[CentOS] Centos 4 on Tyan S2895 with sata

Zube Zube at CS.ColoState.EDU
Fri Mar 31 02:08:53 UTC 2006

On Fri Mar 31 09:39:24 AM, Gavin Carr wrote:

> Hi all,
> Just wondering if anyone out there has got Centos 4 installed on a Tyan
> S2895 (that's a Thunder K8WE) motherboard on sata disks? I know about 
> the forcedeth bug, but I'm getting installation hangs at random spots in
> the install, even off CD, in what seem to be nv_sata timeout problems. 
> SuSE 10 is rock solid on the same box, so I don't think it's hardware,
> and I've tried two different sets of disks to rule out disk problems.
> Latest bios updates - tried both 1.02 and 1.03.
> Any success stories out there?

I started down the painful x86_64 road late last year with CentOS 4.2.
There is a message in the archives where I mistakenly attribute many of the
problems I experienced to a Logitech mouse.  Thanks for the opportunity to
set things straight.

For the record, I tried:

disabling the SATA RAID, even though I had only one disk
disabling the onboard SATA and using 2 different brands of PCI 
  SATA controllers
pulling my hair out

all to no avail.  The main symptom was a hard hang and errors of this form:

ata4 command 0x25 timeout, stat 0x50 host_stat 0x24
ata4 command 0x35 timeout, stat 0x50 host_stat 0x24

Sometimes the machine would recover after a long wait, other times nothing
but a power cycle would fix it.  This was with the 1.01 and 1.02 Tyan bioses.

Installing a SCSI card and an old SCSI disk in the machine made it happier, 
but slower.

As a last resort before installing a different distribution, I downloaded
the kernel source and using the .config file as a base, I added
everything I could find related to SATA and SCSI.  I had to compile it on
an nfs-mounted drive, for fear of tickling the host_stat error.  The new
home-spun kernel has been a success; I haven't seen the errors since.  I
then installed the 2.6.16 kernel compiled locally and still no errors.

The machine hasn't been tested thoroughly, but it is most certainly usable
with a newer kernel.


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