Re: ata_piix installation/device detection problems on Dell server
The problem I experienced is as follows:
the ata_piix driver detects PATA and SATA in combined mode (which does
seem correct as far as I can tell). However, only the HD is
detected/registered in the kernel while the CD-ROM remains
I was able to work around this issue by _not_ loading the ata_piix
module at first, but load the generic ide driver module instead. Of
course, that module doesn't detect the SATA part, so I would be able to
access the CD-ROM but not the HD. However, loading ata_piix _after_ the
generic IDE driver notes that the first port is busy (PATA, used by
ide_generic) and only initializes the SATA part. This makes it possible
to access both SATA (HD) and PATA (CD).
I just found out that libata by default doesn't support PATA devices.
This can be changed in include/linux/libata.h (or so) at compile time of
the kernel by defining ATA_ENABLE_PATA (it's #undef'ed there by default).
Since ata_piix blocks the PATA part of the chip(set), it would be good
if either that default is changed to enable PATA in libata drivers or
that ata_piix doesn't touch the PATA part when ATA_ENABLE_PATA isn't
defined (or, preferably, both).
Regarding debian-installer, I guess there are currently three ways to
1) Re-compile the kernel with ATA_ENABLE_PATA defined (which is
currently only used in ata_piix.c anyway, so it shouldn't have
ill side effects)
2) Document the problem and provide a description of the possible
3) Implement the workaround in debian-installer. (Loading the generic
IDE driver (ide_generic?) before ata_piix)
I would prefer to see (1), but I assume this will not happen pre-Sarge.
PS: I created a bug report for debian-installer (#303135).
If anyone wants access to the machine in question, I guess I could
arrange both root and serial console access to it for a limited time.
Will have to check with my boss though. Tell me if you would need that.
The offer still stands.
PS: Please Cc me in answers unless you also send a copy to the
debian-boot mailinglist (which I read).