HPA no longer ignored in 8.10

Bug #270151 reported by Peter Klotz on 2008-09-14
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 5 i386 (2.6.27-2)

Kernel 2.6.27 (8.10) seems to honor the host protected area (HPA) of harddisks whereas 2.6.24 (8.04) ignored it.

2.6.24 dmesg: ata1.00: HPA unlocked: 268435455 -> 312581808, native 312581808
2.6.27 dmesg: ata1.00: HPA detected: current 268435455, native 312581808

That currently prevents me from installing Ubuntu 8.10. See this bug:


Is there a way to load the LiveCD libata module with ignore_hpa set to 1?
Shouldn't this change be documented in the Alpha (and possible final) release notes?

Phillip Susi (psusi) wrote :

I noticed this as well and am trying to figure out if this was an accident or if it was done on purpose. I had marked bug #219393 as WONTFIX because I was told that Ubuntu specifically diverged from upstream on this behavior by initializing ignore_hpa to 1 in libata-core.c. I was told that this was done to maintain compatibility with the old ide driver which ignored the HPA, even though this was considered a bug; if the disk has an HPA the OS is supposed to honor it.

This bug and #219393 are at odds with each other, so one should be marked as fixed, and the other as WONTFIX. My question is which?

Peter, if you really want the kernel to ignore your HPA then you can do this:

echo options libata ignore_hpa=1 > /etc/modprobe.d/libata-options

If you are ignoring it then I assume your system doesn't really make use of the HPA ( because if it did and you ignored it, it would cause breakage ) and so the drive really should not have one set in the first place. It looks like you can permanently remove the HPA from a drive using a utility at http://www.hdat2.com/.

Changed in linux:
status: New → Triaged
Peter Klotz (peter-klotz) wrote :

I intended to install Ubuntu 8.10 on my notebook.

The installation cannot proceed if the LiveCD honors the HPA because parted (called by the installer) sees partitions that extend beyond the end of the device. These partition were created under 8.04.

So I tried using "break=modules" on the kernel command line but the system hangs before the shell to load the libata driver with option ignore_hpa=1 opens.

My experiments with HDAT2 failed earlier since my BIOS seems to reinstate the HPA on reboot.

Your hint of using a modprobe file only works in an already installed system, right?

kernel-janitor (kernel-janitor) wrote :

This bug report was marked as Triaged a while ago but has not had any updated comments for quite some time. Please let us know if this issue remains in the current Ubuntu release, http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download . If the issue remains, click on the current status under the Status column and change the status back to "New". Thanks.

[This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Peter Klotz (peter-klotz) wrote :

Marking bug as invalid since not ignoring the HPA may actually be the smarter choice.

I finally got rid of my HPA using the procedure described in bug #267199.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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