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

Check Dells web site for a bios update - I had to get an updated bios on one that I worked with one time to get all the bios functions back - they dumb down the default one that ships with some units to avoid user errors.

Carl Keil wrote:
I totally hear what you're saying.  There are a few problems when it comes
to my individual situation though.  I bought this dell on ebay, not through
dell.  It was only $349.  I had to upgrade the RAM and I bought the sata
drive, but still waaay shy of $2K.

I've been going through the bios for hours and I don't see much.  It is
incredibly simplistic.  Every option seems like either "auto" or "off".  The
thing that's killing me, I really believe is this "C:" drive as basically
the only HD boot option in the "boot options" menu.  There is a whole other
menu you can go into on boot, called "boot options" if you hit F12 instead
of F2 for the BIOS.  When I hit F12 I can see a better list of boot options.
Primary/Secondary SATA Primary/Secondary ATA etc.  If I select Primary ATA
from this list I boot up fine.  This is going to have to work for a while
for me, but I don't like not being able to just reboot and have it come up

I don't understand why I can't have this complete list in the normal BIOS.
Is there some trick?  I keep thinking there must be some kind of trick, like
holding down the option key or something when going into the BIOS or
something that puts it into expert mode, because the options are soooo


-----Original Message-----
From: Terrell Prudé, Jr. [mailto:microman cmosnetworks com]
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2004 1:15 PM
To: carl snarlnet com; Support list for opensource software in schools.
Subject: 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
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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