This problem is here to stay, it seems...
Anyway I recently installed CentOS 4.0 (Redhat Enterprise Linux 4.0 rebuild) and finally found out that their stock SMP kernel will boot if I append the noapic option to the appropriate grub.conf line.
However I can't live on stock kernels (and having apic disabled is something i don't really like), so I tried to build a custom kernel but using the .config file supplied by CentOS as a base for my setup. This however resulted in a kernel which won't boot, even if I use the aforementioned noapic option.
Note that the case with CentOS is very different. If a kernel doesn't boot, then what I get is a system hang after the "redhat nash" message. But this is most probably due to my using the "quiet" kernel option.
It seems to be a buggy BIOS issue anyway, although I've seen similar problems with the same controller family around the net with like descriptions.
P.S. I don't know whether it makes any difference, but I always compile my smp kernels with CONFIG_NR_CPUS=2, cpu type set to Pentium II (as I have a deschutes core) and *NO* Generic x86 Support.
Last edited by GD_19; 04-17-2005 at 09:44 PM.