[ILUG] harddisk swap
blf at utvinternet.ie
Fri Apr 30 07:49:50 IST 2004
| From: Timothy Murphy <tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie>
| Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 22:53:39 +0100
| On Thursday 29 April 2004 19:54, Enda wrote:
| > Where the drive class is the same, ie, SCSI / IDE etc, the device labels
| > are the same, and with partition schemes been suggested identially out of
| > the box, the probability of swapping MBR's and them working is very very
| > high.
| Have you ever done this?
YES (years ago, when IDE was the “new‟ thing).
multiple times, in fact. (pre-IDE, my memory
is this could be very tricky due(?) to the BIOS
driver having to know about issues like landing
zones and timing; details which the IDE hides.)
in addition, with some restrictions, it is
also possible to use the same MBR on drives
with different geometries.
offhand, I cannot see why SCSI/ATA/whatever
would matter here, but have never tried it
in that situation (i.e., between different
data-bus technologies). IDE, incidently,
is not a data-bus technology per se, but the
name for smarts on the drive --- Integrated
Drive Electronics (should be Integrated Drive
Firmware (IMHO))), albeit a driver for non-IDE
drives using the same data-bus technology,
AFAICR, won't work with an IDE drive (hence
the confusion: it seems similar to an ATA
driver not working for SCSI or visa-versa).
the main (only?) issue back then was the
C/H/S data (Cylinder/Head/Sector; i.e.,
the drive “geometry‟), both within the BIOS
driver, and within the MBRs partitioning table.
the MBRs boot program used standardized BIOS
calls, and so was typically the same for most
(all?) drives. then, and I think now, you
could often set the BIOS C/H/S data by hand,
so _if_ you knew what you were doing, it was
possible to use the “wrong‟ MBR, by lying to
the BIOS. typically, you had to doublely-lie,
because often what was settable was the drive's
“type‟ (nothing(?) more than pre-canned C/H/S),
rather than raw C/H/S values --- so the trick
was to find a sufficiently similar C/H/S “type‟.
nowadays, since there are several different
sets of BIOS calls (due to poor design; i.e.,
silly limitations in older sets), I suppose
an MBR program for one drive/BIOS might not
work with a different drive and/or BIOS?
but that is mere *speculation* on my part!
| > Even in the case where you are the admin, and you manage to screw the
| > "standards" up, as long as you do it consistently, you'll have a ball.
| I don't know what this means.
another term for what Enda is saying
is “systematic error‟ --- does it make
p.s. it's been years (> 10?) since I was writing
hard disc device drivers and boot-blocks, so
I presume I have forgotten or misremembered
some details. apologies for any mistakes!
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