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Old 11-17-2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Thumbs down New kernel requires manual intervention to finish boot


I just installed the new kernel from the updates-newkey repository, and I've discovered that the new kernel boots much slower than the 2.6.26 kernel and requires manual intervention to complete the boot sequence on my laptop.

1) My laptop is a HP dv9708us with 17" AMD Turion dual core 64bit system, 3Gb memory, two SATA drives. One drive (a Fujitsu 160Gb) was installed by HP, and I added a second (a Hitachi 320Gb) drive in the empty secondary drive bay.

2) I have Fedora installed on the secondary drive, but I boot from GRUB using the Kubuntu /boot directory on the first drive. I do that because GRUB cannot properly access the secondary drive. (GRUB reports (hd1) as avilable, but can't "see" any partitions on it.)

3) When the 2.6.26 kernel is booted, the ATA driver produces several messages about the secondary drive being "frozen" untill it reduces the access speed from 3Gb/sec to 1.5Gb/sec. Thereafter it works normally. (I asked in how to fix this, but received no replies.)

4) When I boot the new 2.6.27 kernel, the boot hangs for a minute or so for each attached USB device and then appears to hang completely while trying to access the secondary ATA drive. The manual intervention that resolves the problem is to repeatedly push the "control" key, which will cause the ATA error messages, seen with the older kernel, to be displayed and the boot to finish.

5) Even with the manual intervention, the boot process requires about five minutes to complete. This is considerably slower then the boot time required by the 2.6.26 kernel on the same hardware.

6) Without the manual intervention the boot process had not completed during the time it took me to shower, shave, and get dressed this morning - about 45 minutes.

Any suggestions?

Note: I boot without the rhgb option, and removed the quite option to see where the boot was hanging. I discovered the "control key" work-around when I started to reboot with a <crl>-<alt>-<del>.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 11-17-2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Added information
Old 11-26-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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Mr. Chuck Ebbert at Red Hat suggested the nohpet boot option. Adding that to the GRUB kernel line restored the behavior to that I saw in the 2.6.26 kernels - warnings during boot, but no "manual intervention" needed.

My interpretation of the problem, after a brief look at some of the Google results for HPET, is that the HPET (High Precision Event Timer) may "break" the Real Time Clock interrupt handler by preempting the event, and that causes the timing of device events which don't use the high precision timer to "think" the expected event didn't occur at the "correct" time. The problem seems to be more common on 64-bit processors.


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