[PlanetCCRMA] Hard drive speeds & hdparm

Fernando Pablo Lopez-Lezcano nando@ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Mon Mar 17 19:53:01 2003

[Hey list: just back from Germany. The LAD meeting was GREAT... I'll
post something latter or tomorrow, I'm just trying to catch up with
emails now]

>    On a new machine using the Asus A7V333-X motherboard and RH 8.0, I have a
> newer, faster 80GB EIDE drive. As booted, hdparm -tT /dev/hda reports a
> speedy 320MB/S for buffered speeds, but only 7.5MB/S unbuffered speeds.
> Online people talk about approaching 45-50MB/S with this drive under
> Windows. I'd like to do that.
>    Unfortunately, the command from the Planet to speed a drive up
> /sbin/hdparm -c 3 -d 1 -m 16 -A1 /dev/hda
> isn't doing anything at all. Following that, the drive continues at 7.5MB/S.
>    During boot there is a message that this MB has an unrecognized chipset,
> which is a newer Via chipset that supports a 333MHz front side bus. dmesg
> also gives an email address to report it, so I did, but this MB has been
> around since last year, so I think this is a RH 8.0 issue, and probably not
> a raw Linux issue.

This is a kernel issue. The kernel is not new enough (if it is
2.4.19-1.ll that is understandable) and does not know (probably) how to
enable dma for that particular chipset. You could try to manually
install the trial 2.4.20 kernel that has not yet made it to the
repository, it most probably will fix the problem. I'll see if I can put
all that stuff online soon. 

-- Fernando

This is what I sent to the list a while ago:

You may want to test drive a planetary 2.4.20-pre4 kernel just for the
fun of it :-) You will find the rpms in:


You will have to download and install them manually as they are not part
of the repository. You don't need all the rpms that are there. Get only:
from the i686 directory:

from the i386 directory:
(needed only if you want to compile new kernel drivers - but this kernel
has been compiled with gcc 3.2 so you are out of luck in 7.3 :-)

To install the kernel:
  (do **NOT** use rpm -Uvh as that will erase previous kernels!
   you have been warned!!)
  rpm -ivh kernel-up-2.4.20-1.12.ll.acpi.i686.rpm
To install the alsa driver:
  rpm -Uvh alsa-driver-2.4.20-1.12.ll.acpi-0.9.0-45.i686.rpm
To install the kernel sources (optional at this point):
  rpm -ivh kernel-source-2.4.20-1.12.ll.acpi.i386.rpm