I have finally given up on the apalling MSI K9MM-V motherboard and Fedora 8. While tweaking BIOS and kernel options resulted in a modicum of stability, it was only briefly sustained and kernel panics frequently resurfaced during reboots.
So farewell to the K9MM-V and a welcome hello to the Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2. This is a more costly board but having used Gigabyte boards successfully in the past I am happy to pay a little extra for a reliable platform.
I opted for a straight board switch and connected up the same trusty Seagate Barracuda IDE drives in a RAID1 mirror configuration. The mobo swap was relatively straightforward (apart from the processor being stuck fast to the heatsink on the old board), but unfortunately no matter what combination of boot options I used the Fedora kernel just would not detect my disk drives.
After much head scratching I finally realised that the ata drivers were missing from the initrd image and so I needed to rebuild. So for those in the same bind, here’s what to do:
Boot from the Fedora install DVD into rescue mode (your partitions will be mounted under /mnt/sysimage)
Edit /etc/modprobe.conf and add the line “options libata atapi_enabled=1”
rm -f /etc/sysconfig/hwconf
mkinitrd -f /boot/initrd-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)
To check the contents of your new image:
gzip -cd initrd-$(uname -r).img | cpio -id