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Fixing the Imaging Problem on Serial ATA Drives

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Kristoffer Bjork

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Posted: 2 Oct 2003

ZENworks Imaging hangs when booted on a Serial ATA equipped Dell GX270. Let's fix it! We recently got a bunch of Dell gx270's with serial ATA drives in them, and we ran into the same problem as the rest of you guys. The bootcd hung after the "Loading Kernel" message.

So I decided to fix it, and I did (sort of anyway).

The problem is that the 2.4.18 kernel shipped with ZENworks imaging 4.x doesn't support the Intel Serial ATA controller.

Support for this controller will be added into the 2.6.x series of the linux kernel. But I found out that Alan Cox added the driver into his 2.4.21-ac4 patch and later.

So what you need to do is the following.

  1. Install a Linux box. (get a distro that you are comfortable with).
  2. Download the following file to /usr/src
    "cd /usr/src && wget"
  3. Unpack the source: "tar xvfj linux-2.4.21.tar.bz2"
  4. Enter the directory that's been created: "cd linux-2.4.21"
  5. Download the 2.4.21-ac4 patch. "wget"
  6. Uncompress the patch: "bunzip2 patch-2.4.21-ac4.bz2"
  7. Download the novell zenworks kernel patch: "wget"
  8. Unpack the file: "tar xvfz zfdimgkrnlpatch-2.4.18-4.0-p1.tgz"
  9. Change kernel version in the patch: "sed 's/2.4.18/2.4.21/' <zenpatch-2.4.18-4.0-p1.patch > zenpatch-2.4.21.patch"
  10. Apply the patches:
    "patch -p0 < zenpatch-2.4.21.patch"
    "patch -p1 < patch-2.4.21-ac4"
  11. And then configure the kernel. "make menuconfig"
  12. You can disable math emulation (every computer you wanna use got a fpu).
  13. The Intel Serial ATA driver is located under SCSI -> Low level drivers (or something similar). Make sure you compile it into the kernel and not as a module (the box looks like [*] and NOT like [M]).
  14. Do any other changes you like ( I added all the NIC drivers available).
  15. Exit and save configuration.
  16. Run this "make dep && make bzImage"
  17. If that worked ok, then do the modules. "make modules modules_install"
  18. And then follow the instructions in for making a new bootcd.

(The docs are located under "Linux Imaging Environment Customization Resources").

If you have any questions you may contact Kristoffer at

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