[conspire] (forw) Re: [vox-tech] problematic computer (when installing linux) [fixed]
rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Nov 17 11:35:29 PST 2004
Just forwarding this because it's an interesting Linux question to which
I absolutely lack the answer.
----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:32:15 -0800
To: vox-tech at lists.lugod.org
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Reply-To: lugod's technical discussion forum <vox-tech at lists.lugod.org>
Subject: Re: [vox-tech] problematic computer (when installing linux) [fixed]
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-4.9 required=5.0 tests=AWL,BAYES_00 autolearn=ham
Quoting Dylan Beaudette (dylan at iici.no-ip.org):
> in order to disable DMA you must start the 'expert' installer, and
> pass ide=nodma to the IDE modules.... so far so good! However, things
> got messy when some packages refused to install (exim4 and some
> others...) so i gave up on debian.
> With the Yoper 2.1 CD, i was able to boot and install the system with
> the boot arguments 'novesa ide=nodma'
These kernel command-line arguments to selectively disable some of the
sometimes-problematic hardware autorecognition routines (plus ACPI,
etc.) can be really, really useful in installing modern Linux
distributions onto (in particular) older boxes. Vexingly, though,
they _aren't standardised_. Grrr!
Have a look at the famous "Knoppix cheatcodes" list:
As comprehensive as the Knoppix list is, your "novesa" and "ide=nodma"
appear nowhere on it: Instead of "novesa", you would say
"xmodule=[SomeModuleName]". Instead of "ide=nodma", you would say
"nodma". So, I have to wonder: Where are these differences between /
among distributions entering into the picture?
The reason this has come forcefully to my attention is that this guy
wrote to me in e-mail, a couple of weeks ago:
He's brand-new to Linux, and had found my Web page concerning Linux
suport for the Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop, which he also owns -- and on
which I've run Debian happily for many years.
He attempted to install the Debian-derived Ubuntu Linux distribution,
and got this:
cdrom-detect: searching for Ubuntu installation media
ide-cd 0x28 timed out
hdc: DMA interrupt recovery
hdc: lost interupt
hdc: status error 0x58 drive ready seekrequest datarequest
hdc: status error 0x00
hdc: drive not ready for command
As it turned out, he was able to get around the problem by swapping
CD-ROM drives for one of a different BIOS rev. (as reported on the
above-mentioned Ubuntu Linux thread), but one of the suggestions I was
going to make was to try the installer with IDE DMA disabled.
Which begs the question: How does one do that on arbitrary Linux
distributions, if they all implement kernel command-line options
differently? (Yes, I do know that more-conservative Linux
distributions' kernels disable fancy addressing modes for IDE, by
 As opposed to "vox-ingly".
Cheers, "Plus ça change...."
Rick Moen http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/pictures/1861-versus-2004.jpeg
rick at linuxmafia.com P.S.: http://www.sorryeverybody.com/gallery/1/
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vox-tech at lists.lugod.org
----- End forwarded message -----
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