Basic IDE Controller Card - to wait, or not to wait....

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Mon Nov 13 16:35:54 MST 2006

On Mon, 2006-11-13 at 15:59 -0700, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> > Kenneth wrote:
> > 
> >> The local CompUSA has a cheap card which I can pick up tonight, but I
> >> am not sure it would be compatible with Linux.
> > 
> > Because the IDE card should really only be providing a BIOS link to your 
> > hard drives, I don't think you need to worry about compatibility with 
> > Linux or any other OS.  As long as the card provides whatever 
> > hardware-level magic the BIOS requires to tell the kernel about the 
> > drive, you should be fine.
> I don't believe that's true.  Although GRUB uses BIOS to load the 
> kernel, Linux doesn't use BIOS to actually talk to the drives.  There 
> needs to be a Linux driver for the card.

True.  You can disable your drives entirely in the BIOS and linux will
still see them through its own drivers.  You most definitely *do* need
driver support for any IDE controller card you add.  I've always had
good luck with cards like the promise IDE 133.


> However, there's a good chance the card uses a common chipset, so I bet 
> some driver in Linux 2.6 supports the card.  The main risk is that you 
> might lose 15% of your purchase price and a couple of hours.  That's not 
> a bad risk.
> Shane
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