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Linux - Embedded & Single-board computer This forum is for the discussion of Linux on both embedded devices and single-board computers (such as the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard and PandaBoard). Discussions involving Arduino, plug computers and other micro-controller like devices are also welcome.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
laserhawk64
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Commell LE-370Z mobo doesn't want to boot Puppy Linux?


Hello all! I have a very odd motherboard (it's "embedded" but it's an x86 embedded board) that is refusing to boot my favorite lLinux OS -- Puppy.

I have a thread on [H]ard|Forum and a thread on the Murga Puppy Linux Forum, and so far I'm not getting anywhere -- so, I thought I'd come here and ask around as well. (OK, so someone at [H]ard|Forum recommended you guys to me, but whatever.)

...but...

Now that I'm here, I've NO idea where to put the thread! Can anyone give me some pointers?

Also, I don't seem to have PM functionality around -- is that something where nobody has it here at all, or is it enabled after a certain number of posts, or ...? I'd much rather have PM'd a Mod than post this and bug many more people... different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 03-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
PTrenholme
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If you look at the top of the page you'll notice there's a "Forums" selection where all the various sub-forums can be found. One of them is "Hardware," which may be what you need.

When you ask a question, you're more likely to get help if you include as much information as possible. For example, you refer to your m/b as "embedded," but failed to:
  1. Explain what you meant by "embedded;" (The usual meaning is a device containing a PROM chip based processor, not a m/b.)
  2. List your device specifications and manufacturer;
  3. Describe your BIOS and its settings;
  4. Identify the boot loader you'd used;
  5. Mention any error messages you saw.

When you enter an "open" forum, you'll find a "New Thread" button at the head of the display that you may use to start a new thread in that forum. Note, however, that you're expected to use the "Search" function before starting a new thread. (Your problem might already have been solved. )

Last edited by PTrenholme; 03-05-2013 at 06:26 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2013, 07:19 PM   #3
laserhawk64
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(1) "Embedded" (to me) refers to computers used in applications that are not traditionally that of a standard desktop or laptop PC. Anything from a computer on a factory floor running robot arms (or supervisory software), to digital billboard stuff, to a Kodak photo kiosk in a Wal-Mart... these are all what I'd consider "embedded". It's an application thing, not what's on the board per se.

(2a) the motherboard is a Commell LE-370Z 3.5" form factor board (about the size of two desktop hard drives stacked vertically) intended for industrial applications or space-critical devices. It has an onboard (soldered down) 600MHz Celeron ULV CPU; IIRC it's an SL8FN. I've forgotten the chipset, but it's nothing remarkable for sure. I've got a gig of PC3200 RAM onboard (downclocking to PC2100, per board's specs, and yes it's DDR1). I have attached to that (via Commell proprietary riser) a PNY Verto 5500 PCI graphics card. This board has PCI only -- the 32bit stuff, not PCIe -- and I only get one slot with this riser. There is something very strange about the internal graphics on this board; I don't have a monitor in the house (of four) that will accept it. The Verto card, on the other hand, works quite nicely on all but one. (*That* one screen is a fixed-resolution base-VGA-only screen from 1991 -- I think we can excuse it from behaving nicely with XGA, for sure!)

(2b) Attached to the board, in addition to the graphics card, is an IDE laptop optical drive (known good) on a 44pin adapter. The board has a 44pin connector, and there is the predictable 44pin 44wire short cable between the two. I'm using a spare eMachines PS/2 mouse and a spare AT101W (Dell branded, mechanical, quite old) PS/2 keyboard. These are connected to the board's single PS/2 port with a Dell splitter cable from eBay. I've no complaints with keyboard, mouse, or splitter. The monitor I'm using is a ViewSonic 15" widescreen LCD. I got it for free, as it was having some capacitor problems -- which I fixed BEFORE ever connecting it to this system, for less than $10. I'm pretty good at soldering, I'd say.

(3) The BIOS is version 1.1 off Commell's website. I rather hope that the BIN file was correct, as they don't provide checksums for it... flashed using Award BIOS flasher 888 IIRC. It's been a while since I did that so I'm not 100% as to which version of the utility I used... I'm not in front of the system right now so I hope you'll excuse me for not typing up the interface.

(4) I'm booting from LiveCD.

(5) The errors all look similar but different. It gets to a certain point in the boot process and coughs up both lungs -- and a few other parts as well I can upload photos (yes, from a camera -- it never completes booting) to IMGUR and link to them here, if that's permitted.
 
Old 03-06-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
PTrenholme
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Well, from that I can't offer much advice. (When I use a soldering iron, I'm much better at soldering myself than any wires. )

Anyhow, how many different Live CDs have you tried? (Something like Vector Linux might be worth trying.) Your vague description suggests that some "basic" hardware capability might be missing, and VL tries to make as few assumptions as feasible. There are other minimal Linux distributions out there (DSL comes to mind).

Now, to get this thread over to the hardware forum, try pushing the "Report" button, and asking the moderators to move the thread. (I could do that, but they're usually happier if the OP is the one requesting the move,)
 
Old 03-06-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
laserhawk64
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DSL boots fine. Just... I don't like DSL.

I'll report that my thread needs moving right now.

EDIT: reported.

Last edited by laserhawk64; 03-06-2013 at 05:45 PM.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 05:19 AM   #6
TobiSGD
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Linking images to this forum is of course allowed and in this case it would in fact be very helpful to see where the booting process stops. That DSL runs is in this case not helpful, since it uses the much older 2.4 kernel, which probably doesn't even support all of the hardware on that motherboard.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
laserhawk64
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Not sure this qualifies under your forum's definition of "embedded" per PTrenholme's initial post (2nd post in the thread) -- but I'm not about to argue with a Mod

Here are the pictures. I've resized these -- my camera likes to take pictures at 300dpi, but that's a little big for a web forum. These are 72dpi. Also, please excuse the blurriness -- I seem to have flunked out of "steady hand school" rather quickly, lol. (I'm doing these as links because "Posting Rules" tells me that IMG Code is off )

http://i.imgur.com/hcLEeTc.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/myIBeJG.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/fVn9Fic.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/R4BC6Cy.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FRlyyqW.jpg

You'll notice that each one is a little different. They are also from different versions of Puppy. IIRC: one is Puplite 5.0, one is Lucid 528, and one is Wary 53. I'll be completely honest and point out that I don't know which is which. (One might be ClassicPup 2.14x Top10, but I don't even remember that.) They all fail in similar, if slightly different, ways, and it's almost always the same point in the boot process -- after "loading kernel modules" appears on the screen but right before xorgwizard comes up.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
laserhawk64
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Oh, so that's how you do a double post.

Sorry 'bout that, lol.

Last edited by laserhawk64; 03-07-2013 at 11:17 AM. Reason: double post, whoopsie!
 
Old 03-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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It is not really clear to me what is causing the errors, but I would at first test the RAM for errors, using Memtest86+.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
laserhawk64
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Did that. 4hrs 20min (or so) -- four tests no errors.

Also I've two sticks of compatible RAM. Both have been on that board, neither stick changed the behavior.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
TobiSGD
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Are you able to boot any other distro based on a 2.6 or 3.x kernel? Puppy, due to its state as specialized distro, may have unusual kernel settings/patches that general purpose distros don't have.
This all looks weird.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 06:30 PM   #12
laserhawk64
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Haven't really tried. My local tech shop has a specialized distro that I've booted on it, once, but I don't know what kernel. It was an early, buggy version anyways.

EDIT: I just remembered, tried something called antiX MEPIS (ISO: antiX-M8.2.iso) and it couldn't find its MEPIS portion and promptly keeled over.

If you can suggest a distro with a recent kernel that is also not puppy -- I'll try it. Here's what I have on hand...

Bodhi 1.2.0
Illume OS 1.1.1 (Debian based, but I don't know *which* Debian)
Linux Mint 11 LXDE CD 32bit
Lubuntu 11.04
WattOS R5
WattOS R6-x86
Wolvix 2.0.0 Build 58
xPUD 0.9.2
Xubuntu 10.04 Desktop i386
XWOAF -- X Windows On A Floppy

XWOAF would be hard, given the odd floppy interface on the board, and current lack of USB connections. I have an old, old floppy drive from a Dell CP-series laptop, and I know it's got the right connector style (flexible PCB) but I don't know if it's the right pinout... USB is a problem because the connector is 2mm pitch instead of the standard 2.54mm / 0.1" pitch on basically everything else. (I've an Internet Friend who made me a cable, but it hasn't arrived in the mail yet.)

Last edited by laserhawk64; 03-07-2013 at 06:42 PM.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
TobiSGD
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I would try Xubuntu, it comes with a very generic kernel configuration that should run on any hardware.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 09:59 PM   #14
laserhawk64
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Burning Xubuntu right now.
 
Old 03-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #15
laserhawk64
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Xubuntu is showing its "go 'way im booting nao" splash screen.

Minimum requirements for this version: 700mhz CPU and 128mb RAM. I've got 8x the RAM and 6/7 the CPU. I'm going to be here a while! (if it even works)

Lubuntu next, right?
 
  


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