NetBSD Problem Report #38465

From  Sat Apr 19 22:23:41 2008
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Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2008 21:56:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Manual hard drive geometry data entry difficulties
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>Number:         38465
>Category:       install
>Synopsis:       Manual hard drive geometry data entry difficulties
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       serious
>Priority:       low
>Responsible:    install-manager
>State:          open
>Class:          sw-bug
>Submitter-Id:   net
>Arrival-Date:   Sat Apr 19 22:25:01 +0000 2008
>Originator:     Randolf Richardson
>Release:        4.99.58
Inter-Corporate Computer & Network Services, Inc.
sysinst terminated.
# uname -a
uname: not found
BIOS in my Compaq Presario (older computer) with a Pentium II processor and a Maxtor 120 GB IDE hard drive is limited to 8 GBs.  The NetBSD sysinst tool has two problems with entry of manual disk geometry:

0. It doesn't provide an option to specify the number of cylinders

1. After entering the new disk geometry, it skips ahead to the next step without giving the installer a chance to re-enter the numbers

Disk drive information:

Maxtor DiamondMax 9 / 6Y120L0
Actual cylinders:  238,216
Maximum cylinders:  16,383
Heads:  16
Sectors per track:  63
Capacity:  120 GB

Insert the NetBSD 4-current 200804080000Z i386 CD (burned from ISO) into this system, and attempt to install NetBSD.

For problem 0:  Provide a way to specify the number of cylinders (assuming this is possible).

For problem 1:  After the new geometry is entered, instead of skipping ahead to the next step of the installation process (which doesn't provide any information about the new disk capacity), sysinst should return to the screen showing disk geometry, but with the newly entered numbers, so that the installer can double-check their entry before proceeding (it may also be heplful to display the original geometry as provided by the BIOS down at the bottom of the screen, with a sub-title on the preceeding line which reads "Original geometry reported by the BIOS").

Thanks in advance.  I really appreciate how seriously you folks have taken all my reports in the past.  NetBSD is working extremely well at my client sites as servers (running Samba to support Windows clients), which have been replacing Windows boxes -- in most circumstances the users are noticing faster performance (the server hardware was not changed at all, only the server software was upgraded from Windows to NetBSD).

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