Installing Mandrake 6.0 on Pentium 100 with 32MB RAM & ASUS P/I-P55SP3AV Mainboard (with SIS 5511/5512 Chipset)

Multi-Part Question

Is my hardware (specifically the SiS chipset) compatiable, and if so what non-standard things do I need to do to get it working?

Does the SYNC option make ext2 partitions more robust in the event of a hardware hang forcing a cold re-boot without shutdown?


During Mandrake 6.0 Installation I can't get Disk Druid or FDisk to recognize a Primary Slave Drive on the SiS integrated EIDE controller.

FDISK gives up and returns to the installer routine and Disk Druid reports "FDISK Error - An error occurred reading the partition table for the block device hdb. The error was: Input/Output Error".

The Primary Master is a Samsung WNR-31601A (1.61G, ATA-2 PIO 4) and the Primary Slave is a Quantum Fireball 1280 (1.2G, ATA-2 PIO 4). BTW, the Secondary Master has an IDE CD-ROM drive.

I have flashed the BIOS to the latest (0206 to 0208) available and slowed the second (hdb) drive to PIO mode 3.

I installed the entire Root directory tree on hda3 and after the fact I used boot options for hda & hdb to describe their CYL/HDS/SEC based on the drive geometry in the CMOS set-up. Since they are using LBA I also used the LINEAR option in the Mandrake-Linux installation.

I got both my NICs working, DHCP client working, IPCHAINS/IP-Masq working (probably with many security holes yet to be fixed). I was able to connect a Win95 PC on my internal LAN to the Internet via my cable-modem.

After doing all of the above I was able to get FDISK to partition the hdb drive into a 128mb swap (hdb1) and a ext2 (hdb2) partitions and get mkfs.ext2 to format hdb2.

After mounting hdb2 using linuxconf, I moved /home onto that partition and soon after I had a machine lock up while adding a user account.  After re-booting via the power switch I found I had trashed the file system on hda3. (It wouldn't even recognize the root password).  BTW, the boot disk (rescue disk?) built by the Mandrake installer was as useless as the boot disk built by Win95 (hopefully it IS more useful and I just have a lot to learn).

So... I started the installation from scratch and re-did in 2 hours what took 10 hours the first-time around (I'm a Linux newbie, but fairly good with MS-DOS & Win9x. A log book is a real life saver).

Win95 is still on hda1 and both IDE drives work properly under Win95.  I have hammered the second drive with DOS based diagnostics and it checks out OK.

--end (finally) --
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Part 1:  Yes I have an SiS chipset and it works.
You must disable the LBA mode and hard code the drive specs (usually printed on the drives themselves) in to your bios.
Also, you must disable the PnP section of your bios.  This should be all it takes.

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