[mythtv-users] System freezes on boot - Need advice

Craig Huff huffcslists at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 01:34:21 UTC 2008

I have a MythTV system that has been running fine on a PATA Seagate
250GB hard drive (at least until the last week or so).  I upgraded the
system last November by adding a SATA Seagate 500GB (ST3500320AS)
drive to store the /video/recordings data on.  I eventually plan to
replace the PATA drive with a smaller one that still suffices for
root, /boot, and /var.  FWIW, the motherboard is an ASUS A8N-SLI
Premium.  I have the SATA drive connected to the nvidia SATA
controller, not the Silicon Image controller.  In March, I moved the
SATA drive from a standard drive bay into a newly installed Athena
Power BP-SATA3051B SATA Backplane that can hold 5 SATA drives in the
space of 3 5.25" drive bays (future expansion).

My problem:  The system has in the last couple of weeks started
locking up on boot (I normally shut down the system when I'm not at
home and use the MythWakeup tools to automatically wake up to run
mythfilldatabase and record programs).  The BIOS will frequently get
stuck when searching for IDE drives, won't find the boot PATA disk
(there's only one each PATA/SATA disk plus the DVD/RW PATA on the
secondary IDE bus), or will get to the point where it should start to
read from the boot record and get stuck.

Typically, if I fiddle long enough with rebooting alternately with the
SATA drive powered off and then on again, I can get the system to boot
from the PATA disk while the SATA drive is off.  I don't need to
completely boot, but can shut down before it reaches the GRUB
selection screen and then reboot with the SATA disk powered on as well
and it will boot up just fine.  Sometimes it boots without a hitch and

I have checked the power connections for both drives and the IDE and
SATA data cables, but found no connection to the problem.  The SATA
data cable is the latching variety, too.

Anyone care to suggest a cause or causes for this?  I could really use
a pointer or two.


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