Alan Cox wrote:
3) It is critical to ensure that the ATA "ctl" register is never
written to when no drive is attached.  This means bracketing the SRST
sequence to first do a PCS detection before permitting the SRST.
If "ctl" is accessed with no drive attached, the machine locks up hard.

At least for PATA you probably need to disable IORDY handshaking before
the reset and probe.

Perhaps, but this was for SATA.
I don't even own any PATA disks nowadays.. other than a couple
that are buried inside USB/Firewire enclosures.   My last bare PATA
drive died this morning, while testing a SATA bridge on it.

That drive was one of the infamous IBM DeathStar series from early
in the decade.  R.I.P.  Or pieces, actually.  The platters make
great unbreakable "camping mirrors".  :)

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