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sil3114 sata card



 
 
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  #41  
Old July 16th 19, 09:32 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul[_28_]
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Posts: 1,112
Default sil3114 sata card

T. Ment wrote:
On Wed, 03 Jul 2019 23:06:34 +0000, T. Ment wrote:

I need it for a DOS computer


The Ebay seller told me it does not support DOS.
Looks like my plan for DOS won't fly.


So back to Ebay for a Promise SATA/150 TX4. It can see the SATA drive,
but wont' use it, until you enter its BIOS and create an array -- which
kills any data on the drive.

I had already cloned the drive using linux DD on another computer which
has onboard SATA, and I didn't want to kill the data and start over. But
at this point I had no other option.

With nothing more to lose, I put the sil3114 back in the P3V4X, booted
from IDE, and ran updflash with BIOS version 5.5.00, the latest one. But
as before, updflash failed, and when rebooting, the computer hung again.
That problem was gone for a while, but it came back. Not sure why.

So back to the USB programmer to reflash. Then the computer booted OK.

Next I booted into the sil3114 BIOS and ran the low level quick format,
hoping to make the sil3114 happy.

I disabled the onboard IDE, then installed DOS 6.22 from floppy to the
SATA drive on the sil3114. Then I enabled IDE, and copied a 40 meg file
from IDE to SATA, all in DOS. That worked too. No errors as before.

Disabled IDE again, booted DOS from SATA. Copied the big file again,
from one directory to another. Very fast. about 1.5 seconds, compared to
10 seconds with the IDE drive and P3V4X bios.

So my conclusion is, you can't clone the drive on some other computer
and expect it to work in DOS with the sil3114. You must make the sil3114
happy by using its low level format first. I don't know what INT13 magic
is going on there, but it seems to work.

I will do more testing after reinstalling the other partitions, but DOS
was the only problem before, so hopefully it will all work.


Even for a JBOD disk (not part of an array),
some RAID cards insist on adding metadata that
says the hard drive is not part of any array.

Some other brands, the firmware looks for metadata. If
is is missing, the drive is assumed to be JBOD.

Not that this has anything to do with a file copy
malfunctioning part way through. That doesn't make
any sense.

Metadata and configurations are things that block
mounting or seeing stuff. For example, if I plugged
an Intel disk into a Promise card, the first
partition would disappear. Plug it back into an
Intel port, the partition comes back. That's an example
of metadata at work, and something which isn't compatible
(or the second controller ate), preventing some info
from being used.

A lot of cards put the metadata at the end of the disk,
but a few put it at the beginning. I suspect my disappearing
partition case, plays into that. (

Paul

  #42  
Old July 16th 19, 10:22 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
T. Ment
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Posts: 79
Default sil3114 sata card

On Tue, 16 Jul 2019 16:32:09 -0400, Paul wrote:

Even for a JBOD disk (not part of an array),
some RAID cards insist on adding metadata that
says the hard drive is not part of any array.

Some other brands, the firmware looks for metadata. If
is is missing, the drive is assumed to be JBOD.

Not that this has anything to do with a file copy
malfunctioning part way through.


A RAID card BIOS has its own INT13 code. It can't rely on motherboard
INT13 code, which may not support large drives. But that's just for DOS.
Linux or Windows don't call BIOS, their device drivers do all the work
internally.


That doesn't make any sense.


With DOS, it does. The sil3114 INT13 code does not work right in DOS
without something on the disk put there by its low level format. I don't
need to know what, I just want it to work.


  #43  
Old July 17th 19, 02:15 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
T. Ment
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Posts: 79
Default sil3114 sata card

On Tue, 16 Jul 2019 21:22:59 +0000, T. Ment wrote:

The sil3114 INT13 code does not work right in DOS without something
on the disk put there by its low level format.


Oops, wrong again.

The quick low level format just wipes the beginning of the disk. I don't
know how many sectors it writes, but it's enough to wipe the partition
table.

I now see that when DOS creates its maximum size partition on a wiped
disk, it chooses a different CHS geometry than linux fdisk. Some kind of
interaction between the disk and the sil3114 BIOS tells it to, I think.

DOS sets heads=16, but linux fisk sets heads=255. That's what causes the
DOS copy failure. 16 heads is the limit if you want to use DOS with this
card.

With DOS, cylinders are limited to 1024, no matter what the heads and
sectors per track are. So with heads=16, sectors=63, and cylinders=1022,
your maximum DOS partition is about 500 MB. My problem is, I have a DOS
partition of 2GB, the maximum size with heads=255.

If you don't need a huge DOS partition like mine, the card works.


  #44  
Old July 17th 19, 03:14 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
T. Ment
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Posts: 79
Default sil3114 sata card

On Wed, 17 Jul 2019 01:15:49 +0000, T. Ment wrote:

With DOS, cylinders are limited to 1024, no matter what the heads and
sectors per track are. So with heads=16, sectors=63, and cylinders=1022,
your maximum DOS partition is about 500 MB. My problem is, I have a DOS
partition of 2GB, the maximum size with heads=255.


If you don't need a huge DOS partition like mine, the card works.


But only up to some disk size limit, unknown to me.

I'm not trying to recommend this card for new builds. I just wanted to
know if it works on older PCI bus computers that don't have any SATA. It
works on one of mine. YMMV.


  #45  
Old July 17th 19, 02:36 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
T. Ment
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 79
Default sil3114 sata card

On Wed, 17 Jul 2019 01:15:49 +0000, T. Ment wrote:

DOS sets heads=16, but linux fisk sets heads=255. That's what causes the
DOS copy failure. 16 heads is the limit if you want to use DOS with this
card.


Some final observations:

With the DOS partition working right (heads=16), I flashed the BIOS back
to 5.0.73. The flash worked. That's the trick to prevent updflash from
failing. You must use a DOS partition sized within the limit the sil3114
BIOS supports. To ensure that, use DOS fdisk on a wiped drive and let it
choose its maximum partition size.

Even if you don't use DOS, create a DOS partition anyway, so linux fdisk
uses the same geometry when adding other partitions. Otherwise, you will
get weird linux errors when booting.

Using the older 5.0.73 BIOS, I wiped the disk and let DOS fisk create
its maximum partition again. This time, it set heads=255 to give a 2GB
partition like linux fdisk.

The newer 5.4.0.3 and 5.5.0.0 probably support larger hard drives, and
heads=16 was a trade off required for that. I don't know what the hard
drive size limits are for any of these BIOS, but they all work with my
320GB.

If you get a card with a 5.4.0.3 BIOS and don't care about DOS partition
size, don't mess with it. Flashing with updflash is risky. It won't work
if your DOS partition head count is not compatible with the current BIOS
on the sil3114 card.



 




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