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SubjectRe: 2.4.20-pre4-ac1 trashed my system

On Thu Aug 29 13:46:10 2002, Mike Isely wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Aug 2002, Andre Hedrick wrote:
> > If you have a system which has a 28-bit limited host, and it has been
> > openly discussed on lkml for many months, why would one not use the
> > jumpon.exe from maxtor to prevent such problems.
> I have never used "jumpon.exe" from Maxtor. I don't even know what it
> is (yet, I'm sure I'm going to find out awful quick now...). When I set
> up the system, it "just worked" from day 1 with the existing IDE driver
> in the 2.4.19-preX series so I had no reason to go looking for issues
> like this.

I did some digging and I think I can answer these points a little
better now.

If "28-bit limited host" refers to a system BIOS which can't do LBA48,
then I don't think that's a problem here. I've been successfully
booting this system without any special tweaks / fixes (hardware or
software) for quite some time now. The Asus A7V266-E motherboard does
indeed use an Award BIOS, but it's Award version 6.0 dated 2000, not
1999 as in some previous posts about there being trouble booting >32GB
hard drives. Note: Since I was booting from the onboard Promise
controller, the Promise BIOS was in play here too. It's version
2.01.0 build 43, copyright 2001.

I understand now that jumpon.exe is a Maxtor utility to help boot hard
drives >32GB in systems which otherwise can't do this. I never
learned about it before because I've never had this problem. Indeed,
the first OS I put on the hardware was Linux (last December using a
2.4.18 kernel with additional IDE patches to support LBA48); it didn't
even see a DOS/Windows type boot disk until months later.

So I don't think any of this is an issue.

> I'll add more details as I learn them, but right now I must point out:
> The same hardware configuration ran 2.4.19-ac4 just fine. The only
> change to the system was booting the newer kernel. No hardware changes,
> no BIOS updates, nothing else. Whatever went wrong got introduced
> somewhere between that version and 2.4.20-pre4-ac1.

I think the above point is extremely important.

> I will go back further in lkml and get up to speed on what happened back
> then with the "48 bit bomb", and I will look into your references about
> "28-bit limited host" and jumpon.exe.

I've done some more looking through the lkml archives and I found
discussions from March / April about LBA48 problems and the Promise
controller. Clearly from that, exactly how well LBA48 works seems to
depend a lot on whether or not PIO vs DMA vs UltraDMA is being used.
Also it looks like if CONFIG_IDE_TASKFILE_IO is on then things may yet
be different. To those points, I can add these details for my
situation: I believe the driver was in UltraDMA mode at the time and I

I do understand your response here to my post. I'm making an
extraordinary claim here for something that should just not happen at
all. I understand the doubt. The simple fact however is that I still
have a trashed system, and it happened only after updating the kernel.
I know that's not a lot to go on, and again I apologize for lack of
detail. I originally wasn't going to post to lkml about this; I have
been a quiet Linux user for 8+ years and really felt that a problem of
this severity would probably already have been noticed. I really
didn't want to jump into the fray with this sort of "information".
However several others that I work with (who are closer to the lkml
community than I) really insisted that I post this information,
however incomplete it is. So I did.

If I'm the only one that has hit this - another reason for doubt -
then I guess have no choice but to dig deeper. I can't really leave
the broken system like this to play with. However I do have a smaller
spare hard drive and I'll make that the new system disk, leaving the
160GB Maxtor attached to the Promise controller (with nothing valuable
on it). I should be able to replicate the corruption and provide more
information here, hopefully while still having a usable system.


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