[nSLUG] Nvidia nforce3 SATA sata_nv ahci module shenanigans

Luke Gavel fidomail2002 at yahoo.ca
Sat Oct 18 05:22:56 ADT 2008


Very interesting!  Thanks for the fresh ideas.  I have the same mtb mentioned in that website forum link you included in your reply: the K8N AMD Sempron system with nvidia nforce3 sata 250Gb.  I have some old redhat distros kicking around too, 5.2, 6, 7.1, and 8.  I'll give it a shot with the 7.x.


--- On Sat, 10/18/08, Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [nSLUG] Nvidia nforce3 SATA sata_nv ahci module shenanigans
> To: "Nova Scotia Linux User Group" <nslug at nslug.ns.ca>
> Received: Saturday, October 18, 2008, 12:04 AM
> 2008/10/18 Luke Gavel <fidomail2002 at yahoo.ca>:
> > Hi,
> >
> > So, I've been in the process of salvaging and
> rebuilding a couple of comps at home.  I have two sata 1TB
> WD HDs and one IDE 40G HD which I was hoping to use to
> expand the role of a amd sempron 1.7Gz fc5 KDE workstation
> into a fileserver.  Nada.  AFAIK after extensive googling,
> not even the latest unstable kernel version includes a
> module that will recognize nvidia's nforceX sata
> chipsets--unless someone else knows otherwise?  Please?
> 
> You haven't given any model numbers or the exact
> chipset version.  The
> list of nforce chipsets is here:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nvidia_chipsets
> 
> nForce 2, 3, 4, 500, 600, and 700 have SATA support.
> 
> This link:
> http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html#nvidia
> says that:
> 
> libata driver "sata_nv" added as of 2004-07-08
> development code,
> included in kernel 2.6.8, and now production quality. As of
> 2006-01-25, Nvidia provided provided information (under
> NDA) that will
> permit implementation of NCQ support. Note: Nvidia's
> proprietary Linux
> i386 binary driver bundles for its chipsets seem to rely on
> (and in
> some cases furnish) Garzik's "sata_nv" driver
> — presumably adding to
> that Nvidia's own subdriver to support nvRAID disk
> formatting.
> However, as usual, you're probably better off using
> Linux's own
> open-source "md" software-RAID driver for the
> RAID functionality.
> 
> Note that newer Nvidia chipsets have switched to the AHCI
> open standard.
> 
> ---
> 
> nVidia's support page for Linux is here:
> 
> http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_nforce_1.23.html
> 
> It says the following distros have built-in support:
> 
>     * SLES 10 (2.6.16.21)
>     * RHEL 3 UP7 (2.4.21-40)
>     * RHEL 4 UP4 (2.6.9-42)
>     * RHEL 4 UP5 (2.6.9-55)
>     * Fedora Core 5 (2.6.15-1)
>     * RHEL 3 UP8 (2.4.21-47)
>     * SuSE 10.2 (2.6.18.2)
>     * RHEL 5 (2.6.18-1)
> 
> But it also clearly says that the sata_nv driver comes with
> the kernel
> source, and should work.
> 
> I also found a website forum post which states that newer
> versions of
> the kernel no longer work, but using an older version of
> the sata_nv
> driver is OK.
> 
> http://www.pctechtalk.com/forums/linux/19841-nforce3-sata-linux.html
> 
> Strangely, it says kernel 2.6.5 work, although the above
> page says the
> driver wasn't included in the mainstream kernel until
> 2.6.8.  But it
> sounds like the poster is using RedHat, and they futz with
> the kernel,
> putting in beta drivers and crap.  So you really can't
> be sure which
> kernel will work.
> 
> He does say, however, that he was able to compile a newer
> kernel with
> the older driver.
> 
> In any case, that was ages ago, and I can't imagine
> these problems are
> still around.  Older chipsets should be sorted by now. 
> Newer chipsets
> use the AHCI standard, so should be no problem either.
> 
> I must say it's a bit weird that you provide a generic
> link to Jeff
> Garzik's page, and say it tells you that no one is
> interested in
> taking nVidia's sample code and integrating it into the
> kernel.  The
> websites I found with a quick google suggest something
> opposite: that
> Jeff Garzik wrote a working sata_nv kernel module, and that
> nVidia is
> now distributing it along with their proprietary extras
> which enable
> things like motherboard RAID.
> 
> Anyway, keep trying, and maybe check the SATA options (AHCI
> vs. legacy
> mode) in your BIOS.  Whatever it's set to, switch it,
> and try again.
> 
> If not, do yourself a favour and buy an Intel chipset next
> time!
> 
> Good luck,
> 
> -D.
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> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
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