Monday, November 27, 2006


So I upgraded to "etch". Didn't solve the problem. Whenever I get to it again, I will have to focus back on kernel configuration.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Problem Remains

I had to compile the kernel once more - I had left ext2 file system support included as a module (the default setting). Since the ext2 support module was on the root partition and the root partition is in ext2 format, the kernel couldn't mount it.

Second custom kernel booted the system fine with ext2 support built-in, but 137GB limit remained.

I may have configured kernel wrong. Or it could be the BIOS or could be fdisk. I had upgraded the BIOS to the latest version available before the building the new kernel. So I will cross BIOS off the list of possible causes.

I'll next follow these instructions for upgrading my Debian distribution to etch.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My First Custom Kernel

I'm compiling my first custom kernel today.

I got going on this when my Debian machine with ASUS A7A266 could access only the first 137GB of a large hard drive I bought recently.

I noticed that KNOPPIX 5.0.1 could see the whole hard drive fine, so I decided to grab the latest stable kernel available on Debian's apt-get repository - 2.6.8 for AMD K7. Well, that didn't solve it.

After some researching, I decided compiling a custom kernel might be the way to go. Among many changes from default setting, I set the CONFIG_BLK_DEV_ALI15X3 option on (A7A266 uses ALi's chipset).

If this doesn't work, I'll be updating fdisk.

(update: Used steps in The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ Chapter 9 - Debian and the kernel, section 9.2)