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[ale] Compaq partitions on servers

Thanx for the wealth of info. I had already installed debian by bypassing 
it( their bios based OS install keep asking for floppies). I am wondering 
if I should just download the dos version. If I don't need that partition 
I could just wipe it. Tho I might just check out the new version. I 
wonder if you could flash it with LOBOS or XOSL?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

On 05/04/2001, 10:12:29 AM, Jeff Hubbs <Jhubbs at niit.com> wrote regarding 
RE: [ale] Compaq partitions on servers:

> Rod -

> I've run into this before.  It's a rather troublesome thing that Compaq 
> doing for a number of years called the "maintenance partition."  It was a
> separate partition with its own filesystem type, and the deal was that if
> you hit the right key at the right spot in the bootup, a GUI utility for
> BIOS config would launch from that partition.  If you hunt around enough 
> Compaq's site, you can download floppy images, burn floppies from those, 
> boot to those floppies for making BIOS changes - then you can nuke that
> partition on the disk drive, replace the drive, or whatever you want.

> That partition "exists" for real on the drive, but it's not available to 
> from Linux.  Linux' fdisk can nuke it and it may even allow you to create
> one.  One utility that is available on the floppies (if you make them) is
> the ability to create a new maintenance partition, format it, and load 
> GUI utils into it.

> When you boot it to Linux (even via tomsrtbt, if you haven't actually 
> Linux on it yet), check the dmesg to see if the kernel detects one of the
> buggy CMD640 or RZ1000 EIDE chips (see http://mindprod.com/eideflaw.html 
> a treatment).  This is a problem that hurts the operation of most any
> multitasking OS on pre-1997 PCI-bus machines.  I have had machines ball 
> under Linux and NT both on account of this problem.  If you gather and 
> junkers like I do, you have to watch out for this.  There is a kernel 
> setting that will include a workaround for the CMD640 that MAY correct 
> problem when you recompile, but apparently many of these chips are also 
> plan wired up wrong on the mobo.

> The safest bet, if you find that you have one of these buggy controllers
> (the page I linked you to above says that as of 10/95, ALL versions of 
> two chips are defective) is to simply not use it.  I have an AT&T 
> 630 at the house (Micro Seconds was selling them by the truckload w/o RAM 
> disk for $20) and I simply dropped a SCSI card and disk in.  On that
> machine, the secondary controller was ISA-bus, so I put the CD-ROM there; 
> you absolutely had to put an IDE disk drive in, that's where it should go
> even though it would be slower.  Alternatively, it's a good excuse to 
> up a diskless machine.

> - Jeff

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Rod Young [mailto:development at combiz.net]
> > Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 9:45 AM
> > To: ale at ale.org
> > Subject: [ale] Compaq partitions on servers
> >
> >
> > What is this for? I have a Prosignia 300 (old p150). It has three
> > partitions(FS, swap, & compaq).
> > Boot up shows the compaq partitionas SDA4 even tho there are
> > only three
> > partitions. Any ideas?
> > --
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> >
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