VIA M1000 mini-itx system installation woes - WRITE_DMA error - cabling?

W C woodycarey at
Tue Apr 26 14:31:26 PDT 2005

Hi all,

I am attempting to install 5.3-R from cd (iso image download)  and 
sysinstall is failing
to write the chosen (Auto Layout) filesystem to disk, the Toshiba 80G on the 
primary ide channel as master.   The error on vty1 is (from memory) ad0: 
WRITE_DMA, error=84.
The drive is detected by BIOS as a UDMA100 device.  There is nothing else on 
this IDE channel, and only a cd drive on the other IDE slot.

A search of -questions reveals this error is a UDMA mismatch, possible 
caused by 80-pin cabling, and fixable with atacontrol ad0 udma33 pio bla bla 
bla.  However, I do not yet have a running system to run atacontrol from, as 
I am installing.  I have rooted around in the bios for an option to force 
the drive to UDMA33 speed, to no avail.  Does anyone know how I can work 
around this problem and  install FreeBSD to this neat little system?  Do I 
have bad cabling, a bad drive, or ???

Thanks for any follow-up questions, pointers, rants, RTFM's, etc.


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