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

Tim Litwiller tim at litwiller.net
Sun Oct 24 21:11:09 UTC 2004

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 

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
> normally.
> 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
> limited.
> ck
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Terrell Prudé, Jr. [mailto:microman at cmosnetworks.com]
>>Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2004 1:15 PM
>>To: carl at 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.  :-)
>>Do you GNU!? <http://www.gnu.org>
>>Be virus- and spam-free with Free/Open Source Software (FOSS).
>>Check it
>>out! <http://www.mozilla.org/thunderbird>
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