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Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

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Unread 24-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #11
Rex Ballard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On Nov 24, 6:26 am, raylopez99 <raylope...***********> wrote:
> On Nov 23, 4:48 pm, Erik Funkenbusch <e...@despam-funkenbusch.com>
> wrote:
>
> > On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 16:19:00 -0800 (PST), raylopez99 wrote:
> > > Really what I'm looking for in this post is a reply by an experienced
> > > installer who says: "been there, done that, it could be X,Y,Z...and
> > > good luck". Morale support more than anything.


I had problems installing "Generic" XP onto SATA drives, but I had no
problem installing SUSE Linux 10.

> > I have seen the problem before. Things to check:

>
> > Do you have any USB devices attached? I know, stupid question, you've
> > already whittled it down, just double check. Some BIOS's can have goofy
> > results with certain USB devices attached.

>
> USB available but nothing in fact attached.
>

I will assume that you've checked you boot sequence. You probably
want to make sure that your primary SATA drive has been properly
installed. The BIOS also has a "Compatibility" mode for the SATA
drives. This may have been defaulted to the harder to support AHCI
interface. The compatibility mode lets the BIOS "emulate" an IDE
drive (OS sees the drive as IDE instead of SATA). This does prevent
the command queing features of SATA-II.

> > Is the drive configured to be a primary master? Some bios's won't boot off
> > secondary or slave drives. Also, set it to Master explicitly, don't rely
> > on cable-select.


SATA drives don't have any selection jumpers. Since the SATA cables
are smaller, it's easier to run 4 separate cables instead of two
multiconnector "bus" cables.

> Yes. set in BIOS.
>
> > Try removing the CD-Rom after the OS is installed. Just for kicks.

>
> Too much bother. Jack in this thread is onto the real problem: SATA
> drives cannot be used to load Windows unless you load external drivers
> during the installation--you have six seconds to do so, and WIndows
> before Vista does not recognize non-floppy drives! And this system
> doesn't have a floppy (only a CD)! Screwed (unless you use a third
> party 'slipstream' utility, see below).


Check the BIOS, make sure that you are not using the AHCI settings.
Those familiar with Linux know that AHCI is often used with FireWire
drives, it allows the host to sent a series of commands in sequence
and have them asynchronously executed, when the requests are
completed, the host is alerted. Linux has good support for this, but
only commercial distributions have it compiled into the kernel. If
you have an SD drive or can boot off of IDE or USB drive, you can put
the root partition on that drive and let modprobe discover the AHCI
interface and mount the AHCI SATA-II drives in high-performance mode.
The simpler solution is to just set "Compatibility Mode". Normally,
unless you are using your desktop for a relational database of several
million records, you will have a hard time telling the difference.
Linux will still try to optimize for the real track and cylinder size
rather than using the default LBA settings.

> > Try "resetting" the BIOS to defaults. I've seen corrupted CMOS do that.
> > Also try clearing the CMOS via jumper.

>
> Too much bother. But thanks.


Resetting to defaults would probably set you back to AHCI mode.

> Yes, good point, I will install IDE not SATA. This is my latest
> workaround.


On Windows, there is very little difference in performance. On Linux,
you will see a substantial increase in performance with the SATA
drives, especially SATA-II drives. This is assuming that both drives
are 7200 RPM drives.

> Otherwise I'd have to do all kinds of tricks including
> using a third party utility to 'slipstream' the installation using a
> CD with SATA drivers (which for Hitachi I'm having a hard time
> finding) burned in: see:http://weblogs.asp.net/jkey/archive/...28/423901.aspx


Do you know which motherboard you are using? The board in the cite
above was using VIA chipsets.

> Verdict: installation of OSes suck, and I doubt Linux is any better.


You might still have the AHCI problem, but ti's trivial to "fix". I
had no trouble installing SUSE 10.2 and SLED 10 into SATA-II drives.

> > If you have the ability to flash the BIOS to a later revision, try that too.

>
> This bios is from this year. Not the problem.


It's still a good idea to check. Often, newer boards, especially
those with SATA-II drives were released before the standards were
finalized. Even my T61p Thinkpad had a new flash for the SATA-II BIOS
interfaces.

The main difference beteen SATA-I and SATA-II drives is the higher
speed serial bus. Some mothereboards also have support for SAS
(Serial Attached SCSI) as well. Some new flashes let you "mix and
match" SAS and SATA drives. In much the way Linux squeezes more
peformance from SCSI drives, it also milks performance out of SAS
drives as well, especially if you configure multiple drives in RAID.

> Oh well, I didn't spend that much money so I can't complain (one-fifth
> of US prices). I'll simply use the SATA HD as a secondary HD, use an
> older IDE as the primary HD, and see if that works. I'll report back
> my results. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.


Looking forward to seeing your final solution.

> RL


 
Unread 24-11-2007, 07:01 PM   #12
raylopez99
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On Nov 24, 5:52 am, Linonut <lino...@bollsouth.nut> wrote:

> SATA used to be a problem when installed Debian. The install would fail
> if you were installing the 2.6 kernel. You had to install the 2.4
> kernel, and then later figure out how to install the 2.6 kernel yourself
> and switch all your partitions from the /dev/hdN naming to /dev/sdN
> naming.
>
> These days, the only problem I run into is when building a new kernel
> from the install .config -- for some reason sata_nv (Nvidia chipset)
> isn't picked up by mkinitrd. The workaround is easy, just compile it
> into the kernel.
>


Listen to you, Linonut. You are quite the pro. Imagine now, somebody
like me, who actually programs as a hobby (using the super user
friendly MS Visual Studio suite for C#, C++.NET), not being able to
install an OS easily where the HDs are SATA. Now picture Joe and
Sally Average trying to do it.

No wonder Linux has <1% market share.

RL
 
Unread 24-11-2007, 07:01 PM   #13
raylopez99
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On Nov 24, 8:56 am, Rex Ballard <rex.ball...***********> wrote:

>
> I had problems installing "Generic" XP onto SATA drives, but I had no
> problem installing SUSE Linux 10.


OK, a vote for SUSE linux 10. If the distro fits on a CD, if my
present efforts fail I might try it.

>
> > > I have seen the problem before. Things to check:

>
> > > Do you have any USB devices attached? I know, stupid question, you've
> > > already whittled it down, just double check. Some BIOS's can have goofy
> > > results with certain USB devices attached.

>
> > USB available but nothing in fact attached.

>
> I will assume that you've checked you boot sequence. You probably
> want to make sure that your primary SATA drive has been properly
> installed. The BIOS also has a "Compatibility" mode for the SATA
> drives. This may have been defaulted to the harder to support AHCI
> interface. The compatibility mode lets the BIOS "emulate" an IDE
> drive (OS sees the drive as IDE instead of SATA). This does prevent
> the command queing features of SATA-II.


Interesting. I just checked out AHCI on Wikipedia and it looks
tough. I think you may be onto something, since the BIOS mentioned
"spread spectrum" is the default for SATA on this board (the mobo is a
cheap but somewhat functional product by ASRock ConRoe133-D667 release
2.0)--it only has one IDE slot for example which necessitated hooking
the DVD/CD as a "slave" to the EIDE I am using now as a primary HD-see
my previous post just now to this thread)

>
> > > Is the drive configured to be a primary master? Some bios's won't boot off
> > > secondary or slave drives. Also, set it to Master explicitly, don't rely
> > > on cable-select.

>
> SATA drives don't have any selection jumpers. Since the SATA cables
> are smaller, it's easier to run 4 separate cables instead of two
> multiconnector "bus" cables.


True, true. SATA is nice and fast but on this system hard to
configure.

>
> > Yes. set in BIOS.

>
> > > Try removing the CD-Rom after the OS is installed. Just for kicks.

>
> > Too much bother. Jack in this thread is onto the real problem: SATA
> > drives cannot be used to load Windows unless you load external drivers
> > during the installation--you have six seconds to do so, and WIndows
> > before Vista does not recognize non-floppy drives! And this system
> > doesn't have a floppy (only a CD)! Screwed (unless you use a third
> > party 'slipstream' utility, see below).

>
> Check the BIOS, make sure that you are not using the AHCI settings.
> Those familiar with Linux know that AHCI is often used with FireWire
> drives, it allows the host to sent a series of commands in sequence
> and have them asynchronously executed, when the requests are
> completed, the host is alerted. Linux has good support for this, but
> only commercial distributions have it compiled into the kernel. If
> you have an SD drive or can boot off of IDE or USB drive, you can put
> the root partition on that drive and let modprobe discover the AHCI
> interface and mount the AHCI SATA-II drives in high-performance mode.
> The simpler solution is to just set "Compatibility Mode". Normally,
> unless you are using your desktop for a relational database of several
> million records, you will have a hard time telling the difference.
> Linux will still try to optimize for the real track and cylinder size
> rather than using the default LBA settings.


OK, but you're talking to yourself and others as equally knowledgeable
at this point. I code for fun, have a technical background, have
rewired a house and done plumbing and auto repair, and I can't figure
it out. What chance does Joe Average have? No wonder DELL got so
big--and WIndows.


>
> > > Try "resetting" the BIOS to defaults. I've seen corrupted CMOS do that.
> > > Also try clearing the CMOS via jumper.

>
> > Too much bother. But thanks.

>
> Resetting to defaults would probably set you back to AHCI mode.
>
> > Yes, good point, I will install IDE not SATA. This is my latest
> > workaround.

>
> On Windows, there is very little difference in performance. On Linux,
> you will see a substantial increase in performance with the SATA
> drives, especially SATA-II drives. This is assuming that both drives
> are 7200 RPM drives.


Interesting. I did not know not much performance difference. Thanks
for the tip, it makes me feel better, though this system is a gift to
a non-power user who could care less about performance. Yes, both are
7200 RPM drives. I take it you are not convinced that Windows Vista
Ultimate (64 bit edition) can get the extra performance out of SATA
drives. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if 64 bit Vista is not that
much faster than 32 bit XP, since most software and drivers are not
written in 64 bit. But this Core 2 Duo chip is 64 bit so I'd like to
see it with a 'true' OS--if you have a LInux distro that optimizes 64
bits let me know, and I'll see if I can get another cheap chip and
build such a system (I got this chip at a price so low you'd think it
was stolen, but it's not--prices in Asia where I got it are 20% of USA
prices--talk about grey market arbitrage opportunities).


>
> You might still have the AHCI problem, but ti's trivial to "fix". I
> had no trouble installing SUSE 10.2 and SLED 10 into SATA-II drives.
>
> > > If you have the ability to flash the BIOS to a later revision, try that too.

>
> > This bios is from this year. Not the problem.

>
> It's still a good idea to check. Often, newer boards, especially
> those with SATA-II drives were released before the standards were
> finalized. Even my T61p Thinkpad had a new flash for the SATA-II BIOS
> interfaces.
>
> The main difference beteen SATA-I and SATA-II drives is the higher
> speed serial bus. Some mothereboards also have support for SAS
> (Serial Attached SCSI) as well. Some new flashes let you "mix and
> match" SAS and SATA drives. In much the way Linux squeezes more
> peformance from SCSI drives, it also milks performance out of SAS
> drives as well, especially if you configure multiple drives in RAID.
>
> > Oh well, I didn't spend that much money so I can't complain (one-fifth
> > of US prices). I'll simply use the SATA HD as a secondary HD, use an
> > older IDE as the primary HD, and see if that works. I'll report back
> > my results. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

>
> Looking forward to seeing your final solution.



Later, thanks for the tips,
RL
 
Unread 24-11-2007, 07:01 PM   #14
dapunka
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On 24 Nov, 18:03, raylopez99 <raylope...***********> wrote:
> On Nov 24, 5:52 am, Linonut <lino...@bollsouth.nut> wrote:
>
> > SATA used to be a problem when installed Debian. The install would fail
> > if you were installing the 2.6 kernel. You had to install the 2.4
> > kernel, and then later figure out how to install the 2.6 kernel yourself
> > and switch all your partitions from the /dev/hdN naming to /dev/sdN
> > naming.

>
> > These days, the only problem I run into is when building a new kernel
> > from the install .config -- for some reason sata_nv (Nvidia chipset)
> > isn't picked up by mkinitrd. The workaround is easy, just compile it
> > into the kernel.

>
> Listen to you, Linonut. You are quite the pro. Imagine now, somebody
> like me, who actually programs as a hobby (using the super user
> friendly MS Visual Studio suite for C#, C++.NET), not being able to
> install an OS easily where the HDs are SATA. Now picture Joe and
> Sally Average trying to do it.
>
> No wonder Linux has <1% market share.


You must be deliberately misreading what Linonut said. He says that
SATA /used/ to be a problem; that nowadays he runs into problems when
building a new kernel. Joe and Sally Average are unlikely to be
building new kernels, don't you think?

And anyway, you haven't even tried to install Linux yet. You haven't
even downloaded it yet.

So please tell us: how does Linonut's comment explain why "Linux has
<1% market share"?

 
Unread 24-11-2007, 09:00 PM   #15
Erik Funkenbusch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean, formated HD?

On Sat, 24 Nov 2007 10:16:34 -0800 (PST), raylopez99 wrote:

>> I will assume that you've checked you boot sequence. You probably
>> want to make sure that your primary SATA drive has been properly
>> installed. The BIOS also has a "Compatibility" mode for the SATA
>> drives. This may have been defaulted to the harder to support AHCI
>> interface. The compatibility mode lets the BIOS "emulate" an IDE
>> drive (OS sees the drive as IDE instead of SATA). This does prevent
>> the command queing features of SATA-II.

>
> Interesting. I just checked out AHCI on Wikipedia and it looks
> tough. I think you may be onto something, since the BIOS mentioned
> "spread spectrum" is the default for SATA on this board (the mobo is a
> cheap but somewhat functional product by ASRock ConRoe133-D667 release
> 2.0)--it only has one IDE slot for example which necessitated hooking
> the DVD/CD as a "slave" to the EIDE I am using now as a primary HD-see
> my previous post just now to this thread)


Spread Spectrum is not a setting for hard disks, that's a memory setting,
typically used to reduce problems with electrically noisy environments.

You also want to make sure it's not in RAID mode if such a mode is
available, usually you have to disable RAID or set RAID mode to "Legacy" or
SATA or something like that.

>>> > Is the drive configured to be a primary master? Some bios's won't boot off
>>> > secondary or slave drives. Also, set it to Master explicitly, don't rely
>>> > on cable-select.

>>
>> SATA drives don't have any selection jumpers. Since the SATA cables
>> are smaller, it's easier to run 4 separate cables instead of two
>> multiconnector "bus" cables.

>
> True, true. SATA is nice and fast but on this system hard to
> configure.


Sorry, didn't notice that it was SATA. It's still strange, because you
should at least get to the boot manager.

Have you tried pressing F8 just after POST (you might have to do it
repeatedly) to see if the boot menu comes up?
 
Unread 25-11-2007, 06:00 AM   #16
raylopez99
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On Nov 24, 12:48 pm, Erik Funkenbusch <e...@despam-funkenbusch.com>
wrote:

> You also want to make sure it's not in RAID mode if such a mode is
> available, usually you have to disable RAID or set RAID mode to "Legacy" or
> SATA or something like that.
>


> Sorry, didn't notice that it was SATA. It's still strange, because you
> should at least get to the boot manager.
>
> Have you tried pressing F8 just after POST (you might have to do it
> repeatedly) to see if the boot menu comes up?


Thanks Erik, I'll take note of this for future reference and when I
install a SATA non-primary, secondary drive to the EIDE that's the C:
drive.

RL

 
Unread 25-11-2007, 04:02 PM   #17
Linonut
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean, formated HD?

* raylopez99 fired off this tart reply:

> On Nov 24, 5:52 am, Linonut <lino...@bollsouth.nut> wrote:
>
>> SATA used to be a problem when installed Debian. The install would fail
>> if you were installing the 2.6 kernel. You had to install the 2.4
>> kernel, and then later figure out how to install the 2.6 kernel yourself
>> and switch all your partitions from the /dev/hdN naming to /dev/sdN
>> naming.
>>
>> These days, the only problem I run into is when building a new kernel
>> from the install .config -- for some reason sata_nv (Nvidia chipset)
>> isn't picked up by mkinitrd. The workaround is easy, just compile it
>> into the kernel.

>
> Listen to you, Linonut. You are quite the pro. Imagine now, somebody
> like me, who actually programs as a hobby (using the super user
> friendly MS Visual Studio suite for C#, C++.NET), not being able to
> install an OS easily where the HDs are SATA. Now picture Joe and
> Sally Average trying to do it.
>
> No wonder Linux has <1% market share.


You didn't get the "these days" reference? Or you chose to ignore it?
Which is it?

Imagine someone installing a recent distro, already properly configured,
such as Ubuntu.

Now imagine DELL selling it.

Or imagine Walmart selling gOs.

I don't think much of your imagination. Nor of your concept of "market
share".

Nor of your comparison of me, the Linonut, who just loves tinkering with
things, even risking breaking them royally and destroying data (and I
have done that), with your average Joe who depends upon the kindness of
others in order to have a working system.

And I'm not even /close/ to being a Linux expert. Not even /close/.

--
Tux rox!
 
Unread 25-11-2007, 09:03 PM   #18
thad05@tux.glaci.delete-this.com
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean, formated HD?

Linonut <linonut@bollsouth.nut> wrote:
[ gratuitous deletia ... ]
>
> And I'm not even /close/ to being a Linux expert. Not even /close/.


Well, I'll go ahead and claim to be a Linux expert (at least I play
one in the consulting world), and even I rarely compile a kernel unless
I'm working on an embedded project. With modern distros and their use
of kernel modules, I've typically been fine running the generic kernel.
I suppose I could shave some boot time by eliminating some of that
unnecessary hardware probing, but why bother... I've got more important
stuff to do.

The truth is Linux is currently better than Windows in regards to
hardware detection and ease of installation. People only think
otherwise because they usually buy their system with Windows already
installed on it.

Thad

 
Unread 25-11-2007, 11:03 PM   #19
Jim Richardson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean, formated HD?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 14:17:32 -0600,
thad05@tux.glaci.delete-this.com <thad05@tux.glaci.delete-this.com> wrote:
> Linonut <linonut@bollsouth.nut> wrote:
> [ gratuitous deletia ... ]
>>
>> And I'm not even /close/ to being a Linux expert. Not even /close/.

>
> Well, I'll go ahead and claim to be a Linux expert (at least I play
> one in the consulting world), and even I rarely compile a kernel unless
> I'm working on an embedded project. With modern distros and their use
> of kernel modules, I've typically been fine running the generic kernel.
> I suppose I could shave some boot time by eliminating some of that
> unnecessary hardware probing, but why bother... I've got more important
> stuff to do.
>


we had to compile a kernel at work a few months ago. Wanted drivers in
the kernel that weren't supported at the time. Might as well not have
bothered, as the next kernel version had them, and we didn't do any
installs with the version we made in the interim.

> The truth is Linux is currently better than Windows in regards to
> hardware detection and ease of installation. People only think
> otherwise because they usually buy their system with Windows already
> installed on it.



Bingo!

Oh the grief our Windows guy goes through with XP installs compared to
the Linux desktops! oy, I feel sorry for the guy.

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iD8DBQFHSe/cd90bcYOAWPYRAngPAKDbF7Qbzah898wABvWIzVfB8VCP/ACeMMkK
Hu5O0jvRM+7S8rI8qAUgS3E=
=k1NC
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
I'd explain it all to you, but your brain would explode.
 
Unread 26-11-2007, 06:03 PM   #20
raylopez99
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Boot sector problem with Vista? Howto load Linux onto a clean,formated HD?

On Nov 25, 7:49 am, Linonut <lino...@bollsouth.nut> wrote

> Nor of your comparison of me, the Linonut, who just loves tinkering with
> things, even risking breaking them royally and destroying data (and I
> have done that), with your average Joe who depends upon the kindness of
> others in order to have a working system.
>
> And I'm not even /close/ to being a Linux expert. Not even /close/.
>


So, you love to tinker with OSes rather than use them to do real
work. This is known as having a hobby. I would not quit my day job.

Linux is hobbyware--the thrill is just getting it to work, nothing
else.

RL
 
 

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