[linux] Problem with big big hard drive

Dan Sanderson lists at dansanderson.com
Sat May 24 20:04:34 PDT 2003

I recently got a brand new Maxtor 7200 RPM 200GB hard drive (Maxtor
6Y200PO). This is the Maxtor Ultra Series 8MB cache, Ultra ATA/133. My
BIOS detects it fine as the secondary slave, and Linux assigns it
/dev/hdd as appropriate. But any attempt to fdisk /dev/hdd results in
"Unable to open /dev/hdd," and /var/log/messages to log "hdd: driver not
present." I'm using kernel 2.4.18-bf2.4 (Debian 3.0). Does anyone have
any ideas on what "driver not present" means in this context? Anyone
know what I might be missing?

The drive came with an Ultra ATA/133 PCI card, which I haven't tried yet
and originally assumed was optional. This has given me the impression
that UDMA is rather new, at least relative to my motherboard (please
correct me if I'm wrong). So I'm learning about Ultra DMA a little
after the fact. The Linux UDMA Mini-Howto ([1]) says UDMA should be
backwards compatible with EIDE (without the UDMA bus speed), and I
shouldn't have to do anything special to get it to work. I don't know
much about my motherboard except that it's at least a few years old and
reports itself as "Via Apollo Pro PCISet" on start-up (which I assume
close to this: http://www.via.com.tw/en/apollo/PRO.jsp). The mini-howto
mentions a possibly old problem with "TX Pro and other 'Pro' boards,"
but I don't know enough to know if that applies here, and by now I'm
probably way off track.

I haven't tried using the PCI card yet, but the mini-howto implies
there's a chance that it might just work, assigning drives to hde-hdh.
I'm not optimistic; the card comes with "Windows-only" drivers, which
reeks of being too new to work with Linux. I've been tempted to get a
new motherboard and processor for a while now, so maybe this is a good

Any other thoughts? Anyone got a favorite ATX motherboard they want to
plug? (I'm terrible with motherboards. Lately it seems like the
motherboard/CPU purchasing decision and compatibility issues have gotten
even more complicated, but maybe it's just me.)

Thanks, all!
-- Dan

[1] UDMA mini-howto: http://www.linux.org/docs/ldp/howto/mini/Ultra-DMA.html

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