucial piece of information best suited to determining
    Linux support is the _chipset identity_, not the make and model of card.
    The Promise Ultra100TX uses a PDC20268 chipset.

    If memory serves, support for the PDC20268 lagged for a long time,
    mainly on account of the company's y attitude towards working with
    the open-source community, e.g.:
    http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0106.1/0032.html
    I vaguely recall that you really need a 2.4.22 or so installation kernel
    to have reliable good luck.
     

    Well, you lose, then, since all that's required is a Debian installation
    image with a very recent kernel, such as Scott Kveton's. See:
    "Installers" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Debian

    --
    Cheers, Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based,
    Rick Moen not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
    com modern-American-English-usage-improvement association.

    Rick Guest

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