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Old 01-22-2005, 02:38 PM   #1
jnriopel
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Unhappy Cant install on Hp Vectra dual P90 w SCSI


Trying to install Slackware 10 on an old HP Vectra XU dual P90 that was running Win2K. System has AMD SCSI controller, 2 SCSI HD, SCSI CDROM and floppy drive.

I tired all floppies with SCSI, and get the lilo prompt, but then when I hit enter it crashes soon after and reboots with lots of bios complaints about mem size, etc

There is also an IDE interface in the machine but I prefer not to have to use it if I can.
 
Old 01-24-2005, 02:01 AM   #2
DaHammer
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"bios compliants"? I assume you mean kernel complaints. Anyway, by the sound of it, it sounds like the system doesnt have enough RAM to support the kernel. Try adding more RAM, if you have it. There is a scaled down kernel provided, lowmem, with Slackware but it doesn't include any SCSI support. Basically it comes down to just how bad you want Slackware on the PC. You could connect a serial console to the PC so that you can log the kernel output word for word, then use that to troubleshoot whatever issues are there. But probably it's going to mean compiling a custom kernel taylored for your hardware to get it to install, if you want to use the SCSI devices from the start. If you have access to another linux machine, then it's not that bad. If not, then you could download a LiveCD and use it to compile a custom kernel on another PC.
 
Old 01-24-2005, 08:13 AM   #3
jnriopel
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I have 128Mb RAM in the machine, it used to be the corporate web-server. Someone mentioned it may be ACPI causing the crash? I would really like Slackware 10 to be running on this box, as I am bored with Win2K and at work, in security, *nix is the norm. It's a good box, with 2 NICs, so I could ultimately run something like IPTables on it and do some firewalling. I have no problem hooking up a serial cable to the port and log what the error was. I actually tied to type "debug' at the lilo prompt to see if I could get more useful info, but the PC still reboots after "Loading linuxz" (or words to that effect, it is at home and I am at work now), so I dont have time to read the messages. I suspect it could be the AMD funki chip that has the NIC and SCSI controller on it... Will post a boot log if I can get one tonight. Thanks.
 
Old 01-24-2005, 04:58 PM   #4
DaHammer
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Ok, well that rules out a RAM issue. Anyway, yeah ACPI can cause problems sometimes, however I think the only Slackware kernel that contains it is bareacpi. I looked at a few of the SCSI kernels and it was disabled in them. But just to be sure you can disable it by passing "apci=off" after the kernel name at the boot: prompt. Maybe try passing "apm=off" as well to turn off APM.

Anyway, if you are familair with using a serial console, then that's exactly what I'd do troubleshoot. All you'd need to do is make a simple mod to the bootdisk, connect a null-modem cable to one of the serial ports and to another PC, then connect to the PC with something like minicom, or Hyperterminal under Windows, before you boot the PC. That way you can control the entire process from the other PC and log any errors. The Slackware bootdisks use Syslinux as the bootloader and you can force Syslinux to use a serial console by editing syslinux.cfg on the disk, just add this on the very first line:
Code:
serial 0 9600
0 = COM1/ttyS0, 1 = COM2/ttyS1 and so on. You'd also either want to add "console=ttyS0" to the default line in the same file or pass that as an argument at the boot prompt like so:
Code:
vmlinuz console=ttyS0,9600
or to get output on both the monitor and serial console, as well as turn off ACPI:
Code:
vmlinuz console=ttyS0,9600 console=tty0 apci=off
etc etc....

Also you said the SCSI card is an AMD, what model? Are you certain Linux supports it? And if so do you know that the drivers for it are included in the kernels that you've tried?
 
Old 01-24-2005, 07:20 PM   #5
jnriopel
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Well hooked up a serial console and experimented with various options you suggested. Here are the results:

- acpi=off (machine still reboots)
- apm=off (machine still reboots)

serial console instructions worked, I got stuff on my laptop screen, but right after the loading vmlinuz......................, I see 'uncompressing...' on my VGA screen but not on my laptop, and then a quick bunch of text fast (also not on laptop) and machine reboots.

I got listing when under W2K that summarizes in text form a lot of hardware detail, will try to uload it here or mail it? Not sure how to do this...


 
Old 01-24-2005, 08:09 PM   #6
DaHammer
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To clarify, the line you add to the top of syslinux.cfg, ie "serial 0 9600" instructs the bootloader to use the serial console, not the kernel. You must also instruct the kernel to use it by either passing the arguments to it when you boot from the "boot:" prompt or by further modifying the syslinux.cfg to do it for you automatically. Did you do that? If so, you sure you used "console=ttySx" where x = serial port #, 0 for com1, 1 or com2 and so on? If not then the kernel will not use the serial console and you won't see anything after the "uncompressing ...." on your laptop.

And no, it's not necessary to post a detailed list, I was just curious as to which SCSI controller you have and whether or not it's supported by the kernel.
 
Old 01-24-2005, 09:02 PM   #7
jnriopel
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here is my file content...
Code:
default vmlinuz ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw debug SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s console=ttyS0
serial 0 9600
prompt 1
timeout 6000
display message.txt
F1 f1.txt
F2 message.txt
#F3 f3.txt
#F4 f4.txt
#F5 f5.txt
#F6 f6.txt
#F7 f7.txt
label ramdisk
  kernel vmlinuz
  append vmlinuz ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw debug SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s
label mount
  kernel vmlinuz
  append ramdisk_size=7000 ro debug
and an extract of my system report

Code:
<< Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) AM53C974 SCSI Bridge (AKA Qlogic Fast!SCSI Basic,
 Tekram DC-390) >>
  < Device Information >
    Device Type:                   SCSI Disk Controller
    Device ID:                     bus 0, device 4, function 0
    Windows Device Name:           AMD PCI SCSI Controller/Ethernet Adapter
    OEM Device Name:               Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) AM53C974 SCSI 
                                   Bridge (AKA Qlogic Fast!SCSI Basic, Tekram DC-
                                   390)
    OEM Hardware ID:               FUN_0, VEN_1022, DEV_2020, REV_02
    Revision:                      A / 3 (2)
 
Old 01-24-2005, 10:28 PM   #8
DaHammer
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Ok, I'd change that to this:
Code:
serial 0 9600
default vmlinuz console=ttyS0,9600 ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw debug SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s
prompt 1
timeout 6000
display message.txt
F1 f1.txt
F2 message.txt
#F3 f3.txt
#F4 f4.txt
#F5 f5.txt
#F6 f6.txt
#F7 f7.txt
label ramdisk
  kernel vmlinuz
  append vmlinuz ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw debug SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s
label mount
  kernel vmlinuz
  append ramdisk_size=7000 ro debug
According to the Syslinux documentation the serial line must be the very first line in the config file, else it may not work. I'd also move the console= arg to just after the kernel name and specify the baud, as above, so it is the very first argument to the kernel, although I'm not certain that matters. Also if you will be adding additional kernel options from the "boot:" prompt vs just hitting ENTER then you might try also adding the "console=ttyS0,9600" option, as I believe the "default" options are only passed if you do not specify anything at the "boot:" prompt.

Your card should work fine then. The way it looks there are 2 different drivers available for that card. The scsi.s kernel has them both:

CONFIG_SCSI_AM53C974=y
CONFIG_SCSI_DC390T=m

Anyway, that probably isn't the issue anyway.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 06:27 AM   #9
jnriopel
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Tried the new .cfg. The laptop shows
Code:
SYSLINUX 2.10 2004-06-18  Copyright (C) 1994-2004 H. Peter Anvin

Welcome to the Slackware Linux 10.0 scsi.s bootdisk!

If you need to pass extra parameters to the kernel, enter them at the prompt
below after one of the valid configuration names:  ramdisk (to load a rootdisk
into memory and boot it), and mount (to boot an existing Linux partition).
NOTE:  Most hardware is auto-detected without parameters.  So, before assuming
       your system requires parameters, try a few different bootdisks. :^)

Here are some examples (and more can be found in the BOOTING file):
   ramdisk hdx=cyls,heads,sects,wpcom,irq  (needed only if probing fails)
   ramdisk hdx=cdrom (force detection of an IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM drive)
   where hdx can be any of hda through hdh. Examples: hdc=1050,32,64  hdd=cdrom

If you would rather load the root/install disk from your second floppy drive:
   ramdisk root=/dev/fd1

In a pinch, you can boot your Linux system with a command like:
   mount root=/dev/hda1

DON'T SWITCH ANY DISKS YET! This prompt is just for entering extra parameters.
If you don't need to enter any parameters, hit ENTER to continue.

boot: 
Loading vmlinuz..........................Ready.
I can type ENTER on laptop to start booting, but still no log on laptop screen after "Ready".

Tried no vid card, no kb, no mouse: Got 4 beeps, no boot.

Replace ISA vidcard with nvidea tnt2 PCI vidcard. Now some messages show up on vga, like
ROM BIOS Copyright and BIOS version (G0.05.14), then the rest of the msgs go to laptop. And I dont see my SCSI disk
identification messages anymore.

And I can type on the laptop at the boot: prompt. So I press ENTER, get "Loading vmlinuz.........Ready"
The about a screenful of messages show up on the vga screen, and the box reboots. I have no time to read
the messages, and they dont show up on the laptop.

Actually, I managed to read
Uncompressing linux
booting the kernel

on the VGA befoor it rebooted. Wish there was a way to single-step! I tried hitting BREAK on my kb to freeze the display
but Im either not fast enough or it is disabled.

Happy to read my adaptec is supported! I will take out the LAN (3c509 isa) and sound card (vibra16 ISA) and try again.
... Same thing, reboots.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 01:34 PM   #10
DaHammer
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Quote:
Originally posted by jnriopel
Tried the new .cfg. The laptop shows

I can type ENTER on laptop to start booting, but still no log on laptop screen after "Ready".
Hehe, I didn't mean type in ENTER. I meant hit your ENTER key on your laptop's PC. Anyway, I confirmed that the scsi.s kernel supports serial consoles, but I had to make an adjustment to get it to work. Apparently, the default line isn't used unless allow syslinux to time out and boot automatically. Sorry, I wasn't aware of that and had always just manually entered the kernel parameters at the boot: prompt like so:
Code:
boot: vmlinuz console=ttyS0,9600
Anyway, if you don't want to manually enter them as above, then add an append line to the syslinux.cfg file. Then syslinux will always append those parameters for you. Here's the new syslinux.cfg file with that done:
Code:
serial 0 9600
append console=ttyS0,9600
default vmlinuz ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s
prompt 1
timeout 6000
display message.txt
F1 f1.txt
F2 message.txt
#F3 f3.txt
#F4 f4.txt
#F5 f5.txt
#F6 f6.txt
#F7 f7.txt
label ramdisk
  kernel vmlinuz
  append vmlinuz ramdisk_size=7000 root=/dev/fd0u1440 vga=normal rw SLACK_KERNEL=scsi.s
label mount
  kernel vmlinuz
  append ramdisk_size=7000 ro
If you want to pass additional parameters, like I noticed you want to use the kernel debugging, then tack them onto the end like so:
Code:
append console=ttyS0,9600 debug apci=off apm=off
etc etc. You get the idea I'm sure. However, kernel debugging is not set in the scsi.s kernel, so that probably isn't going to gain you anything.

You should get an output like this on your laptop:
Code:
boot:
Loading vmlinuz..........................Ready.
Linux version 2.4.26 (root@tree) (gcc version 3.3.4) #21 Mon Jun 14 19:17:44 PDT 2004
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
etc etc

Sorry for the confusion.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 04:40 PM   #11
jnriopel
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Location: Snowy Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Talking

Eureka!
Code:
SYSLINUX 2.10 2004-06-18  Copyright (C) 1994-2004 H. Peter Anvin

Welcome to the Slackware Linux 10.0 scsi.s bootdisk!

If you don't need to enter any parameters, hit ENTER to continue.

boot: 
Loading vmlinuz..........................Ready.
Linux version 2.4.26 (root@tree) (gcc version 3.3.4) #21 Mon Jun 14 19:17:44 PDT 2004

BIOS-provided physical RAM map:

 BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009f800 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 000000000009f800 - 00000000000a0000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 0000000008000000 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000fec00000 - 00000000fec01000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000fee00000 - 00000000fee01000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000ffff0000 - 0000000100000000 (reserved)

128MB LOWMEM available.
On node 0 totalpages: 32768
zone(0): 4096 pages.
zone(1): 28672 pages.
zone(2): 0 pages.
DMI not present.
Kernel command line: console=ttyS0,9600 
Initializing CPU#0
Detected 90.207 MHz processor.
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 179.81 BogoMIPS
Memory: 126048k/131072k available (2013k kernel code, 4636k reserved, 757k data, 140k init, 0k highmem)
Dentry cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Inode cache hash table entries: 8192 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
Mount cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
Buffer cache hash table entries: 8192 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Intel Pentium with F0 0F bug - workaround enabled.
CPU: Intel Pentium 75 - 200 stepping 04
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
mtrr: v1.40 (20010327) Richard Gooch (rgooch@atnf.csiro.au)
mtrr: detected mtrr type: none
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.00 entry at 0xfdcf0, last bus=0
PCI: Using configuration type 1
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
PCI: Probing PCI hardware (bus 00)
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
Initializing RT netlink socket
Starting kswapd
VFS: Disk quotas vdquot_6.5.1
Journalled Block Device driver loaded
pty: 512 Unix98 ptys configured
Serial driver version 5.05c (2001-07-08) with HUB-6 MANY_PORTS MULTIPORT SHARE_IRQ SERIAL_PCI enabled
ttyS00 at 0x03f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
Real Time Clock Driver v1.10f
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
FDC 0 is a National Semiconductor PC87306
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 7777K size 1024 blocksize
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00beta4-2.4
ide:
...and then the PC reboots. What now, dear Watson?!
 
Old 01-25-2005, 05:20 PM   #12
DaHammer
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Haha! Well, my guess is the old PC's IDE controller doesn't like the newer IDE drivers, since that's where it reboots. Course that's just a guess. I had a similair issue with an old P90 system except the kernel would panic and the system hung vs rebooting. That's what it turned out to be, but I forget off hand what controller it was/is or exactly what I did to fix it. I will have to see if I can dig up notes on that issue. What controller do you have? Anyway, just for curiousty try the lowmem bootdisk. It still contains the newer IDE drivers but alot of the stuff is disabled. Granted it doesn't have the SCSI support that you need, but it may partially expose the issue. I suppose you could also remove IDE support altogether since you're using it anyway, in a custom kernel.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 06:29 PM   #13
jnriopel
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I tried disabling the IDE in my BIOS... Got
Code:
...
FDC 0 is a National Semiconductor PC87306
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 7777K size 1024 blocksize
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00beta4-2.4
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
The the reboot. Is there a switch to disble the IDE as far as Linux goes?
 
Old 01-25-2005, 08:43 PM   #14
DaHammer
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Yes, ideX=noprobe, where X = the device #, ie normally ide0 and/or ide1. So just add those to your append line or specify them at the prompt:

ide0=noprobe ide1=noprobe

That will prevent the kernel from using/trying to access the IDE interface. If you have the kernel source decompressed somewhere, then check out Documentation/ide.txt and/or Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt for all available parameters. The source may be available decompressed online somewhere, as well, I'm not sure.

BTW. Disabling something in the BIOS usually won't prevent the kernel from trying to access it. It sees it anyway, and tries, it just wouldn't work.

Last edited by DaHammer; 01-25-2005 at 08:45 PM.
 
Old 01-26-2005, 09:22 AM   #15
jnriopel
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Snowy Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Distribution: RHEL AS 3u9, Xubuntu, PartImage Bootable CD
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Post

Tried that, no go. Put it on the append line, and tried also at the boot prompt.
Still get the below:
Code:
...
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 7777K size 1024 blocksize
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00beta4-2.4
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
and the box reboots. saying probs with system board, cache memory and system configuration during the subsequent POST.
 
  


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