It would be nice to combine this with the Large-Disk-HOWTO (a mini HOWTO). It would still be called the same name but would be a major rewrite. Email to Andries Brouwer: email@example.com (author of Large-Disk-HOWTO). -- David Lawyer
I think this is a pretty good idea, since it would keep everything in one place. I'm CC'ing a copy of this e-mail to Mr. Brouwer with the original message appended. I think we can do some good making some suggestions for the ball of bandaides that is the current IDE disk structure. In particular, we should suggest that future changes to the partition table and the boot make use of the wasted track at the head of each partition. There's no reason to continue with a partition table limited to four entries, and 32-bit sector addresses, nor a 512 byte boot record, especially when megabytes are wasted on the boot track. We ought to ask for professional performance from the people responsible for the current PC disk quagmire, and there's no reason we shouldn't have a coordinated upgrade to the bios, the OSs, and the disk structure that eliminates this running into limitations every time disks get bigger. It's not likely to stop any time soon. We should at least have 64-bit sector addresses. The LDP could lead the way, and Linux could easily be the first OS that took advantage of this.
Mr. Brouwer, here's the original message:
I'd like to write a mini-HOWTO on huge disks, greater than 8 Gb, having recently had the experience of installing a 27 Gb disk, and then finding that Linux wouldn't boot. There's no easily accessible information in the LDP, and I had to use 30 years of experience and a lot of effort to get things going. It turns out that if you know about the latest LILO and what happens during booting, you can solve the problem. However, advice from current HOWTOs is either to use LOADLIN, write LILO to the MBR, or locate the linux partition below the 1024 cylinder limit. None of these is satisfying for the new big disks, and with disks inclined to increase beyond 137 Gb, some sort of forward looking HOWTO is indicated. Gary