Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 71217
Full disk not visible
Last modified: 2008-08-01 12:22:52 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
Description of problem:
I have two IBM 120GXP 40GB drives installed in old P200MMX with an old <32GB
BIOS. (No new BIOS is available)
I programmed drives to report 32.8GB using IBM DM2K to allow the system to boot.
I used the option append hda=5005,255,63 hdc=5005,255,63 to see the full
capacity. I also tried 79780,16,63 and 39890,32,63.
IBM says drive has 80,418,240 sectors and all of these combinations are that
size or smaller.
The boot messages recognize geometry from append, but also show 32.8GB capacity.
FDISK will create full size partitions by using x,c,<cylinders> where
<cyliders> matches the append line.
The full size partitions cause install to give the following error:
The partition table on device HDx was unreadable. To create new partitions, it
must be initalized, causing the loss of ALL DATA on this drive. Would you like
to initialize this drive?
Pressing <Ctrl><Alt><F2> and running fdisk shows a perfectly good partition
with the full 40GB.
How do I force the RH7.3 installer to use the real geometry of the drives
instead of the bogus geometry that I have to give the BIOS?
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1.boot: linux hda=5005,255,63 hdc=5005,255,63
3.create swap, root, and home partitions
Actual Results: Warning message: The partition table on device HDx was
unreadable. To create new partitions, it must be initalized, causing the loss
of ALL DATA on this drive. Would you like to initialize this drive?
Expected Results: The installer should have prompted for mount points and used
the full size partitions to install.
When accessing large partitions created in fdisk, there are seek errors.
The notes in DM2K say that software can access the full capacity of the drive
even when the drive is set to report 32.8GB to BIOS.
A google search shows others resolving this problem under other distros by
using kernel 2.2.14 or later.
I am NOT using the physical jumper to reduce capacity as the jumper really
changes the geometry on IBM drives instead of only changing the reported
> The boot messages recognize geometry from append, but also show 32.8GB
Are these the messages from the kernel when the system is booting up?
Yes, the messages are from the kernel and happen during boot.
Reassigning to kernel.
did you jumper the disks?
Jumpering IBM disks changes the actual capacity of the drive and when jumpered
only 32GB can be used. Setting the capacity reported to BIOS using the drive
configuring utility from IBM allows the drivers to set the capacity to the full
As a test I did try setting full capacity in the configure utility and
jumpering the drive, but the results were as expected... The OS could not see
more than 32GB, even win98 could not see the full capacity when the drives were
jumpered for 32GB.
When the test was complete, I restored the jumper to the full capacity setting
and used the utility to set 32GB for BIOS compatiblity. Since win98 was
installed at that point, I confirmed that it could see the full 40GB.
Reinstalling RH7.3 resulted in the same problem.
Been a bit, just want to indicate that the resolution is still desired.
Tested 8.0 and it's identical.
Thanks for the bug report. However, Red Hat no longer maintains this version of
the product. Please upgrade to the latest version and open a new bug if the problem
The Fedora Legacy project (http://fedoralegacy.org/) maintains some older releases,
and if you believe this bug is interesting to them, please report the problem in
the bug tracker at: http://bugzilla.fedora.us/