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Re: Re: Debian installer and Dell Dimension 8400

Hi Friends,

I too have wrestled for the past 3 months with getting Linux (of any sort!) onto the Dell Dimension 8400.\
I've tried *every* possible brand, too.
At last, I've succeeded.
The issue seems to be this: the Dell 8400 has an Intel ICH5/ICH6 (software raid) controller. Any linux that does not have an appropriate driver for this will fail. So they all do - until now. (Note that even so, they *can* be installed if you switch the bios to "PATA compatbility mode" - ie, parallel ATA but that defeats the purpose of SATA - it is emulating a normal ATA drive, the I/O goes down
a factor of 10, at least.)

It seems a few weeks ago, Red Hat released Update 3 of their RH Enterprise System Version 3 linux. This Update 3 patched the ata_piix driver so that it *does* handle ICH6. It can boot and install RH linux successfully on my Dimension 8400, properly recognizing
the drive partitions as sd*  (rather than hd*).
'doze even dual boots.

OK: so that is a solution, albeit not a completely happy one for Debian fans like myself.
But it does show that this is all that is required.
Someone in the Debian community ought see to patching the ata_piix driver for ICH5/ICH6 drives. (ata_piix works
for lots of SATA types, but not this one)

Hope this is of some help,
if you find out more, please do tell me - i'd like to use Debian. Who should be informed about this?

Bob Berwick

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