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SATA gets in the way!


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Okay here is what I have at work. Simple PC, couple of IDE HD's and one IDE DVD-RW. The motherboard is MIS 915 which must be their cheapest one. At any rate I want to install Debian. I'm not much of a linux guy but I know enough to know that this is not really a linux prob. What is happening is that my system is detecting two IDE drives on the primary IDE channel, nothing on 2nd IDE and my DVD drive on 3rd IDE.

Right now I've got SATA disabled and I've disabled the onboard RAID utility but still nothing on the 2nd IDE. I'm assuming that somehow the system is reserving IDE 2 for SATA even though its disabled. I know I have to have the DVD on IDE 2 because if I unhook one of my HD's and plug the DVDRW into that IDE port it begins the install fine, but of course I can't dual boot than cause I'll only have a linux boot record on the one HD.

I'd love for someone to tell me how to get this configured properly. Any help would be magnificent.


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Political User
Just to make sure I understand, you have two IDE channels, with 3 devices.

Channel 1 has 2 IDE Hard Drives, which are detected without an issue.
Channel 2 has an IDE DVD-RW that is not showing up.

If that is the case, try verifying the jumpers on the DVD-RW to ensure it's set to either slave or master, depending on which connector on the IDE cable it's hooked up to. Also, for detection purposes, you could try hooking it up to the primary IDE channel, either as a slave to the primary HD (this would test the cable currently on channel 2), or as a master on channel 1 with the current cable.
Unless you are trying to boot from the DVD/CD it doesn't matter which IDE controller it is installed on unless Debian can't handle a drive higher than the 4 traditional IDE devices (quite possible). If this is the case you need to start hunting the Linux distro forums for a patch, workaraound or wait for a debian distro that supports IDE beyond 4 devices (2 channel).

If you are trying to boot from the Debian DVD then make sure you have the 3rd IDE channel configured as a boot device and the first 2 IDE channels set as not boot devices in BIOS.

Making the IDE devices appear as something other than the first four is common on SATA/RAID MBs. Mine does the same thing (ECS Via KT890A) even with all bios references to RAID turned off. It looks like the trend is to make SATA devices the dominant life form with IDE sliding into obscurity.


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Political User
I think, at least how I saw it, was that he was in the BIOS first and the drives weren't being detected properly. This is why I suggested testing to see if the channel itslef, or the cables might be malfunctioning.

However, it's possible I mis-interpreted his question :s


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I typed this is rush to get out the door and begin my long weekend, so it might not be too clear. Anyway, 3 devices is correct. I've got two IDE hd's on the primary channel. Then I've got a DVDRW drive as a master or single drive (I'll check on Monday) connected to the secondary channel. I have no SATA drives connected but just in case I also disabled SATA in the bios. When the system boots it shows my 2 HD's on the primary channel nothing on secondary and the DVDRW on the third IDE master. I didn't think this was a problem for the install but I get an error about not being able to mount the CDROM when I try to install. One linux guy at work told me it must be the drive but two DVDRW's, 1 CD-RW and 2 CD-ROMs later I get the same error. Thats what gave me the idea to try to unplug the master HD and hook the DVDRW up to that channel. When I do that it works so I figure its got to be the fact that the DVDRW is on the third IDE. I'd just leave it hooked up that way and do the install but I'm fairly certain that I'd have to try to book linux with a floppy than since it wouldnt' be a true dual boot system if GRUB isn't installed on the MBR of my primary disk. Maybe I'm wrong about that though.


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Political User
If the BIOS shows 4, and by that I mean 8 total possible devices, that is a bit odd. Are you sure they are all IDE?


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Yeah, they are all listed as IDE but I know thats impossible without expansion cards and such. I'm pretty certain IDE 3 and 4 are meant for SATA but they are taking IDE for some reason. There is probably a way to configure it and I'm just missing one setting ... just wish I knew where that one setting is.

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
BouncingSoul said:
The motherboard is MIS 915
Is it MIS or MSI?

If MSI then is it the [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]915G Neo2 Platinum or [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]915P Neo2 Platinum?[/FONT]


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