[svlug] RedHat 7.3 large disk installation woes

J. Paul Reed preed at sigkill.com
Mon Jan 13 00:32:14 PST 2003

Ok... this is gonna get interesting, but I'll try to explain:

I just bought a new Western Digital 80 gig drive. I had some trouble
getting the BIOS to even recognize the drive (boot would hang on
detection), but now the machine boots and all seems well.

So, I try to install RH 7.3, since 8.0 still seems a bit green for me, and
it only sees 32 gigs of the drive (16535/16/63, C/H/S). Ok. I've dealt
with this before: just pass the kernel the hda=C,H,S option.

Well, the RedHat installation kernel would have none of that... and
refused to see anymore than 32 gigs of the drive.

Ok. Well, let's try this: I'll partition the partitions I want below 32
gigs (for instance, I wanted a 30 gig partition for /), let it install
everything there, then go and add the partitions above 32 gigs after I
have a "real" working kernel, and move the stuff in /var over.

So, I do a test installation to see if this will work at all. During the
install, I tell it to have GRUB pass hda=155061,16,63 to the kernel; upon
booting for the first time, I see that the kernel *did* pick up the
options, but it's still seeing it as a 32 gig drive.

Hrm... curious.

Well, I'll just use fdisk in expert mode to fix this problem; I set the
number of cylinders; heads and sectors are correct. I make the other
partitions I want and 'w'rite them to the partition table.

fdisk, now, will have none of that and exits, saying "Unable to seek


I've *never* seen *that* before...

So, I defer to the wisdom of the SVLUG gods... 'cause I have no idea
what's going on.

I didn't tinker around with my BIOS, but maybe I need to set something
there (I notice it has different access methods in addition to C/H/S
settings, i.e. "Normal", "Large," and "LBA"; I didn't play with any of
those). I also didn't play with passing the 'linear' option to the kernel,
since I don't really know what that'll do.


... who has no .sig 'cause it's on his... workstation which... well... see
above. ;-)

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