FreeBSD 4.x-RELEASE on the intel 875 or 865-series chipsets

Brian Costello btx at
Sat Dec 13 11:11:32 PST 2003


Thank you very much for your response!  I of course checked hardware.txt
before posting, but didn't see a single mention on either the 5.x or 4.x
release sections, but figured it was just an oversight as you pointed out -
the 875 & 865 seemed to be far too be far too popular a chipset to be fully
ignored by FreeBSD, but I of course couldn't say for sure... and I had lots
of trouble finding any mention of i865 and i875 on ANY FreeBSD mailing list.

Also, thanks for the terminology correction :)  "Legacy mode" sounds a bit
better than  "some sort of compatibility mode" :)
Anyway, I'll be installing FreeBSD 4.9 on my new systems... I use 4.8
currently, but from my FreeBSD experience, when FreeBSD doesn't natively
support something, there are USUALLY problems in the "compatibility" or
"legacy" mode.  Might as well start with the latest and move to a dev 5.x if
that doesn't work.

I'll follow up to the list if I can get it to work.  Thanks again!

Brian Costello
btx at

> The "some sort of compatibility" mode is called "legacy" mode.  You set it
> in the main BIOS.  In this mode, the 875/865 series chipsets (actually the
> ICH5 chip) make the SATA disks appear to be on one of the channels of the
> traditional motherboard ATA controller and they probably work fine in this
> mode with almost any OS that understands traditional motherboard ATA.
> There may be some confusion over the ATA cable type, but as long as the
> driver configures the drives for some sort of DMA, they will do SATA150.
> The Intel 875/865 (ICH5) SATA controller works in native (non-legacy)
> mode beginning with FreeBSD 4.9 and 5.x.  The 4.9 driver does not
> understand much about SATA but it seems to work quite well enough.
> This controller also seemed to work correctly in native mode under 5.1.
> The 5.x driver is in flux at the moment.  It seems to have lots of
> difficulty with this particular SATA controller.  I don't know how
> seriously the bugs are viewed by the FreeBSD release engineering team
> (or if the bugs will be fixed in 5.2).
> Note that the HARDWARE.TXT files in FreeBSD releases still do not claim
> any particular support for Intel 875/865 (ICH5) ATA controllers.
> I don't know if this is policy or an oversight.
> Dan Strick
> strick at
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