I recently purchased a HighPoint Rocket 100 (non-Raid) ATA/100 hard
drive controller PCI card along with a Seagate 7200.7 120 GB hard
drive to add to my system. The configuration of my PC, besides this
new hardware, is as follows: Dual-boot (Win 98 / RedHat 9.0) on an AMD
Athlon 650, with 512 MB of memory, and two 30 GB hard drives (one
dedicated to each OS). In addition to the two hard drives I have a
TDK CD-R/RW drive and a Hitachi DVD-ROM drive.
I'm looking to setup a Linux home entertainment PC (music, movies,
images, etc.) and wanted to add storage to my system. Since I had
maxed out the IDE drives on my motherboard I bought the Rocket 100
card. Plus, my motherboard only supports up to UDMA/66 and I wanted
something to take advantage of the ATA/100 drive.
My problem is this. After installing the card and the drive I decided
to boot into Linux to see if it recognized the new hardware. I've had
good luck in the past with the recent versions of Linux when
installing new hardware, and sure enough when booting I saw that Linux
had recognized the Rocket 100 controller card, and the drive attached.
However when the bootup process got to the point where it loaded the
drives it completely locked up after hdd; basically at the point
where it should have loaded my new hard drive (hde). My only option
was to cycle the power.
Since I couldn't get past this point I looked to HighPoint's tech
support web site and found Linux drivers and documentation on how to
use them. The only problem is that the drivers are not open source
and are only compiled for the stock versions of kernel that comes with
the distro, in my case Redhat 9.0, with a 2.4.20-8 kernel. As I had
already installed updates from RedHat this meant that I had to
downgrade my kernel. Plus, I would be locked in at this kernel level
unless, or until HighPoint released new versions of their driver. At
that point though I just wanted to get the thing working and decided
to give it a shot. I followed the directions and loaded a new kernel
module, which got the system to recognize the card and the hard drive.
I then created my Linux partition with fdisk and formatted the drive
with mkfs.ext3. I thought I was all set. However, when I rebooted
the system errors were found on my new file system. I tried running
fsck, but the file system was corrupted to the point where I had to
fdisk and format the drive again. I've gone through the process a
few times now.
Not really knowing which device (controller or hard drive) was the
cause of my problems I tried a couple of things. First, I
disconnected the DVD drive and hooked up the hard drive to the onboard
IDE controller in it's place. The drive worked fine, even after
several reboots. I also found a smaller drive (Maxtor 10.1 GB) and
connected it up to the Rocket 100 controller, and this too worked,
even after several reboots. My thinking is that the controller is
having problems with the large capacity hard drive. However, I don't
have another drive of similar capacity to test my theory.
Does anyone have any ideas? Although HighPoint's tech support
responds to my emails in a timely manner, they haven't really provided
me with any worthwhile things to try. I've though about switching the
configuration of my drives; i.e. connect the Seagate drive to my
on-board IDE controller and one of my other hard drives to the Rocket
100. But I am reluctant to do so because I am worried I may lose the
information that is on the drive connected to the Rocket 100. I'm
also considering getting a different PCI controller card. Does anyone
know of one that works well with Linux, and especially with large
Any information that anyone could pass along would be greatly