Ross S. W. Walker wrote:
> Ray Van Dolson wrote:
> > Hi all, we're trying to install CentOS 5.1 on a Sun Ultra
> 40. This is
> > an AMD-powered machine and we're using the x86_64 version of CentOS
> > 5.1. The machine is using the NVidia CK804 chipset and has
> > SATA disks.
> > It also has 16GB's of memory which prompted us to upgrade
> the BIOS on
> > the machine from 1.1 to 1.6 per this (we also have the two quadro
> > cards):
> > http://docs.sun.com/source/819-3954-18/index.html#0_37092
> > The install goes fine up until the installer is trying to format the
> > disks. Part of the way through it simply dies and pops up an error
> > saying that the installer couldn't format the LVM volume and
> > we have to
> > reboot.
> > An examination of dmesg output shows that there are many SATA errors
> > occuring at this point. Timeouts and such.
> > After a reboot, the SATA drive no longer shows up -- not
> even in BIOS.
> > It's as if the formatting has instructed the drive to deactivate
> > itself.
A hard reset and reseat of the drive in the
> SATA enclosure
> > brings it back again.
> > First thought was that the slot or SATA port was bad, so we
> have moved
> > to others with the same result.
> > Solaris 10 x86 installs perfectly on this machine, so I'm
> starting to
> > think that the sata_nv driver is to blame here.
> > We're in the process of trying 32-bit CentOS 5.1 on the
> > system just for
> > giggles, and may try Fedora 8 as well or RHEL 5.1 and use our paid
> > support to track this issue down, but thought I'd run it by everyone
> > here.
> > Didn't see any existing issues in bugzilla.redhat.com or
> > bugs.centos.org.
> > Any insights on this?
> > I will get the exact error messages posted up here soon (output from
> > dmesg, etc).
> Try "acpi=noirq" as a kernel argument. Some AMD chipsets have problems
> letting the OS know what irq the 8250 timer is on, the nvidia one is
> definitely a problem, I have the same chipset in a couple of Dell
> Dimension e521 desktops :-(
My explaination wasn't totally accurate. The acpi=noirq disables the
ACPI IRQ routing table lookup for IRQ redirects and reprogramming. Some
AMD chipsets had a bug in the way this table was built that caused 2.6
kernels to fail in getting a hook into the table which caused all kinds
of intermittent problems. By disabling this feature you run the possibility
of IRQ conflicts that will need to use the IRQ management in the BIOS to
resolve. Updating the BIOS of the system sometimes fixes the problem.
It just turns out that the system timer irq was my "symptom" that I
experienced, but it is different for different systems/configurations.
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