Soundblaster SCSI/Adaptec 1520 Driver Problem

Soundblaster SCSI/Adaptec 1520 Driver Problem

Post by Les Gass » Sun, 19 Dec 1993 05:19:54

I have a 486DX2-66 machine with 32 MB memory, 500MB of IDE disk, a
Soundblaster SCSI-2 card (which is a Soundblaster combined with an
Adaptec SCSI controller on the same card), and a Toshiba 3401 SCSI
CDROM drive.  The Soundblaster card employs an Adaptec SCSI host
adapter (the Adaptec hardware is actually mounted on the SoundBlaster

Drew Eckhardt (the author of the Linux SCSI-Howto) says:

  It should be using an AIC-6260 chip, this is compatable with the
  Adaptec 1520.  However, the 1520 autoprobe routine may not work, so
  you may have to use the LILO command line overrides for the driver
  (see the SCSI HOW-TO) to make it work even if it is going to work.

I've just bought the Yggdrasil CDROM Linux distribution with the
Revision B Fall 93 boot disk. Drew also says:

  Also note that the Adaptec 1520 driver isn't in any kernel released
  before .99.14, and that there are a few bugs in the revision that made
  it into the first Yggdrasil boot disk that had it although they have
  released a new boot disk that you should be able to get via anonymous
  ftp from them. [This is the Fall93 rev B boot disk I have.]

So today I tried the Yggdrasil boot disk and cdrom, to no avail. [It
is supposed to boot up directly using the boot disk and the cdrom,
without requiring hard-disk installation first, and this has worked
for at least one other person I know with a different CDROM/controller
configuration.]  LILO begins booting, does detect the Soundblaster
part of the Soundblaster SCSI card, apparently fails to detect the
CDROM--it seems to think that the CDROM has just had a reset or has
just been opened-- and eventually hangs after issuing lots of error
messages about areas it cannot read (evidently because these are on
the undetected CDROM).

The SCSI-HOWTO helpfully supplies (what I think are) the required
parameters to activate the driver properly. However, the "normal" way
to interrupt the Linux LILO process seems to be to type <alt> or
<ctrl> at the LILO startup message--at least that's what the
Installation HOWTO says. Ydggdrasil docs warn me not to type anything
here, but typing either <alt> or <ctrl> has no effect.

How do I interrupt the Yggdrasil LILO and boot process, and get to
where I can manually enter parameters? Apparently the Yggdrasil boot
disk and its LILO don't match the "normal" Linux interruption
convention here (as outlined in the Linux "Installation-HOWTO).

I'd be happy to handle most of this myself, but I need info that only
Yggdrasil seems to have. (This has been sent to them as well.)

Has anybody else handled this sort of problem before? Any help
would be appreciated.


-- Les

Institute of Safety and Systems Management
927 West 35th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0021 USA

Voice: 213.740.4046
Fax:   213.740.9732

================ From SCSI-HOWTO: ================================

Subsection C : Adaptec 151x, 152x (ALFALFA diffs)
ALFALFA diffs are available from
A bootable kernel incorporating the ALFALFA disks is

Supported Configurations :
Addresses : 0xd8000, 0xdc000, 0xd0000, 0xd4000, 0xc8000, 0xcc000, 0xe0000,
Ports : 0x140, 0x340
IRQs : 9, 10, 11, 12
DMA is not used
IO : port mapped

Autoprobe : works with all supported configurations, requires installed BIOS

Autoprobe Override :
Compile time :
Define PORTBASE, IRQ, SCSI_ID, RECONNECT as appropriate, see Defines

LILO commandline : aha152x=<PORTBASE>,<IRQ>,<SCSI-ID>,<RECONNECT>

Defines :
AUTOCONF      : use configuration the controller reports (only 152x)
IRQ           : override interrupt channel (9,10,11 or 12) (default 11)
SCSI_ID       : override scsiid of AIC-6260 (0-7) (default 7)
RECONNECT     : override target dis-/reconnection/multiple
        outstanding command - set to non-zero to enable, zero to
DONT_SNARF     : Don't register ports (pl12 and below)
SKIP_BIOSTEST  : Don't test for BIOS signature (AHA-1510 or disabled BIOS)
PORTBASE       : Force port base. Don't try to probe


1. Installing RedHat 4.2 using Soundblaster SCSI (Adaptec 1520) adapter

Has anyone out there successfully installed RedHat Linux 4.2 on a system with a Soundblaster  
SCSI card.  This card uses the Adaptec 1520 adapter and normally requires parameters
(aha152x=0x340,11,7,1) to be passed to the ramdisk at boot-up time.  Well, Redhat has a field
for these parametes after you choose your SCSI adapter and I am having no luck with this.  The
message I get back is that the adapter is not found in the system.  

So I tried to use the boot1540.img.gz file to boot with using the instructions in the
accompanying text file and I am similarly having no luck.  I am instructed to boot with the
boot1542  boot disk and when prompted for a ramdisk, place the RedHat 4.2 boot floppy in the
disk drive.

 What follows is the
exact dialogue that occurred:

VFS: Insert root floppy disk to be loaded into RamDisk and press ENTER.

<I now insert RH4.2 boot floppy>

RAMDISK: Couldn't find valid ramdisk image at 600.

VFS: Insert root floppy and press ENTER

<I place the boot1540.img image diskette in drive>

VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly

Unable to open an initial console.

<System freezes>

Has anyone had better luck than I have with this?

Feel free to e-mail reply.  Thanks.

Austin Pitt.

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