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Over the course of the last two years, my experience with linux has grown immensely. I am still by no means an expert, but I have learned much, and can do alot of things with linux that I could never do before. One thing I have never resolved with this notebook is a very strange cardbus controller issue.
I've posted several times to this site about this error. It is very baffling. It worked with earlier versions of Mandrake (8.1 and older) and none of the Redhat releases I've tried. I **think** I've nailed it down to an IRQ problem, but I'm definitely not sure. In the past, the OS worked okay, the card just wouldn't initialize. I forget the actual error dmesg gives, but based on other posts in this site, I really think the controller driver (yenta) wasn't getting an IRQ.
I tried installing pcmcia-cs onto this laptop (850 Mhz Duron, 320 MB RAM) and linux wouldn't boot (the os just freezes dead in its tracks). I booted using the "failsafe" option and removed pcmcia-cs (uninstalled the rpm) and things worked fine again.
I guess I'm curious if there is something different out there that I can run. I think someone told me that a different card manager driver was used in Mandrake 8.1, than in later releases. Don't know if that's true or not. I have worked with yenta to the limits of my abilities and knowledge, and it just won't go. What are my options?
If anyone cares, here is my output from lspci:
00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8363/8365 [KT133/KM133] (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8363/8365 [KT133/KM133 AGP]
00:07.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 [Apollo Super South] (rev 22)
00:07.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT8233/A/C/VT8235 PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 10)
00:07.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB (rev 10)
00:07.4 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 [Apollo Super ACPI] (rev 30)
00:07.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 20)
00:09.0 Ethernet controller: Conexant HCF 56k Modem (rev 08)
00:09.1 Communication controller: Conexant HCF 56k Modem (rev 05)
00:0a.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1410 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x (rev 64)
Probably more like BIOS, the above is from my old thinkpad, I've been using it with everything pcmcia-cs, yenta, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, etc... for about three years now. What's "dmesg" look like around the pcmcia load?
With Mandrake 9.2, while the system is booting, I never get the "Loading pcmcia" like I did before (with older RH and MDK distros). It just stops at a certain point and hangs.
Traditionally, whenever I typed 'ifconfig eth0 up' I got 'SIOCSIFFLAGS: Device or resource busy.' This is in RedHat or Mandrake. The cardbus slot works great in Mandrake 8.1, but not in any other version. That's what is baffling me - it worked before. I have actually posted messages at this site before, but with different distros. I figured that perhaps MDK 8.1 used a different driver (other than yenta) that I could install.
It is a Compaq Presario notebook, about 2½ years old. It has a VIA chipset that has known to be picky in some respects with linux (USB to be particular).
The VIA 82xxx series mobile Chipset? I've got that in a Presario 1200 with a TI 1210 cardbus. This is going to be a devil to track down, but if you're up for it I think I can get to the bug.
Mandrake as I remember it switched to in-kernel pcmcia (yenta_socket), rather late. So, it may be that you had a pcmcia-cs compile with external modules. This is getting harder to do as pcmcia-cs is mainly kept up for the userland side of it, cardmgr and the /etc/pcmcia file structure and so on. That's it, they were just using one or the other.
I've had a lot of problems compiling pcmcia-cs to use its modules against newer kernels. The only time it has ever cleanly worked for me is with a distro compile. The last one I used was Slack 8.1 I think. I've got a few ancient laptops where the cirrus pcmcia bridge is no longer supported under yenta_socket... and honestly, even using a different machine to speed up the compiles, I gave up and just BSD'd the little buggers.
First off, I would try upgrading the BIOS if its available. A good solid twitchy Compaq BIOS could be half the headache.
Second, check through the BIOS options for anything about the pcmcia bridge and fiddle with those. Gettting to Compaq Bios's can be a bit of a headache, I'm used to CTRL+F10, but there are even more bizarre key combos out there.
Third, let's look at all the logs... if it doesn't hang, or really... you can get it not to hang usually by booting: Linux nopcmcia
Or, alternatively: Linux single
and then you can just move the level 3/5 init call to /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia
Then hand load the modules one at a time:
Check "dmesg" between module loads and save what you get, like:
dmesg > dmesg.txt
Post up here anything relavent to pcmcia load, also look for acpi bugs or gobledy-gook at the top of dmesg, it might be a buggy acpi issue (which really gets us back to buggy bios).
Basically all the answers are probably in dmesg somewhere, so that's the first thing to post back. Hopefully this thing has normal onboard ethernet or something so you don't have to sneakernet it.