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SubjectRe: My SCSI HD has 34 heads, not 255...
  From: "Eric S. Mountain" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 1996 15:05:57 +0100 (BST)

I'm slightly puzzled by some recent changes to the AHA152X SCSI driver
which seem to have broken fdisk and hdparm's idea of what my SCSI HD
looks like (though everything else works).

I got my SCSI HD when Linux was at 1.3.91. All worked fine: SCSI
stuff compiled as modules, "Automatic Disk Geometry determination
(CONFIG_SCSI_AUTO_BIOSP)" set on and aha152x selected. Partitioned my
drive as follows:
Disk /dev/sda: 34 heads, 61 sectors, 1017 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2074 * 512 bytes

Device Boot Begin Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1 247 256108+ 7 OS/2 HPFS
/dev/sda2 248 248 346 102663 83 Linux native
/dev/sda3 347 347 379 34221 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda4 380 380 1017 661606 83 Linux native
hdparm reports:
geometry = 1017/34/61, sectors = 2109840, start = 0

Now, with 1.99.9 (pre2.0.9), I get:
Disk /dev/sda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 131 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Are you booting off an IDE drive by any chance?

It's unfortunate that you installed this drive with the CONFIG_SCSI_AUTO_BIOSP
option turned on. It was a badly broken idea. Most SCSI controllers implement
only a small number of cylinder/head/sector translations, and using one not
supported by the controller and driver will lead to a disk that can never be
booted by the BIOS. If the driver provides a function to provide the
translation, then the driver must be consulted not overridden as the old code

You can certainly patch the aha152x driver as you've done, but I really
recommend that your rebuild your disk when you can using the correct


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