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80GB Western Digital HDD without DMA?  BIOS trouble?

Posted on 2004-08-18
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
So I purchase a spiffy new WD HDD, pop it in without a second thought, and it works.  Yay!  I remove it sometime later to bring to a friend's house (properly packaged in ant-static and all that) bring it back, pop it in, and my PC no longer starts up successfully.  BIOS init. is incredibally slow, going so far as to pause before drawing the last character of the phrase "Memory Check" during startup.  After a very slow memory check (even though quick tests are enabled), the rest of it is displayed 1/4 of the screen at a time, diagonally.

I grow quite worried as the system just stops after performing the HDD SMART test (which passes, amusingly enough) turn it off, and pop the drive.  After examination, my ATA133 (thin, yellow) cable has two connectors: black and grey.  I try the opposite position, no effect.  I switch the HD from primary master to slave, no luck.  I move it to CS (Cable Select, I believe) and all is well - it identifies as Primay Slave, but it's bootable.  I boot into Gentoo Linux 2004.2 (2.6.7-gentoo-r10 kernel with all the bells and whistles) (I also have Slackware installed) and discover the fsck app complaining about a lack of DMA.

So, I whip out my handy hdparm app and have a look - true enough, DMA is disabled.  I attempt to enable dma (-d1) and it fails with "operation not permitted".  Any ideas?
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Question by:topfloorcomputer
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 11837969
first we're going to need more info:

1) what did you use if for when you brought it to your friend's house

2) when you switched from primary to slave, you say "no luck."  Does that mean you weren't able to access it at all, or did the computer not even notice it?

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by:topfloorcomputer
ID: 11839400
1) I used it as my primary drive (it was the only one in there) containing quite the variety of partitions, including an NTFS partition for Windows XP (not installed yet), two reiserfs partitions for Slackware and Gentoo respectively, and an extremely large (remainder of the drive) partition for shared data between operating systems.

2) When I switched it, it continued the slow (as in 1mHz CPU speed) processing as per the previous setting.  Switching to CS allowed the machine to boot at normal speed, but without DMA.
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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 11840839
Western Digital drives have a separate jumper setting (Single) when you use them with nothing else attached.  When you have a second device on the same cable, you need to change the jumper to master or slave.
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Author Comment

by:topfloorcomputer
ID: 11908814
Bing.  That was the solution - thanks!
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