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  1. #1
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    I have spent 2 solid days trying to install any recent release of Linux. I wanted to upgrade from Ubuntu (v 7, I think) to v 10, but the online attempt to go to v 8 failed. When I tried to install v 10 from the live CD, it failed because the HD could not be found. I then tried and failed to install recent versions of Mepis, PCLinux, Mint, OpenSUSE, Debian, Sabayon. The live disks run fine, but not one of them could find my HD. But... when I tried an old version of Mepis, it installed and ran. An old version of Kubuntu also installed and is running now.

    The HD is a WD1200JD (SATA). It obviously works. I also did a wipe and reset the boot sector using the Western Digital tools. Can anyone tell me how to figure out what is going wrong? Would a new HD work, or is the Asus mobo just too old? Is there any test that will tell me? The old versions of Linux are not attractive, but the new ones look quite nice. What to do???

  2. #2
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    There has been an ongoing issue with Linux not finding SATA drives. One workaround is to provide at least one PATA drive. Another is to add 'irqpoll' to the grub boot command. See if this helps: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=764891
    You can also google for 'linux sata drives irqpoll'

    By the way, Ubuntu doesn't use single number version numbers. The latest version is 10.04, the upcoming release is 10.10, the prior release was 9.10, with 9.04 before that. The numbers correspond to the year and the month of their release, with releases being every 6 months (April and October), and both numbers (the year and the month) being crucial in identifying the version.

  3. #3
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    Peter,
    Thanks for the reply. I will try the grub fix, if I can figure out how to do it. It is strange that it is the recent releases that have problems with a SATA drive, when the old releases find the drive without any difficulty.

  4. #4
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    I am also stymied by how hardware support disappears and reappears in Linux. I never went to Ubuntu 9.10 because it recognized neither my nVidia card nor my wifi card. And the sound card driver was total screwed up (amazing amounts of static). But 9.04 and prior releases, and 10.04 work just fine. Go figure. When 10.10 is released I will ensure that the Live DVD likes my hardware before upgrading.

  5. #5
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    Around that time more people had problems with drives changing letters (hda becoming sda, or reverting back from sda to hda and such)...
    One thing I would try would be to boot the latest version from cd (10.04 at this time.. 10.10 to come out this month), and check if that recognizes it..
    Try a basic
    cat /proc/partitions
    or such to see if it can see the harddisk, and else maybe check the syslog for some answers... if it sees it, the problem is probably the upgrade, not the version itself...

    Another thing would be to go the launchpad (the ubuntu bug report forum) and check if this harddisc type is in the known problems list, and else report it and wait for some answers.

  6. #6
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    I finally found a solution to my problem. After 3 days of trying every distro I could find, I recalled that I had an old SATA controller. I found the controller and plugged it into a PCI slot on the Asus mobo, then moved the SATA cable from the mobo to the controller. It worked immediately. I installed Simply MEPIS with no problems. I didn't like it, so I installed Ubuntu 10.04. I like Ubuntu and had an old version of it running before I attempted to use something more recent. Unfortunately, the 64-bit Ubuntu does not play sounds. I found several solutions on various help sites, but they involved changing or deleting files that are protected. I then tried to learn how to change permissions, but the methods described do not match what I see on my screen. So.... I plan to try the 32-bit Ubuntu, rather than spend several days trying to repair the no-sound version. I may find that the 32-bit version does not work either. From what I have read, the no-sound problem is not unique to my machine.

  7. #7
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    B Williams, I have a similar sata disk problem and an asus mobo. What mobo do you have the pci controller on? Mine is asus A8N. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    My mobo is an A8V-XE. The manual says 2006. That doesn't seem so long ago, but the thing is acting like it is an early design.

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