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MSI P965 Neo / JMicron Raid

1. Hardware

2. Problem

Booting the Linux kernel causes a variety of error messages. Attached SATA drives are not found by the ata_piix driver.

Errors appearing at the console after the ata_piix driver loaded included:

qc timeout cmd 0xel

failed to identify 

3. Solution 1

Disable the JMicron RAID in the BIOS. In the case of the MSI P965 Neo, the setting is located at:

Integrated Peripherals | On-Chip ATA Devices | IDE\RAID Control  

Set this to Disabled. This was set to IDE by default.

4. Solution 2

When booting into the CentOS 5.0 installer, type linux noprobe at the opening screen. Manually select the following driver:

Intel PIIX/ICH ATA Controllers (ata_piix) 

Even though the regular install method loads the ata_piix driver, this method allows the SATA drive to be seen.

This has not been tested on CentOS 4.4.

5. Notes

Attempting to boot into the CentOS 5 i386 rescue mode yielded the same errors so there is no fix there.

Searching for a fix to the problem found users of other distros and motherboards having similar problems. This fix might work on other motherboards with the JMicron RAID.

Booting into the Acronis True Image Workstation 9.1 Bootable Rescue Media caused similar errors. Clearly the Bootable Rescue Media created by TIW is Linux based although the Acronis website does not clearly state this fact or provide any details on the software used.

After disabling the JMicon Raid, boot time messages still included the following:

abnormal status 0x7F on port 0xF307

However the attached SATA drive was still visible and the system still seemed to function normally.

Further information on JMicron raid at http://www.jmicron.com/

2023-09-11 07:19