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The Sound of SATA

millie O&M David C. Simpson

So, to continue the story, I got around to installing the SATA disk yesterday. At first I disconnected the IDE hard disks to prevent damage. Then I connected the SATA disk using the instructions I found on the wikipedia - it's much easier than an IDE disk. Then I tried to boot the Mandriva Ehad 2006 installation CD, which I prepared in advance.

What happened? Nothing. The computer did not recognise the CD (but it recognised the SATA disk - yay!). However, a poweroff and poweron solved this and the installation proceeded. I selected all the usual options. There were a few glitches during the installation. At one point, it complained about a bad file or something like that. Then, the bootloader installation completely confused it. To resolve this, I rebooted the CD and selected the restore bootloader option. It refused to install LILO, but installing GRUB was successful, and I was able to boot the system.

This time I made sure to put /home under a separate partition, to later facilitate re-installation, or dual-booting. The Internet worked out of the box, and I was able to get Samba working. What I did afterwards was (in a rough chronological order):

  1. Re-enabled the IDE disks. This just involved connecting them again.
  2. Recreated my home directory from my backup archives, which I backed up on a Windows machine.
  3. Upgraded to Mandriva 2007.
  4. Configured /etc to my liking.
  5. Installed and configured Apache 2.2.x, rsync, slocate, SpamAssassin, several Perl modules, and other packages that were absent in the default Ehad installation.
  6. Tried to build kernel 2.6.18. However, booting it using grub caused a blank screen to appear, and before that make install complained about a missing module, which I couldn't find. I resorted to installing kernel "2.6.17.13-mm-desktop-1mdvsmp", which is the Mandriva Multimedia kernel (up to 4 GB) with SMP support.
  7. Moved some files from the old hard disk to their rightful place.

Now, I'm on the SATA disk. df reads:

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1              40G  2.7G   37G   7% /
/dev/sda2              83G   38G   46G  46% /home
/dev/hdb3             5.2G  4.4G  815M  85% /mnt/kubuntu
/dev/hdb1              69G   38G   31G  56% /mnt/old-mandriva
/dev/hda1              26G   23G  3.7G  86% /mnt/win_c
/dev/hda5              49G   49G  377M 100% /mnt/win_d

The SATA disk seems very fast. It took me under a minute to unpack the latest Linux kernel. So now I'm now hopefully back on track. In the meantime I was able to do some Test-Run hacking, as well as catching up with my email and RSS feeds.

Finally, here's a joke I told to my dad: "The bad thing hardware is that it sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. The good thing about software is that it's consistent: it alwaays does not work, and always does not work in exactly the same way".

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