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RE: [Xen-users] at the end of my wits

  • To: Xen users mailing list <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Steve Brueckner <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 15:17:42 -0400
  • Delivery-date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 12:13:53 -0700
  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

Chris Fanning wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm at the end of my wits.
> I desperately need some ideas.
> Not long ago I posted here with problems booting xen on a P5Pdeluxe
> motherboard. 
> When I boot this machine with vanilla debian etch, there are no
> problems. 
> ata1: SATA link up 3,0 Gpb (SStatus 123 Scontrol 200)
> ata1: qc timeout (cmd 0xec)
> ata1: failed to identify (I/0 error, err_mask = 0x0104)
> ata1: port is slow to resond, please be patient
> ata1: failes to respond (30 secs)
> ata1: COMRESET failed, device not ready
> ata1: hardreset failded
> But this doesn't always happen. 50% of the time, the process stalls
> for about 6 secs on. 
> ACP: PCI Interrupt 0000:00:1f.2[B] -> GSI 19 (low level) -> IRQ 18
> And then continues correctly. 
> The machine also stalls during boot at usb hub detection, and NIC
> detection (or loading module). 
> Well, I gave up, thought it was some weird hardware issue, and
> decided to use that machine as my own PC (because it boots etch just
> fine).  
> So I started afresh with an asus P5LD2 and I've got exactly the same
> problem.!! 
> The only thing that these two machines have in common is the
> powercord and I've changed that too! 
> I'm not new to Xen, I've installed at least 15 since 3.0.1 These
> problems occur with my own compiled kernels and the debian packaged
> kernels.  
> Any ideas please?
> Chris.

Sorry, no help from me.  I just wanted to say I'm still in the same 
boat as you, although I use Fedora and a Dell Optiplex 745 machine.

Mine boots about 5% of the time; I wish it would boot 50% of the time!  
My errors are similar to yours but not identical due to different 
distro.  I can boot the vanilla Fedora 7 kernel, but not the Fedora 7 
Xen kernel package or the manually compiled Xen kernel.

What do we have in common?  Error messages during or immediately 
before or after ata detection.  Both the 965 and 945 chipsets lack 
native ata support, so it's either not present (in my case) or tacked 
on with a 3rd party device by motherboard manufacturers (in your 
case).  In both cases, however, it seems Xen can cause a lot of 
trouble with detecting ata, whether it's physically present or not.  
Others have posted that Xen works fine with their 965 boards, so 
unfortunately this isn't a consistent problem.

I have determined that my problem seems to be occuring during the 
ramdisk's (initrd) loading of modules, before the kernel even gets to 
start booting.  There's problems with the ata drivers.  The thing is, 
no amount of remaking or fiddling with my initrd contents seems to fix 
this, but I'm no Linux guru so maybe there is a fix.

Chris, does your system use an initrd or does it boot straight from 
the kernel?  This might be useful information, although I don't know 
what it would tell us at this point.

I believe we've dismissed the previously suggested notion that this is 
a hardware problem, since you and I have had it on 3 separate models 
of boards.  I've flashed my BIOS to the latest version, and done as 
much troubleshooting as I know how, but still no luck fixing it.

All I can think to do is wait for the next release of a new Xen kernel.  
I'd love it if someone could give us a better option, though.

Steve Brueckner, ATC-NY

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