SSD on the nNetwinder

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh at
Mon Apr 1 06:48:34 PDT 2019

| From: Jon Bradbury <dr_zee at>

| I’m beginning to think this has been a monumental waste of time.. unless 
| anyone has any other suggestions?

I've been reading your experiments with interest.  Thanks for being a
pioneer and thanks for keeping us informed.

ATA gradually evolved, all the time keeping backward compatibility.
Mostly.  Some niggling worries:

- disks grew bigger and broke several limits.  This would break
  compatibility when disks were big.  But there were often hacks.
  Some limits are documented in

  What geometry does the netwinder see for the SSD?

- Some accidental limits in systems are due to code not being tested
  for such sizes.  (Think: overflow when too short a representation
  is used.)  I imagine that 120G has been tried before in a
  Netwinder.  Consider a test: allocate partitions only within
  the first 10G of you SSD.

- I've had flaky PATA to SATA adapters.  Mostly, I thought, due to
  buying cheap no-name adapters.  I never did find a pattern to the
  sporadic failures.

- ATA defines some pages of information that the drive provides and
  the computer can query.  As time went on, I got the feeling that
  some drives (especially SSDs) didn't bother to provide some of the
  older, superseded stuff.

- [This does not seem to be your problem, but I'll mention it]
  "Advanced Formatting" was introduced and sectors were no longer
  512 bytes.  This would likely throw the Netwinder for a loop.

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