Just got a nice Gateway quad-core PC to speed up FPGA designs, so time to install Debian Linux on it. Install went smoothly, until I tried to boot into Linux for the first time. Then I get error messages:
ata1: softreset failed (device not ready)
ata2: softreset failed (device not ready)
and Linux hangs.
After a lot of Google-ing and hacking (and hair-pulling), I finally found the problem: The Debian installer set the boot partition on the SATA drive to /dev/sdb3, and it really should have been /dev/sda3. Still get the "softreset failed" errors, but Linux boots and seems to operate normally.
Thinking about the problem: I used a USB DVD drive for the install, and then disconnected it before booting. I suspect the DVD was sda and the sata disk was sdb during the install, and the sata became sda when booting without the DVD drive.