When you like to have more than 80x25 characters on your console, try VGA mode 773 (which is 1024x768 8bit). This will get you small but crisp 127x48 characters (and a free penguin when booting :-)).
The BIOS can be entered while the machine is running, which is very convenient. However, entering the BIOS will suspend the system completely. Apparently APM signals are sent, so make sure you have APM in your kernel (or the module loaded) to keep your system clock etc. correct.
The "mks2d" tool needs to create a partition at the beginning of your hard drive. The documentation says that it will need to be within the first two GB on a hard disk with more than eight GB. (To me, this sounds like a 1024cyl boundary.) If you move your existing partitions away from the beginning of your HDD (using PartitionMagic or some similar tool) and keep the first entry in the partition table free, a suspend-to-disk partition can later be created without loss of data. The "mks2d" tool will happily take that free space and occupy the first entry without touching the rest.
But beware! The documenation of "mks2d" gives a formula for calculating the amount of space needed for the s2d partition. I believe it was this:
The way suspend-to-disk works is also slightly unusal. There is a Phoenix BIOS inside the machine, or at least parts are from Phoenix. However, Dell apparantly believes to be something better and does not use the usual Phoenix method which has been working fine for years ("phdisk", specially formatted partition which has to be given as fourth entry in partition table).
When suspending to disk, the contents of RAM is written to the prepared partition. Then the "bootable" flag probably set on one of your partitions is cleared and instead set on the s2d-partition. Dell now expects your boot loader to boot from the partition which is marked as bootable. LILO for example doesn't give a sh.. about that. So if you're using a good boot loader, you'll need to add a further entry telling the boot loader to boot from your s2d-partition. Contents of RAM will be restored, the boot flags, too.
There is a problem with this method: One can restore the saved state more than once. If anyone finds this useful it sure is a good thing, but if you can't remember whether you powered the machine down or it put itself into S2D state, you'll need to boot without touching your HDD's contents and have a look at the boot flags.
Can any of the standard boot loaders offer choices based on the "bootable" flag? Currently I'm using a DOS boot loader in the MBR which is looking for the "bootable"-flag. It's then either booting from the S2D-partition of firing up LILO stored in the boot record of one of the primary partitions.
The floppy drive seems to be available to the kernel at all times. If you try to access it although it's not connected, you'll get a few error messages and the attempt will eventually time out.
If you then give the kernel a "hdc=ide-scsi" at boot time, modprobing "ide-scsi" will turn on SCSI emulation for "hdc". Just note that "ide-scsi" and "ide-cd" will not be working fine next to each other, so make sure you've got only one inserted at any time. As long as "ide-scsi" is not inserted, access to "hdc" should automatically insert "ide-cd" and normal IDE access will be possible.
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[ 2002-04-20 ]
||[ Marcus C. Gottwald <firstname.lastname@example.org> ]|