Re: Newbie first-time install advice: Highpoint Rocket 133SB
On Sat, 25 Sep 2004, David Witbrodt wrote:
> Gayle Lee Fairless wrote:
> > >I received a WD 160 GB hard drive as a gift earlier this year, but have
> > >not found a chance to install it until now. I assumed I could just plug
> > >it in, but when I began reading about it I realized that my old PC
> > >(circa 2000) cannot handle IDE drives larger than 137 GB. Further
> > >reading helped me understand that buying a newer IDE controller would
> > >allow me to use the big drive.
> > >
> > >I plan a multiboot system with Windows XP (and maybe a couple of other
> > >OSes), and I have on-hand all of the drivers and docs I need to make
> > >that work. Unfortunately, I am still unclear about how to allow Debian
> > >to support the IDE controller.
> > Your configuration is somewhat similar to mine. I have a Gateway 500
> > with Windows 98SE with a 13 GB IBM hard drive as my primary drive. I
> > installed a Western Digital 160 GB hard drive (slave) on my system. It
> > was useful to download the Western Digital Data Lifeguard utility off
> > Western Digital's website since the utility on Windows 98SE has a 64 GB
(rest deleted for brevity)
> I have downloaded the WD utils, even though I haven't tried to
> physically install the drive yet. Glad to hear that it works.
(steps deleted for brevity)
> Did you follow these steps, or something similar? If not, what steps
> did you carry out. (I'm quite interested, since you obviously were
> successful! I have not made the attempt yet, but info about real
> experiences is most valuable.)
I installed the Western Digital Data Lifeguard utility to my Windows 98SE
and ran it from the icon on the Windows desktop. Running it any other way
doesn't seem to work. The GUI is fairly self-evident. Since I kept the
primary drive (13GB) to run Windows, having the WD 160 GB as a slave hard
drive was no problem.
> > I ... have the 7 woody CDROM's. .... I had to use the bf2.4 kernel
> > the 160 GB hard drive. I used cfdisk off the Linux installation CDROM
> > to format (but not to partition) those partitions in ext2 for Linux (
> > partitions 1,2,3, and 5 out of six). When you come to the Xfree86
> > portion of the installation, choose simple or medium. Do NOT choose
> > advanced! That option is for those people who know exactly what the
> > hardware is on their system! BTW, be sure to prepare list of all your
> > hardware, vendors, etc. to answer the installation questions.
> Thanks for the tip on Xfree86. Will do....
> I didn't burn 7 CD's! I did some reading, and decided I needed disk 1
> and 5 (bf2.4). Further reading made me think that the old Woody kernels
> wouldn't be able to handle my 160 GB drive, even if partitioned with the
> WD tool. Obviously, from your experience, I misunderstood and was
> Your advice about _only_ formatting (not partitioning) with cfdisk is
> also noted. I have burned a small CD, with an updated Woody, called
> HILUX. It has a more advanced kernel, which I thought was essential
> because of my misunderstanding about recognizing the big drive's
> capacity. I also hoped that it might have built-in support for my
> controller, but it looks now like I'm completely out of luck in that
> area. (Elsewhere in this thread I concluded that I will have to compile
> a source tarball from the manufacturer's site. Unfortunately, being an
> absolute beginner with Linux, that is going to pose a major hurdle for
> > I happened to choose gdm for my windows manager. Perhaps I should have
(stuff deleted for brevity)
> > dial out, etc. If you have ZIP drives from Iomega, the iw utility for
> > Linux off the Iomega website will be useful. Knowing how to setup the
> > sources.list for apt-get will be useful.
> > I allowed the installation to modify the MBR on the boot drive to
> > install LILO. Have your Windows rescue diskette handy to restore the
> > MBR should that become necessary. The LILO documentation tells you how
> > to modify the LILO menu to your liking and to rerun LILO to make the
> > changes. One of the packages that I found helpful is sudo. That allows
> > you to specify limited root privileges to the user account(s) of your
> > choice. That way it is not necessary to su to root for routine mounting
> > of floppies, etc.
> May I ask: did you leave the old, small drive connected? Or did you
> only use the new, big drive?
I kept the old small drive because I intend to keep both operating
> I ask because I am still trying to decide, without any experience
> whatsoever, whether to choose grub or lilo. Lilo would use the MBR on
> whichever disk is perceived as primary by my hardware, and I'm not sure
> whether that will be my old drive (maybe still connected to the
> motherboard IDE controller) or the big drive on the PCI controller.
> Actually, the controller I bought (Highpoint Rocket 133SB) has its own
> BIOS, so that the primary drive might be configurable through its BIOS
> setup. I won't really know until later, when I get inside the case and
> see if everything will work.
> I have seen many folks swear that grub is easier to use, especially if
> you make frequent changes. But from the reading I have done, I seem to
> understand and gravitate more towards lilo. Once I arrive at the final
> configuration I have in mind, I don't really expect to be changing
> things too much, anyway.
I ran LILO and did not have grub available. I purchased the woody
installation CDROM's from Abexia which is located in the vendors section
on www.debian.org. Since I have a dialup connection to my ISP,
downloading and burning the iso images was not an option. Besides, I
didn't have a CDROM burner yet (we do now), and my son couldn't get the
university equipment available to him to work well enough or quickly
The menu is reasonably easy to modify with your favorite text
editor (emacs, vi, nano, etc.). Running LILO writes the new menu. I
carefully read the man pages and conf files before I make changes. I also
read this list a lot. I pick up shortcuts and stuff that I may have
overlooked in the docs such as CUPS stuff that I have to setup my printer.
> Well, thank you very much for your very informative response! I will
> be printing this out and keeping it handy for next week... or whenever I
> can finally get around to the big installation! All of the tips and
> advice will be very helpful!
> Dave W.