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Hard drives and Grub

3 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 2008-08-08

Hello all,

I have a question concerning hard drive recognition and ordering at boot up when using Grub. I recently tried to use one of my Promise EIDE expansion cards in one of my pc's as I had a few old HD's laying around and wanted to set up an LVM on my newest Linux install as well as perhaps using one of them for a different distro install but I ran into problems. It seams like the Linux installer and partitioning tool was not getting the HD's order info correctly from the system bios and also the bios that is on the Promise EIDE card. A few yeas back I had used the same card and ran into a similar problem when I was installing Suse 6. I know that back then they were using a different kernel than now and also Grub was not even around and I know I was using Lilo. I do not know if this is the root of the problem or not. There was a kernel parameter that needed to be passed on at boot time that fixed the problem back then, I think that the command was “pci=reverse” or something to that effect. It seems as though the drives on the Promise expansion card were being reported to the kernel first and the drive attached to its first port was being reported as drive 0 instead of the first drive attached to the EIDE port that is on the motherboard. I remember that after using the fix that was on the Suse help section at the time corrected the problem and I routinely had 6 hard drives in my system along with a CD R drive.
Is anyone familiar with this situation? I have tried finding the answer using Google but have not had much success so far, perhaps I am not wording my search correctly. I would like to resolve this situation so I could use my idle hard drives that are laying around collecting dust.

Thanks in advance for any assistance that y'all may be able to help me with.
Robert

a thing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-20
GRUB and/or Linux issue?

Are you having trouble accessing the drives with GRUB, Linux, or both? Can you see any information about the drives in your BIOS?

Offline
Joined: 2008-08-08
re grub or linux issue

I my pc sees the drives ok, and when I boot into windows XP it sees all the drives that are of the file systems that it can see including all the ones attached to the eide expansion card that is plugged into a pci port and all of them are in the correct sequence. When I use one of the linux based partitioning tools whether it is a gui based one or not it too sees all the hard drives on the system but their order is all messed up. I formatted a drive by mistake a while back that was a data drive for my windows install, fortunately there was nothing all that important on the drive so it was not a big loss. However I did not notice this until I had booted back into windows the next day. The drive in question I thought was one of the drives I had plugged into the eide expansion card but in reality was my slave drive on the eide port on the mother board. In the partitioning tool it was way down on the list of drives and I did not realize that it was the D drive on my system. I knew that the drive was originally formatted as an NTFS drive but that did not raise any red flags to me because the drive I wanted to use had an old install of windows on it anyway and was going to wipe the drive and put Linux on the drive. I do not know exactly what is going on and where the problem is, all I know is that the order of the hard drives is all whacked out when I put the expansion card into the system. When I remove it the linux partitioning tools have no problem with the correct drive order.

With out knowing exactly what it is doing I have no idea what to put into the Grub config file to tell it where to look for the various boot partitions for some of the Linux distros. Some of them do an excellent job of adding all the different boot partitions in the config file but most will only add their own distro and Windows into the config file. When this happens you need to manually add the other Distros to the list that shows up in Grub at boot time if you want to have a chance to boot into them. This is not an issue when I am only using the on board eide ports for I know what drive 0 is etc, because they are all in the correct order. However with the expansion card in the system what I think may be drive 0 is in fact drive 3 or some other drive in the system. I have no idea what it is doing.

a thing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-20
device.map

Remember/make note of what Linux calls the drives. Look at the file device.map on whatever GRUB is installed to. You can use the command "cat" from the GRUB shell to display a file.

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