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As a disclaimer, I'm new to slackware and less-than-comfortable with unix-based systems in general, despite being pretty experienced building PCs.
So I'm trying to install Slackware 12.0 on a new PC from the CDs.
The PC is built on an Asus M2A-VM motherboard, with a Sempron 3400+ AM2 F2 Manila CPU. It's a 64-bit core but supposedly should work like an x86 without problems. It's got 2x1MB PC2-5300, a Western Digital SATA2 HDD, a Sony 1.44MB floppy drive, and an LG CD-RW/DVD-ROM IDE drive. Graphics and LAN are onboard.
Booting with CD1 in the drive, I boot the default hugesmp.s kernel, and partway through the boot the system hangs:
pci_hotplug: PCI HOt Plug PCI COre version: 0.5
isapnp: Scanning for PnP cards...
CLocksource tsc unstable (delta = 500028887 ns)
Time: hpet clocksource has been installed.
isapnp: No Plug & Play device found
Real Time Clock Driver v1.12ac
Serial: 8250/16550 driver $Revision: 1.90 $ 4 ports, IRQ sharing enabled
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
And there it gets stuck until I reset the machine.
Oddly enough, this wasn't the first problem I had with hanging on boot. It originally hung on the "Serial: 8250/16550 driver ..." line, so I started playing with the serial port address in the BIOS. The serial port can be set to disabled, 3F8/IRQ4, 2F8/IRQ3, 3E8/IRQ4, 2E8/IRQ3, or auto. The only setting I found which didn't cause a hang on the "Serial: 8250/16550 driver ..." line was disabled. I don't mind disabling it, since the serial port pins on the motherboard don't get off the board to a DB-9, and I have no plans to change that. Only with the serial port disabled did it get one line further to hang on the floppy drive line. So I went back to the BIOS and disabled the floppy drive, causing the boot to hang at the "Serial: 8250/16550 driver ..." line again.
What's going on here? What can I do to get the Slackware 12.0 installer running?
Although the last one, with two hyphens, seemed to make the machine take a brief (less than 0.5s) pause before loading the kernel. Forgive me, this is where my lack of unix eperience kills me—directions like this I sometimes need spelled out for me.
Playing on the APCI angle, I also tried disabling APCI APIC support in the BIOS, with no better luck than the other two remedies.
I'm going to crack the case and make sure the FDD cable didn't come loose or something silly. Oh, and thanks for taking the time to offer suggestions. This'll be my only unix-based system, if I can get it up.
Last edited by BigNate37; 11-28-2007 at 01:47 PM.
Reason: thanks note
At a guess, there is something in the default Slackware kernel which is causing a conflict somewhere.
To work around your problem, you could temporarily disconnect the floppy drive data cable and see if that will at least let you get the system installed.
Once that's done, the next thing would be to compile a custom kernel. This is not an easy thing for a beginner to do, but will give you the best results.
Disconnecting the floppy drive changes little:
If I disconnect the floppy drive and disable it in the BIOS, it hangs as above at the serial line just as before with the floppy drive set to disabled in the BIOS while it was connected.
If I disconnect the floppy drive and leave it set to "1.44MB, 3.5 in." in the BIOS, the motherboard complains on POST. Pressing F1 to continue despite the error, it hangs at the floppy drive line just as before where the floppy drive was connected and enabled.
Is it possible that the system is hanging on whatever comes after the floppy drive check?
None of them worked, though I had high hopes for the asus_pci switch (the machine has an Asus board, afterall).
I also tried playing with PCIPnP BIOS settings to no avail.
From the looks of other folks' machine info  , I'd venture a guess that the next line (if it were not hanging on the floppy drive) would be the floppy disk controller.
Jan 9 09:16:02 thor kernel: Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
Jan 9 09:16:02 thor kernel: FDC 0 is a post-1991 82077
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
floppy0: no floppy controllers found
Since the system hangs before the "Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M" line when I remove or disable the floppy drive, I'm not even sure that the floppy drive is the problem. Is there a way I can get the kernel to load without floppy support at all, or is it not in an independent module?
Well, I e-mailed a friend about it. I tried a couple other kernel parameters and took a couple pictures, so I thought I'd note that here as well.
Using the quiet option as follows:
boot: hugesmp.s quiet
I get the following error. This is interesting, and hopefully will help diagnose the problem. Edit: apparently this happens anyways: my friend confirms that when using the quiet option, his Ubuntu system has almost the same lineit's a red herring that you just normally don't notice.
Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 1 of device 0000:00:14.0
Bingo. In the BIOS, I changed HPET Support from enabled to disabled. Then I booted with the default kernel with no extra parameters (i.e. hugesmp.s), and voilą, passed where it hung before and now it's asking me to select a keyboard map!
Coincidentally, I've re-enabled the serial port, floppy drive, onboard LAN, PCI Plug-n-Play, and onboard sound in the BIOS, and the kernel still boots successfully.
Right now I'm pretty elated, but I'm not going to continue with the install until either later tonight or tomorrow. If all goes well from here on out, this box will be a custom honeypot, happily sniffing packets for a school project within a week or two. I might do some reading on my BIOS version, but that'll be on the back burner. The kernel on my CDs is 18.104.22.168, so it's not too far off from the latest at the moment.
Thanks so much, tobyl, onebuck, H_TeXMeX_H and rkelsen!