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I can't get the Debian netinst boot disk (AMD 64, v5.7.0-7) to recognise either of the SATA disks in my Mac Mini Server. I had thought that the ATA-PIIX driver was the correct choice, but after failing to detect any disk drive at the "Detect disks" stage, when told "piix" is the needed name, it goes right back to this stage.

Can this boot system recognise this medium? If not, what boot system should I be looking at?

Postscript — whitequark says that PIIX is a PATA driver, sou couldn't drive a SATA drive. I've checked on the System Profiler, which confirms that the drives are mounted on SATA, and are 500 Gb Hitachi drives, model HTS725050A9A362, each with a NVidia MCP89 AHCI controller.

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ATA-PIIX never can be a correct driver for SATA drives, as it is for Parallel ATA. – whitequark Dec 5 '10 at 17:44
@whitequark: Good to know. I've put up some of the info about the drive from System Profiler. – Charles Stewart Dec 5 '10 at 21:09
the PIIX is a very very legacy device which is commonly used compatibility standard for ATA interfaces (like NE2000 is/was for Ethernet cards). It may or may not be emulated by BIOS on PCs, but AFAIK Apple is against any emulation levels on Macs (EFI instead of BIOS, GPT, etc.), so it shouldn't be the case here. – whitequark Dec 6 '10 at 8:21
I have no answer for you, but you might edit your question to read something like, "What parameters should I use to get the Debian installer to recognize my Mac Mini's Hitachi SATA drives?" As written your question is not comprehensible. – CarlF Dec 9 '10 at 5:24
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This bug has been reported and supposedly fixed. There is also a patch available. Link to the report and thread on debian bugtraq:

an updated package is already in launchpad

try using the regular install CD instead of netinst(it should have a newer kernel)

if you must use netinst, I'm thinking it will require rebuilding the iso with the new patched driver/replaced kernel

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That looks like it. If I understand correctly, the patch doesn't fix the AHCP driver, it tells it to fall back to ata_generic. Which I am happy with. Off to test... – Charles Stewart Dec 10 '10 at 23:26
yeah that's the general idea, if standard CD doesn't work you can get a weekly build of testing here – RobotHumans Dec 11 '10 at 0:51
sweet i got it.. – RobotHumans Dec 11 '10 at 20:09

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