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ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 and OpenSuse 11.3

Here's a diversion from photography. I built a new computer this weekend. My intention was to build a Linux box that is really fast. I assembled everything and installed Windows without a problem. I used my old IDE CD/DVD drive to run the Windows install. Now that the system was booting into Windows and I was able to overclock to 3.7Ghz stably I was ready for the Linux install. The CPU and board can probably go faster than 3.7Ghz but I like stability over speed.

If you've ever installed Linux on a dual boot system you'll have learned that order of operations are very important to your sanity. If you install Linux first and then try installing Windows the clowns from Redmond basically consider Linux a virus and try to format your hard drive before freshly installing Windows. Windows frist, then Linux and everyone is happy. Right? Well sort of. When I started the Linux install from an OpenSuse 11.3 DVD it would partially boot and hang when it was scanning the PATA devices. I tried a Fedora 14 live CD but it would also just stop part way through the boot process.

After a bunch of googling I suspected that the M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard has a PATA controller that makes the Linux kernel pissed off. Basically the driver hates the controller. Works fine in Windows explodes in Linux. Mind you it took the better part of a day to figure out the controller driver was the problem. I think I exhausted the english language swearing dictionary. The solution, install a SATA DVD drive, using the same OpenSuse 11.3 DVD that failed initially, I was able to install Suse and now have a very fast Linux box.

The system specifications:

Motherboard- ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
CPU- AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2G AM3
Memory- 4GBx4- GSKILL F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL
Hard Drive- 1T WD- 7K 64M SATAIII WD1002FAEX
CPU cooler- Cooler Master CM RR-B10-212P-G1