2007-02-06

Linux Kernel Fun: Adding a new IDE Controller

I managed to afford a new HDD for my upgrades and an IDE addon card to boot (<--- Pun intended :)

The plan:


  • Buy new 250Gb IDE HDD

  • Swap the 200Gb currently in my fileserver with the new 250Gb HDD

  • Swap the (newer) 200Gb taken out of my fileserver with the (older) 200Gb HDD in my XBOX and vicea versa

  • Install an IDE addon card into fileserver and attach the 200Gb to it


Most of this went well except for the addon card.
After many hours and 4-letter words being said, I realised that the new addon card wanted take over as the first available IDE chip after the kernel had initialised the hardware giving me VFS kernel panic errors even after changing the lilo 'root=' kernel option (and editing fstab). It seemed to work fine when I manually specified the root= option at the lilo prompt, but I was forgetting one important thing...

I forgot to use the kernel option "Boot off-board chipsets first support" which funnily enough tells you what the option is for in the linux kernel help: "This can improve the usability of some boot managers such as lilo when booting from a drive on an off-board controller."

Nuff' Said :P

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