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Old 09-23-2003, 09:19 AM   #1
CyberLord_7
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Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
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Kernel Panic on fresh install


I have built a new computer using a Soyo SY KT333 motherboard and two Western Digital 80 GB drives. All parts are new. The WD drives are NOT set up as master or slave because each is on it's own cable. The BIOS does recognize them. Western Digital has a program called Data Lifeguard which only runs on Windoze for these drives. I think it formats the disks.
When I try to install Mandrake 9.1 my screen goes black and my keyboards CAPS LOCK and Scroll Lock lights blink on and off. My version of Mandrake was bought from Mandrake and is not a burned ISO image so I have complete confidence in it. But still, after reading some of the posts here about fouled up images I took a copy of Mandrake 9.0 from Linux Format magazine that I successfully used last year and tried that. Same result.
Not willing to quit there I took a copy of Storm Linux 2000 from Maximum Linux and tried installing that. Finally, something different. Storm Linux actually gave me an error message. At the bottom of a screen that seemed to be detailed info about my CD-ROM, DVD drive and AGP port I saw:
<b>Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 01:00</b>
Despite the fact that I've been threatening to move to Linux since the late 1990s I am a complete newbie, so I don't know what that report means. Any help in getting this resolved will be much appreciated.
Oh, please don't suggest I start with Windoze to format the drives and then convert to Mandrake. I want this machine to be pure and am willing to go to great lengths to avoid micro$oft.

Thank you
 
Old 09-23-2003, 12:31 PM   #2
jpbarto
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nah, has nothing to do with unformatted drives. When an install disk first loads up it creates a ramdisk in memory and then expands a filesystem into that space (thus not touching the drives). You say that you have two HDs, one on each ide bus (so hda and hdc?). Should they still have their master jumper set (even with them on their own bus? [ I honestly don't know myself as I've never tried this setup ]).

Another issue might be your memory. Do you perhaps have over 900+ megs of it? Or perhaps some possibly unstable DDR ram? The ramdisk loaded into memory might be getting corrupted.

just some thoughts as I'm not much of a hardware guy.

hope that helps,
jpbarto
 
Old 09-23-2003, 12:49 PM   #3
Skyline
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Quote:
When I try to install Mandrake 9.1 my screen goes black and my keyboards CAPS LOCK and Scroll Lock lights blink on and off
How much RAM are you using - there's a known problem if you're using 1 gig or more.
 
Old 09-23-2003, 03:02 PM   #4
CyberLord_7
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jpbato and Skyline, Thank you for the responses! Damn! I stuffed the motherboard with 1.5 GB of RAM in the form of three 512 MB cards.
Can I use them or do I have to remove one?
Yes, I'm greedy.
The documentation for the WD drives state that they will not work if set up for master and slave if they are on separate cables. I initially tried to set them up as master and slave only to find that the Award BIOS failed to detect them until I put the jumpers on the neutral setting as indicated in the docs.

Thanks again for the responses.
 
Old 09-23-2003, 03:07 PM   #5
jpbarto
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CyberLord_7 ... for the install remove all but one stick (for a nice 512 MB). After you've installed you can configure the kernel to load Big Mem support so that you can reinsert the extra 1024 MB of ram.

jpbarto
 
Old 09-23-2003, 04:38 PM   #6
CyberLord_7
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jpbarto:
Thanks for the update. "configure the kernel"? I think I'll just be happy with the 512 MB. That sounds like something I'll try to do later.
 
Old 09-23-2003, 05:47 PM   #7
jpbarto
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well I wouldn't put it off for too long... its really not that hard to configure your kernel. However to be honest you don't have to rest at 512... when I built my system I put 1 gig in it... built a kernel to support it and I have to admit it was a little flaky (not sure if it was the kernel or the hardware though). So I removed the support, left the memory in and when Linux boots without big memory support I still can use about 900+ megs of that 1 gig.

so pop another stick in.

and experiment with the 1.5 gigs (you can have more than one kernel installed and choose between them at boot time)

jpbarto
 
Old 09-23-2003, 06:30 PM   #8
Skyline
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Quote:
jpbato and Skyline, Thank you for the responses! Damn! I stuffed the motherboard with 1.5 GB of RAM in the form of three 512 MB cards.
Suspected as much - the combination of MD9.1, 1gig RAM or more, and certain video cards can cause those exact "symptoms"
 
Old 09-23-2003, 06:52 PM   #9
Mad Merlin
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I believe that Mandrake can still use more than ~900 megs of ram without the bigger mem support, but you have to pass something like mem=1536 to the kernel at bootup. You can do this with LILO with the append option, just check your LILO config file in /etc/lilo.conf, and be sure to run LILO again before you reboot so it can update the boot config it stores in (by default) the MBR.

In regards to the install, the 9.1 errata has an entry about your very situation. So besides installing with just 512 ram, you could also turn off the framebuffer for the console at boot time. There are instructions on the link there.
 
Old 09-24-2003, 09:38 AM   #10
CyberLord_7
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Thanks to all for your suggestions. Last night I removed all but one of my memory cards and I was able to successfully install the OS.
Tonight I think I will try to install again using Mad Merlins suggestion.
Thanks to all for the very good help.
 
  


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