4 ide drives & Mitsumi (IDE/ATAPI) CD-ROM via SB

4 ide drives & Mitsumi (IDE/ATAPI) CD-ROM via SB

Post by Jari Silvennoine » Tue, 21 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Is the above hardware set possible in Linux.
I mean anyone really using all of these with Linux.

T: Jari


4 ide drives & Mitsumi (IDE/ATAPI) CD-ROM via SB

Post by Matt Kirsc » Tue, 28 Oct 1997 04:00:00

 > Is the above hardware set possible in Linux.
 > I mean anyone really using all of these with Linux.

Linux supports up to 8 IDE devices on four IDE channels. Your situation
is feasible. Information is in /usr/src/linux/Documentation/ide.txt. The
first two IDE interfaces are autoprobed, the last two are not. You can
hack ide.c to autoprobe fairly easily, but you can also use a kernel
parameter to force probing. The parameters are in ide.txt.

Your biggest stumbling block will be if the Sound Blaster is
Plug-and-Play, because the IDE port on your SoundBlaster cannot be
initialized by isapnptools until after the IDE driver is loaded. The IDE
driver must be loaded in the kernel because the system can't load
anything off the hard drive without it (can't finish booting). It's a
catch-22 situation.

There are solutions:

1. Set up a small ~5MB alternate DOS partition with the DOS versions of
the SoundBlaster PnP drivers. Set up the autoexec.bat and config.sys to
initialize the card, with the IDE port as the tertiary IDE port, and use
loadlin to boot the kernel. In fact, set up ALL the PnP devices you have
from this autoexec.bat and config.sys, and you can eliminate fooling
around with isapnptools. Use LILO to give you a choice to boot your
normal DOS/Win95 partition as usual, or to boot the alternate DOS
partition when you want to run Linux. This is a workable solution,
though it isn't the favorite of Linux purists and Microsoft haters
because it uses DOS as the "glue" that holds everything together.

2. You may be lucky enough to have a PnP aware BIOS. The option in the
BIOS setup will be "PnP aware OS?" Answer "NO", and the PnP devices will
be set up from the system BIOS, like they should be. Why they created
this PnP standard so that the peripherals have to be set up from
software is beyond me. All the "good" hardware platforms, including the
PCI part of the Wintel architecture, Sun Microsystems, and others, have
device setup and initialization taken care of BEFORE the OS is even
loaded from the disk. All the operating system provides is a driver that
probes for and interfaces with the peripheral.

3. I've heard passing rumors about a hack that utilizes PCMCIA IDE
support in conjunction with isapnptools that would allow you to load
another IDE driver for the tertiary interface. However, I'm not familiar
with the procdeure, and I'm not even sure if this is an actual hack, or
is my imagination running away with me. Since this is posted, does
anyone happen to know if this is possible and/or how this is done? I've
got a SB32 PnP with IDE interface, and extra IDE hard drives, so it's
party time if anyone can explain how this works.


1. Mitsumi FX001DE (ATAPI IDE) CD-ROM as THIRD hard drive on 486

...yes, that's THIRD hard drive.  I am about to try to install this
drive on a system with a JDR Microdevices "smart" (i.e., BIOS-owning)
second IDE controller.  So if anyone has info regarding the new
Mitsumi drive under Linux, or if anyone has tried a >2 hard drive
configuration under Linux, PLEASE let me know.  I will greatly
appreciate any help or suggestions.


P.S. Email replies welcome.  Thanks.
John Rulnick  

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