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I've been having almost the exact same problem you're describing I think. I solved it (made it go away) by putting the "sleep 9" command immediately before the insmod for usb-storage. So in the load_kernel_modules file you'd have something like:
Stephen, I see this is your first post - welcome to LinuxQuestions. I made a new boot cd including the sleep command that you mentioned. It works on my home computer. Monday I will try it at the office, if it works there, I will post a step-by-step of how I did it.
Try booting your work PC with install disk 1 and then look at lsmod. I am guessing that there is a difference in the usb modules due to different hardware at home. Try adding any module differences to your mkinitrd -m[list].
I have read that you could experience lockups due to loading modules when the hardware is not present. You might need to mkinitrd a separate home.gz and work.gz with corresponding lilo entries. I have not tried this though.
Thanks for the welcome Mike! I've just been trying to get the same thing working with a 2.6.12 kernel (rather than the default 2.4 that comes with Slackware 10.0) and what I said above doesn't work for it. Instead the "sleep 9" needs to come after loading the usb-storage module, it seems. What kernel are you using? Maybe having a pause both sides is the safest bet.
I also tried the other option you mentioned before - that of compiling the usb stuff into the kernel. But this also fails due to this problem of having to wait for the drive to "appear". The kernel panic message about being unable to mount the root fs appears, then a few seconds later the messages from the usb-storage driver appear stating that sda is available. So you have to use an initrd just for the pause (or I suppose you could modify the kernel to have a "sleep 9" equivalent, but that seems a bit over the top.
Also, for one bootup the 9 second pause wasn't long enough! So I've upped it to 12. There must be a better way of doing this...
Thanks for the offer - but I think I now have my system working, but only with this "sleep" command in the initrd. Do you also have a sleep command in the initrd? It just doesn't seem a very "solid" solution. Maybe I'm being too fussy!
Well, my latest boot cd still does not work at the office. It has a sleep in the load_kernel_modules file just before the usb-storage module loads, and another sleep in linuxrc just after all the usb modules have supposedly loaded. The kernel is 2.4.29 (the bare.i install kernel from the slackware 10.1 cd). I plan to try a few more things that were suggested in this thread, and I will post the results, but I probably won't be able to do so for a day or two.
I do have ehci-hcd.o in my initrd-tree. It's the only issue I had the last time I made initrd.gz, can't remember if it's in or out. I suspect it's out. Will find for sure when slackware 10.2 is released.
using my old 10.1 .config ran it through make oldconfig;
compiled kernel (it automatically did the lilo stuff) ( I have a script called aik_kernel_compile that does all this)
installed the kernel ( Ihave a script called aik_kernel_install - I suspect this is a surperfluous step as this is a lilo boot machine)
removed the old 2.4.29 directory from my initrd-tree and created a new 2.4.31 initrd-tree directory, populated the new 2.4.31 initrd-tree directory with the 2.4.31 modules listed above - ehci-hcd.o is in, ran mkinitrd ( I have a script called aik_make_archos_initrd)
Machine booted into 2.4.31 on the USB harddrive.
Last edited by aikempshall; 10-12-2005 at 04:33 PM.