Tips for Adaptec 274x/284x/294x aic7xxx Patch from Calgary

Tips for Adaptec 274x/284x/294x aic7xxx Patch from Calgary

Post by Stuart Y » Sat, 04 Mar 1995 06:26:38

For those of you having problems installing the Adaptec 2740/2840/2940
patch from Calgary.

I had a lot of trouble getting this to work so I thought I would jot down
my experience in the hopes of making it go easier for others.

This is not meant to be full and complete documentation and there might be
some not totally correct statements, so -- buyer beware...

First off in in the directory
  /pub/systems/linux/aha274x  there is a file

  aic7xxx-release-1.tar.gz     38270 bytes

there is also a subdirectory slack_boot  containing

  aic7xxx-Dec1.tar.gz  2723200 bytes
  aic7xxx-1.1.68.patch  165402 bytes

My understanding is that aic7xxx-release-1.tar.gz is the source code for
the aha274x driver itself.  aic7xxx-1.1.68.patch is a "patch" file created
with 'diff' that can be used to upgrade the 1.1.68 kernel SOURCE to include
the new aha274x driver.  aic7xxx-Dec1.tar.gz contains the BINARY boot and
installation package files for any Slackware distribution.

If you just want to get the patch up and running with Slackware you only
need the aic7xxx-Dec1.tar.gz file.

To get the Slackware boot/install patch set up:

- Transfer the aic7xxx-Dec1.tar.gz (in binary of course) to a convenient
 Unix/Linux system that has tar & gzip.
- Unpackage via:
  gzip -dc aic7xxx-Dec1.tar.gz | tar xfBp -
- This will create 3 subdirectories:  ai1, ai2, bootdsks.144.  ai1 and ai2
  contain the contents of the "installation set" ai which needed to be
  split into 2 parts because of size.  This will be a "custom" installation
  set in the Slackware setup program.  If you are installing from floppy,
  copy the contents of ai1 to a MS-DOS formatted floppy.  Copy the contents
  of ai2 to a second DOS floppy.  I don't know whether you need to volume
  label the floppies so try it anyway (label a:).  If you are installing
  from DOS hard disk partition, add directores ai1 and ai2 under your
  slackware top level (e.g. c:\slakware\ai1, c:\slakware\ai2). Then copy
  the contents of ai1 and ai2 as before.  The are all DOS files and
  directories.  I'm assuming that you know how to transfer the files from
  the machine on which you did the original gzip/tar unpackaging.

- Now the bootdsks.144 is a different story.  This will be a binary disk image.
  Within the bootdsks.144 directory is a file aic7xxx.gz which will eventually
  be copied to a boot disk.  You can do this on either a Unix system or
  on a DOS system.  See the Boot Disk-HOWTO, or the "Installing Linux" docs
  for details.

  Using DOS:    gunzip aic7xxx.gz
                rawrite       (specify file as 'aic7xxx', drive as 'a:')

  Using Unix:   gunzip aic7xxx.gz
                dd if=aic7xxx of=/dev/rfd0 obs=18k    (or something similar)

-  At this point you should have 1 floppy boot disk and either 2 floppies
  ai1 and ai2 or ai1 and ai2 subdirectories on your Slackware installation
  hard drive.

  P.S. You still need a Root floppy disk such as color.144 to get going with
  the installation.  Refer to "Installing Linux" or your doc.

Running the Installation of AHA274x patch

Here's the setup I tried installing to:
  Clone with American Megatrends MB
  Pentium 90
  Adaptec 2940 PCI  (both Wide & standard, see below)
  Seagate SCSI HD
  Both Sony CDU55E and Sanyo SCSI CD-ROM

Using Slackware Pro CD v2.1 from Morse Telecommunications.
and aic7xxx patch from

Well I tried running the patch by booting from the patch boot disk on a
machine with a "Adaptec 2940 Wide PCI" card & discovered...

PROBLEM #1:  aic7xxx patch FAILS with Adaptec 2940 Wide

I received following error msg:

aha294x: extended translation disabled.
aic7xxx is an unsupported type, ignoring
scsi: 0 hosts

Basically as far as I can tell the patch does not work with the "Wide" variant.
I wish it would but it doesn't.

So I tried with a "Adaptec 2940 PCI" card and got further.  I got a
msg like:

aha 294x: extended translation disabled
AHA294x (PCI-bus):
  irq 11
  bus release time ??? bclks
  data fifo threshold 100%
  SCSI Channel A:
    SCSI id 7
    SCSI bus parity check disabled
    SCSI selection timeout 256ms
    SCSI bus reset a power-on enabled.
scsi0: Adaptec AHA274x/284x/294x EISA/VLB/PCI->Fast SCSI 1.32/1.14/1.34
scsi: 1 hosts
scsi: aborting command due to timeout: pid 0, scsi 0, id 0, lun 0 Test Unit
Ready 00 00 00 00 00

Oops that isn't correct.   Hmm seems the at the problem here is...

PROBLEM #2:  Make sure your SCSI adapter & disk are properly terminated.
Make sure that your SCSI Utilties can reliably see all your SCSI devices

Next problem I came across was..
PROBLEM #3:  Linux Swap partitions must be primary, not logical partitions
If I set up a logical partion as swap and tried to enable the swap I got
wierd, file io errors.  Word to the wise...

PROBLEM #4:  Could not get installation to read from CD-ROM.
I tried first with a non-SCSI CD-ROM, a Sony CDU55E.  The driver for
CDU31A should have worked but didn't.  I also tried CDU535 driver which
didn't work either.  Thinking that maybe only SCSI CD-ROM drivers are
linked into the aic7xxx patch, I put in a SCSI Sanyo CDR-H93RSA.

With that drive I got the following error :
Detected scsi CD-ROM sr0 at scsi0, id3, lun 0
scsi0: target 3 lun 1 request sense failed, performing reset.
aic7xxx: attempting to reset scsi bus and card

(then hangs system)

In desperation I copied all CD-ROM install files to DOS partition to
install from there.   This should have been easy using the command

  XCOPY/S/E/Y h:\slakware c:\slakware

However there is a bogus file on the Slackware Pro disk which messes this
PROBLEM #5:  \slakware\q2\.des;1 file messes up XCOPY w Slackware Pro

Because .des;1 is an invalid DOS name (smells of VMS to me..),
XCOPY gags on it.

I got

  File not found

Had to write some awful batch files to copy around that problem.

At that point the install seemed to go well, however when asked for
custom packages to install I answered 'ai1,ai2'.  That is NOT Correct.
The correct response is just 'ai', since the 1 & 2 are just parts of the
same package.  If the custom package fails to install you will experience

PROBLEM #6:  Kernel panics when booting from either LILO or diskette
The error message I received was:
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:05

Make sure that custom package ai was correctly chosen from the setup
screen & make sure it actually installed okay.

Hope these notes help someone out in Linux land.  I am forwarding them
to the creators of the aic7xxx patch.  Perhaps they can be incorporated
into the documentation.


Spencer Yeh

*** Please do not REPLY to this posting, I am using a borrowed unix account **


1. Adaptec 274x/284x/294x release #1

This is what used to be the aha274x SCSI driver, renamed to reflect
the cards it now supports.  It's not quite ready for the kernel yet,
but we'd like feedback on how well it works, especially with the 2940
cards.  It can be obtained from in

Note that this, like the aha274x, is BETA software.

The 274x/284x support is basically the same as in the kernel, with
some minor structural changes.  The 294x support is preliminary, with
a few things still hardwired (like the SCSI ID and FIFO threshold).
You have been warned.

To function properly, you must use this with a kernel version 1.1.68
or above - these have the SCSI changes in the kernel which support
varying numbers of outstanding SCSI commands per driver instance (they
also contain the Adaptec PCI definitions).

You can find instructions in the SCSI-HOWTO on how to install SCSI
drivers into the kernel.  In a nutshell, find all the aha274x stuff
and change it to aic7xxx.

Please direct all problems to the AIC7770 mailing list - see the README
for details.


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