Re: ide disk spin down & won't restart

mlord (
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 16:59:47 -0500

Alain Williams wrote:
> Hi,
> I have just installed redhat 5.0 (kernel 2.0.31) on my Gateway2000 Solo laptop.
> I find that if the hard disk spins down the kernel won't bring it up again.
> The disk will spin down either because it hasn't been used for some time or when I close
> the laptop lid (in which case pressing the restart button takes it out of 'sleep' mode).
> I have configured APM into the kernel, this didn't help.
> What happens is that I get messages of the form:
> hda: status timeout: status=0xff { Busy }
> hda: drive not ready for command
> ide0: reset timed-out, status=0xff

We have had reports like this for laptops computers for some time now.

Here is what is happening: The chipset in your laptop includes
special hardware support for powering down the IDE controller
and drive. Linux has no knowledge of this happening, and thus
does not know which bits in which registers need to be triggered
to cause the stuff to power back on.

If you send me the output of "cat /proc/pci" from your laptop,
then I *may* be able to help you with a temporary patch.

We're adding a chipset interface to /proc/ide/* to allow user-mode
programs to be written to combat things like this.

The Linux IDE guy