> > The hardware I have is the built in SATA controller on the 
> > motherboard, which is GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3. With the NVIDIA GeForce 
> > 6100 / nForce 430 and Super I/O chip: ITE IT8716.
> >
> > Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit kernel: atapci0: <GENERIC ATA 
> controller> port 
> > 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6,0x170-0x177,0x376,0xf000-0xf00f at device 6.0 on 
> > pci0 Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit kernel: ata0: <ATA channel 0> 
> on atapci0 
> > Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit kernel: ata1: <ATA channel 1> on 
> atapci0 Oct  4 
> > 04:07:30 kermit kernel: pci0: <bridge> at device 7.0 (no driver 
> > attached) Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit kernel: atapci1: <GENERIC ATA 
> > controller> port 
> > 0x9f0-0x9f7,0xbf0-0xbf3,0x970-0x977,0xb70-0xb73,0xd000-0xd00f mem 
> > 0xf7004000-0xf7004fff irq 20 at device 8.0 on pci0 Oct  4 04:07:30 
> > kermit kernel: ata2: <ATA channel 0> on atapci1 Oct  4 
> 04:07:30 kermit 
> > kernel: ata3: <ATA channel 1> on atapci1 Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit 
> > kernel: atapci2: <GENERIC ATA controller> port 
> > 0x9e0-0x9e7,0xbe0-0xbe3,0x960-0x967,0xb60-0xb63,0xe400-0xe40f mem 
> > 0xf7000000-0xf7000fff irq 21 at device 8.1 on pci0 Oct  4 04:07:30 
> > kermit kernel: ata4: <ATA channel 0> on atapci2 Oct  4 
> 04:07:30 kermit 
> > kernel: ata5: <ATA channel 1> on atapci2 Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit 
> > kernel: ad0: 76293MB <Maxtor 6L080P0 BAH41G10> at 
> ata0-master UDMA33 
> > Oct  4 04:07:30 kermit kernel: ad4: 953869MB <Seagate ST31000340AS 
> > SD15> at ata2-master UDMA33
> This motherboard uses the nForce 430, but the SATA portion is 
> actually a subset chip called the MCP61.  I've confirmed this 
> by looking at PRs 116880 and 108830.
> I can see two things from the dmesg:
> 1) FreeBSD has no idea what this controller is, or any "quirks"
> surrounding the controller (meaning it's possible that disk 
> or block addressing is being done incorrectly),
> 2) The disks are seen as classic PATA disks and not SATA.  
> This could be a result of there being no nForce 430 support 
> in 6.1, but it could also be due to a BIOS setting on that 
> motherboard.
> I'm looking at the User Manual for this motherboard, but I 
> can't find the BIOS option that I'm used to seeing on other 
> nForce-based boards, and Intel ICH-based boards:
> A feature where you can change the way the OS sees the 
> underlying SATA controller; it's called "Emulated" or 
> "Emulation" mode.  The controller is able to interface with 
> SATA disks, but the OS sees the controller as a classic 
> PATA/IDE controller.  This is often used for OSes which lack 
> SATA support or native SATA drivers, such as MS-DOS.
> The only thing in the User Manual I see which sets off red 
> flags is the "Serial-ATA RAID Config" item under the 
> Integrated Peripherals menu.  I really hope the "NV SATA Raid 
> Function" is set to Disabled on your box.
> Looking at CVS commit logs for src/sys/dev/ata/ata-chipset.c, 
> I can see that MCP61 support was officially added to HEAD on 
> on 2007/06/26.  I'm having a difficult time determining what 
> HEAD meant at that date.  I can't figure out for the life of 
> me if it was referring to RELENG_6 or RELENG_7.
> Either way, point is, FreeBSD 6.1 flat out does not have 
> support for that chip, even a 6.1 dated August 2006.  I can't 
> help but wonder if that's what's causing the odd problem.
> I also found another LBA48-related issue, dated 2007/10/04, 
> labelled "fix the LBA28/LBA48 crossover bug".  I'm still not 
> sure what that is.
> And I haven't even begun to look at GEOM changes/bugfixes, 
> which might be a more likely place.
> > This is actually a FreeBSD-Stable install... From 08/2006.... I 
> > realize it's probably time to do an OS upgrade, but this is 
> the ONLY 
> > issue I've run into running this code base. Some of the 
> software I'm 
> > running hasn't been tested with 7.X, so I'm not comfortable 
> going there yet.
> What this means is that it's a 6.1-RELEASE install which follows the
> RELENG_6 tag, and has been cvsup'd at least up until August 2006.
> I understand you're not comfortable upgrading to FreeBSD 7, 
> but it would be worthwhile if you could download FreeBSD 
> 7.1-PRERELEASE (specifically disc 1 or a live CD), and see if 
> that reports the same problem as 6.1.
> I still can't explain why booting the 6.1 installer and using 
> a fixit image lets you work around the problem.  That is just 
> flat out bizarre.
> You have to understand: there's been a lot of 
> evolution/bugfixes applied between 6.1 and 7.1.  There's 
> almost too much for me to try and track down.  I'm trying 
> very hard, but it's difficult.

Thanks for all the clarifications, I didn't realize there have been that
many changes since 6.1. I suppose its time to upgrade. What I need to do is
build an identical server to that one and test it all out locally. Since the
drive is currently 500 miles away it will take me some time, but I'll see
what I can do.

I'll also check my BIOS settings to make sure the RAID is disabled. I'm
almost positive it is, but who knows. Jerry pointed out that the boot
process is seeing it as a regular ATA device, so it may be running in some
sort of compatibility mode like you suspect and it may be the entire reason
it's failing.

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