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15. Hard drives

All hard drives should work if the controller is supported.

Users of large Western Digital IDE hard drives (40GB up to 200GB at least) manufactured before 2003-03-25 should look at this FAQ for an update that fixes a serious bug in those drives.

(From the SCSI HOWTO) All direct access SCSI devices with a block size of 256, 512, or 1024 bytes should work. Other block sizes will not work (Note that this can often be fixed by changing the block and/or sector sizes using the MODE SELECT SCSI command).

Large IDE (EIDE) drives work fine with newer kernels. The boot partition must lie in the first 1024 cylinders due to PC BIOS limitations.

Some Conner CFP1060S drives may have problems with Linux and ext2fs. The symptoms are inode errors during e2fsck and corrupt file systems. Conner has released a firmware upgrade to fix this problem, contact Conner at 1-800-4CONNER (US) or +44-1294-315333 (Europe). Have the microcode version (found on the drive label, 9WA1.6x) handy when you call.

Many Maxtor and Western Digital IDE drives are reported to not happily co-exist on the same IDE cable with the other manufacturers drive. Usually one of the drives will fail during operation. Solution is to put them on different IDE cables.

Certain Micropolis drives have problems with Adaptec and BusLogic cards, contact the drive manufacturers for firmware upgrades if you suspect problems.

15.1. Unsupported

The following hard drives are mentioned as not supported by Linux. Read the bug report available.

  • NEC D3817, D3825, D3827, D3847 "These drives are slightly non-SCSI-2 compliant in the values reported in Mode Sense Page 3. In Mode Sense Page 3 all NEC D38x7 drives report their sector size as zero. The NEC drives are the first brand of drive we have ever encountered that reported the sector size as zero. Unfortunately, that field in Mode Sense Page 3 is not modifiable and there is no way to update the firmware on the D38x7 drives to correct this problem." Problems are mentioned for D3825 and D3827 (both revision 0407). Revision 0410 of these two hard drives seems to solve this problem.