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9. Reports of problems

9.1 Compaq PCI systems, especially Presarios

Patrick Yaner (p_yaner@eos.ncsu.edu) reported a Compaq-speciality to me. It seems they are mapping the PCI BIOS data area to an obscure area of memory, one that Linux (or OS2) cannot access. It can usually find it, but it can't get in, and gives a message on startup (something like "pcibios_init: entry in high memory area, unable to access"). Although this is alright with the display (which is on the PCI bus) and the IDE controller (also PCI), it means any other PCI devices -- such as an Ethernet card -- cannot be detected by Linux.

Compaq offers a driver for DOS at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/Drivers/SP1116.ZIP

but using this with linux would mean using the program that boots linux from DOS, instead of LILO. Note that Compaq occasionally updates the software in this archive, so the file ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/allfiles.html (also available as allfiles.txt) might be handy in checking to see that they haven't upgraded.

Oddly, this information can also be found in the SCSI HOWTO, although the Pressarios come with IDE built in.

9.2 VLSI Wildcat PCI chipset like in Zeos P120 box

Paul Bame (bame@sde.hp.com) reported:

The Wildcat PCI chipset works fine in late 1.3 and all 2.0 kernels.

9.3 dmarples@comms.eee.strathclyde.ac.uk G/W 2000

Gateway 2000 G/W 2000 4DX2/66 PCI ATI-Graphics-Ultra-Pro IDE of indeterminate make

It works well - only the IDE-Card runs in ISA-compatibility-mode, and works a lot faster when switched into PCI-Mode by a DOS-program... thus it's not that fast in Linux, and a patch would be nice.

9.4 cip574@wpax01.physik.uni-wuerzburg.de (Frank Hofmann) / ASUS

He uses the ASUS-board with 16MB-RAM, ISA-based S3/928, and the onboard-IDE-controller with a Seagate ST4550A harddisk. He's had no trouble with the newer Linux-kernels.

His problem:

using X, my mouse is not responding the way I was used to before. It's sometimes behind movement and makes jumps if moved quickly. I think this was discussed In a Linux newsgroup before (I don't know which one) and is due to the use of 16550 serial chips for the onboard serial interfaces. After two weeks, I got used to it :-)

Reducing the threshold of the 16550 should help. There should be a patch to setserial available somewhere, but I do not know where.

9.5 axel@avalanche.cs.tu-berlin.de (Axel Mahler) / ASUS

ASUS PCI/I-486SP3 Motherboard (Award BIOS 4.50), 16 MB RAM the on-Board NCR Chip is disabled, he had the Genoa Phantom/W32 2MB for PCI and a Adaptec AHA-1542CF (BIOS v2.01) connected to:

when creating the filesystems, 'mke2fs' (0.4, v. 1.11.93) hung and installation was impossible. After replacing the Genoa Phantom/W32 2MB PCI with an ELSA Winner 1000 2MB PCI it worked perfectly. He tested it with an old Eizo VGA-ISA and it worked as well, so the problem was in the Genoa-PCI-card.

9.6 Frank Strauss (strauss@dagoba.escape.de) / ASUS

ASUS SP3 Board i486DX2/66 NCR53c810 disabled Adaptec 1542B in ISA Slot with 2 hard drives (200MB Maxtor, 420MB Fijutsu), SyQuest 88MB and Tandberg Streamer ELSA Winner 1000 PCI, 1MB-VRAM Soundblaster Pro in ISA Slot at IRQ 5 Onboard IDE disabled Onboard serial, parallel, FD enabled

After a reset, the machine sometimes 'hangs' (soft and hard-reset the same) - this is probably not related to the Adaptec and the Soundcard, because even without these the system sometimes fails to come up. But if it runs, (and the ELSA-WINNER-1000-PCI-message appears) it runs ok.

The two serial ports are detected as 16550 as they should, but at some mailbox-sessions there was heavy data-loss at V42bis... The problem seems to be in the hardware...

CPU>-PCI-Burst seems to work well with DOS/MS-Windows

CPU->PCI-Burst does not work properly with linux0.99p15, Messing up when switching the virtual-consoles, crashing completely when calling big apps like ghostview, or xdvi, leaving the SCSI-LED on (!).

(I suspect these apps would be using a lot of CPU->PCI-burst because of the big heap of data to transmit to the PCI-Winner-1000)

After disabling CPU->PCI-Burst, it works well, the Winner-1000 at 1152x846 (not much font cache with 1MB) does 93k xstones. OpaqueMove with twm is more than just endureable :-)

He has got a SATURN.EXE which he loads under DOS before starting Linux, helping to turn on burst without hangs...

Someone stated that these problems might go away when turning off "sync negotiation" on the Adaptec - I do not know if this is possible with the adaptec1542B too? But I guess so.

With CPU->PCI-Burst it yielded 95k xstones, so he considers it as not too grave to do without. His only problem is that he would like to run his Winner-1000 at 1152x900 which fails because it seems to take any x-resolution higher than 1024pixels as a 1280pixel-resolution, thus wasting a lot end resulting in a y-resolution of 816pixels... but this is probably no PCI-related problem. It should have gone away with XFree86-2.1

9.7 egooch@mc.com / ASUS

He has nothing in the PCI-Slots yet, but wants to buy a PCI-Video-Card, currently uses WD7000 SCSI controller but will switch to the NCR-Chip onboard as soon as the driver is out.

Everything works perfectly - the first serial port which has a 14.4K-Modem attached does hang occasionally when reconnecting with the modem after having used it previously. He says that would not be unique to ASUS but rather a bug in the SMC-LSI device with its 16550UART. The logitech-serial-mouse on the second port works fine. Setting down the threshold of the 16550 for the mouseport would definitely help, one does seem to need a special patched setserial for that? I have not got the information yet, please contact me if you know more!

9.8 Stefan.Dalibor@informatik.uni-erlangen.de / GigaByte

All seems to go well, but he has not tried neither networking, printing or a streamer yet. Before applying the clustering- patches he had some problems with hangs triggered by "find", but this no longer is the case - perhaps it was an older kernel-bug.

The ELSA-Winner-1000 sometimes hangs, with very strange patterns on the screen resolved only by rebooting... The dealer has told him it was a bug in the ELSA-Card, but the manufacturer claims it had solved the problem. The bug is not reproducible so he does not plan to take any action at the moment.

All in all the machine seems to work very well under heavy text processing (emacs, LaTeX, xfig, ghostview) usage. Interaction is surprisingly responsive, little difference between it and the 3-4X as expensive Sun he works on...

CPU->PCI-Burst is still disabled because the bios does not support the PCI-things well?

A problem with his new modem (v32 terbo) arose: it looses characters. Especially when using SLIP it complains a lot about RX and TX errors. As soon as he runs X it gets unusable. He said he activated FIFO and RTS/CTS with stty, but to no avail...

9.9 Steve Durst (sdurst@burns.rl.af.mil) with UMC 8500 mainboard

Running Linux 1.2.12 on the UMC8500-100Mhz motherboard with the dreaded CMD PCIO640B (E)IDE controller, when booting the screen wiggles a few seconds, as if the Diamond Stealth64-DRAM (S3 864) has to warm up first, but he can live with that.

9.10 Tom Drabenstott (tldraben@Teleport.Com) with Comtrade / PCI48IX

PCI48IX Motherboard Rev. 1.0. Made by ??? documentation copyrighted by "exrc". The BIOS says not very much about PCI.

His E-315E Super IDE UMC (863+865) ISA-Controller-card does have problems. (It is a multifunction controller-card). It seems to work well under DOS/OS2 but not under Linux.


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