You guys are generous and amazing. Thank you for the responses. I've been 
working on this issue for weeks, googling everywhere etc.. and the solution was 
so simple once I had help from the lfs community. I'm writing this so that 
maybe a future searcher might find it.

here's my solution:
I installed PCI Utilities-3.1.7 -
the relevant part of the output of lspci was 
00:11.0 SATA controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 SATA Controller [IDE 
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 IDE Controller
so in make menuconfig I enabled "ati pata support" option (device 
drivers/serial ata and parallel ata drivers/ati pata support) and Voila!!! ... 
fdisk -l >> the ide drive is sdb

here's my original question:
I recently built a system following the lfs 6.5 book exactly. The only 
difference in my distro is that I used kernel instead of the 
suggested kernel. 

In compiling the kernel I used all the default settings except the following:
--I disabled loadable kernel modules
--I added the drivers for my nic
--I added "limit" and "recent" match support in the netfiltering section
--I changed the processor family to athlon/duron

The system harddrive is a sata and it all works perfectly. My problem is that I 
have a several pata (ide) drives that I'd like to add to the system. The kernel 
doesn't recognize them. fdisk -l shows only sda and in /dev the only harddrive 
listed is sda. I ran dmesg | grep hd and found no references to hdx drives. I 
ran dmesg | grep sd and found only a reference to sda.

I took the kernel from a Knoppix installation ( and booted my lfs 
system with it and all the drives including the pata (ide) drives now appear. 
This leads me to believe that my problem is with my kernel configuration.

So the question is what kernel configuration changes do I have to make to get 
the kernel to recognize my ide drives? I realize that new kernels name ide 
drives sdx and that's fine. I don't need them to be labeled hdx. I simply want 
them to be recognized by the kernel.
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