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Re: Install Debian 9.1 stretch on Pentium II system: pata_hpt3x2n required?

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On Tue, Sep 05, 2017 at 10:34:46AM +0100, David Max wrote:
> Hello
> I am attempting to install Debian 9.1 stretch on an old Pentium II system.
> Setup --
> cpu Pentium II 400 MHz
> ram 512 MB
> video card ATI RAGE IIC AGP
> hdd #1 6.8 GB Fujitsu (with Windows installed, also a 1GB Linux swap
> partition)
> hdd #2 80 GB Seagate, attached to Highpoint 133SB Rocket Raid (PCI) card

Uh. Historical. (Don't get me wrong: if it runs... i find it commendable
when people try to wring some life from a system instead of sending it
off the dump -- unless it is a 12kW devouring monster, that is.

> Install process goes well until the stage of searching for disks. Then the
> first disk is detected fine, but 2nd doesn't show up.
> If I pause the installation sequence at disk detection, driver pata_hpt37x
> is shown by lsmod. lspci shows the Highpoint card as "RAID bus controller
> HighPoint Technologies, Inc. HPT302/302N (rev 02)".

Hm. Parallel ATA support seems to still be there, but you are exercising
paths which don't get exercised these days very much. Perhaps some module
isn't being loaded which should (best case) or some driver isn't working
any more (worst case). If you don't know any better, you can play around

  find /lib/modules -type f -name "*pata*"

and try modprobing things which seem to make sense. Wear protective
goggles 8-)

> As some background, Knoppix 7.2.0 installs okay on the Seagate drive but I
> seem to have broken it by upgrading some packages (and removing
> libreoffice). On boot, Knoppix complains that graphics cannot be
> initialised, I think because package xserver-xorg-video-ati has been
> unpacked but not installed (i.e., on the Knoppix hdd installation).
> The aim is to see if this old machine can take on a new life as a router.
> Traffic rates through it are adequate for current needs. If Debian install
> can be completed, I will switch to LXDE for the desktop (quite lightweight
> as I understand).

Consider ditching the desktop environment (and X) altogether: it's a
router after all, and you have one piece of historical hardware less
to worry about (unless it Just Works, or it is part of your challenge,
that is).

> If Debian can be installed Knoppix will be replaced but the old Windows
> install on hdd #1 will be retained.
> After a little research, I believe a driver pata_hpt3x2n might be required?

On my system, there are two (very roughly) matching candidates:


You can have a look at the sources (I'd expect those drivers to be
pretty stable, so the exact version wouldn't matter much). You can
browse sources at https://git.kernel.org/, e.g.:


The source, and your PATA chipset model together might offer some

Good luck, and... keep us up to date :-)

- -- t
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