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Re: big non-boot disks

On Wed, Feb 02, 2000 at 04:54:30PM -0500, Danny Heap wrote:
> I'm seeing advertisements for IDE drives with over 20 GB capacity.  I
> realize that one of the problems with really large IDE drives has been
> that BIOS doesn't report the geometry properly.

Irrelevant, since the geometry has been a lie for a long time (most
drives have a variable number of sectors per track these days... they lie
to the system to make it look "right").

> However, if I don't plan to install the drive with any bootable
> partitions (as a second slave drive, say), then won't the disk
> geometry be completely understood by the linux kernel, perhaps helped
> out by some boot parameters?

It's unlikely the kernel would need such help.  I have an 18G drive that
my BIOS doesn't even know about and Linux is quite happy with it.  (All
I did was enable the controller in the BIOS... I didn't have the BIOS
probe it and it shows '---' for everything in the list in the BIOS.)

> Also, how do I discover the true disk geometry?  Can I simply read
> what's printed on the drive?

You can't discover the true geometry without a lot of work.  It doesn't
matter anyway, since nothing uses it.

> Some of the large drives I've seen advertised are Maxtor 20.4 GB,
> Seagate 28 GB, Maxtor 36 GB.  And a scsi Seagate 50.1 GB.

They should all work fine on a modern kernel.

Brian Moore                       | Of course vi is God's editor.
      Sysadmin, C/Perl Hacker     | If He used Emacs, He'd still be waiting
      Usenet Vandal               |  for it to load on the seventh day.
      Netscum, Bane of Elves.

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