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Normally, a UDMA-aware kernel will automatically enable UDMA support for drives and interfaces that support it. In most cases that it doesn't, the kernel either doesn't know how to drive your IDE chipset (get yourself a patch, see above) or doesn't believe it is safe to enable it (meaning you shouldn't!).
However in some cases the drive is capable of UDMA but the BIOS drops the ball and doesn't report it properly, and forcing the issue can be useful.
On kernels 2.1.113 and up, you can enable DMA for both drives on a given IDE
interface using the
Kernel boot parameters can be set using LILO, LOADLIN, or most Linux boot loaders. For more information see the Bootdisk HOWTO.
The current version of
Compile and install it something like this:
To enable DMA for a hard drive:
To disable DMA for a hard drive:
To measure transfer rate of a hard drive:
To see what options are enabled for a hard drive:
To see more info on your drive than you wanted to know: (this will show which UDMA
modes are supported/enabled)
For more detailed info (such as how to choose which UDMA mode to use) read
the man page (``
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