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Re: [K12OSN] sata as secondary HD - server won't boot [OT]

Carl Keil wrote:

Hey Folks,

I dropped a sata drive in my Dell 400sc k12 server and got the home
directory moved there.  Rebooted a few times, everything was hunky dory, so
I proceed with a clean reinstall of k12ltsp on the ata drive.  Now, the
server will only boot if the sata drive is disconnected.  I think I hosed
the proprietary MBR on the "C:" drive of the server(the original ata drive),
so it thinks the sata is the "C:".  (There is very annoying windows
centricness in the BIOS where the "C:" is the only hard drive boot option.)
I really feel like this is a bios boot order problem, but I need to be able
to tell the dell to boot of the primary IDE before the sata.  But wouldn't
it go there when it didn't find anything bootable on the sata buss?  Anyway,
does anyone have a clue what to do?  I need the sata back because it's got
/home on it.


I'm not familiar with this specific Dell model, but after searching their site, it looks like a new enough model that it should still be covered under the Dell warranty. Note, though, that Red Hat Linux 9.0 and RHEL 3.0 are actually listed as supported OS's, so just tell 'em you're running RHL 9. :-)

There shouldn't be any "proprietary MBR" format, since Dell supports RHL on these beasties. Remember that Windows OS's themselves need to run on multiple types of boxes and mobo chipsets, and thus for that, MS stays pretty vanilla. Not to knock what you're saying; I'm just thinking that maybe there's a BIOS option that's getting overlooked. I just built a box w/ both ATA and SATA, and, just having fun going through the BIOS options, I discovered an option for "replace primary IDE channel with SATA." You might look for something like that as well. I agree with you on that there absolutely should be the ability to boot from the ATA drive even when one or more SATA drive(s) is/are present.

If Dell support cannot or will not help you, then I'd suggest sending it back, getting your money back, and rolling your own. You *know* you'll have standard hardware that way, and I have yet to have a problem when going this route. If that happens, we on the list can give you plenty of inexpensive HW suggestions for K12LTSP. :-)

BTW, I just built another Dual Athlon 2GHz w/ 4GB DRAM, this time using twin 160GB SATA drives for /home (software RAID 1) and one 40GB ATA drive for the OS. This thing is a freakin' monster! :-) I haven't tried any timing tests yet, but it sure feels fast as greased lightning, including for disk xfers. Yes, I know, SCSI RAID 5's better/faster, but since it came outta mah own pokket, SATA was good enough. All in a really cool case...for less than $2000. :-)

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