Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

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ekarlson
Posts: 6
Joined: 2006/05/23 16:45:49

Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by ekarlson » 2006/07/14 15:02:56

I've been fighting with a new S2895 system trying to get CentOS 4.3 x86_64 installed on it.

Basically, the installation hangs in various ways - usually during hard drive formatting.

At this point, I'm fairly sure that Tyan's claim that RHEL 4 runs on this board is false. I've found some comments indicating that people have had success with installing the latest 2.6 kernel (replacing the creaky 2.6.9 kernel that comes with RHEL).

Problem is: when I cannot even get through the initial installation I cannot get to the point that I have a kernel to update.

I do my installations via PXE boot and kickstart, so I can easily replace RPMs et al for my installation process. The piece that has me scratching my head is how to build the kernel that goes into the vmlinuz that is used by the installation process. Since I don't have an x86_64 system running, I don't have a platform on which to do this build. Also, I think that the build options for building the kernel that is used during the installation process is slightly different than simply building a kernel for a running copy of Linux - but I have no details on this subject.

So, the short question is:
How do I build the two versions of the kernel that I need to replace in my installation images to get the newest kernel used for both the final installed O/S as well as the kernel that gets used during the installation process?

Thank you for your assistance.

LightwaveNet
Posts: 2
Joined: 2006/07/26 23:05:49

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by LightwaveNet » 2006/07/26 23:13:27

I'm going to guess that it's a BIOS setting problem.

Try going to BIOS and reloading BIOS Failsafe options.

Then try the install again.

I recently installed from DVD ISO CentOS 4.3 x86_64 with no issues.
Stock kernel and everything worked fine.

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/28 21:10:34

[quote]
LightwaveNet wrote:
I'm going to guess that it's a BIOS setting problem.

Try going to BIOS and reloading BIOS Failsafe options.

Then try the install again.

I recently installed from DVD ISO CentOS 4.3 x86_64 with no issues.
Stock kernel and everything worked fine.[/quote]

I also installer CentOS 4.3 x64 SMP on my TYAN VX50 B4881 (4CPU - 8Core) system and all is well EXCEPT CentOS doesn't detect my LAN. For Win2003Server, I had to install TYAN's motherboard drivers - LightWave.Net - have you figured out the motherboard driver issues? I can't keep track of all the versions/boards on the TYAN website...

thanks!!
Patti :-D

LightwaveNet
Posts: 2
Joined: 2006/07/26 23:05:49

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by LightwaveNet » 2006/07/29 00:04:51

[quote]
PattiMS wrote:
I also installer CentOS 4.3 x64 SMP on my TYAN VX50 B4881 (4CPU - 8Core) system and all is well EXCEPT CentOS doesn't detect my LAN. For Win2003Server, I had to install TYAN's motherboard drivers - LightWave.Net - have you figured out the motherboard driver issues? I can't keep track of all the versions/boards on the TYAN website...

thanks!!
Patti :-D[/quote]

How many CPUs do you have installed in that motherboard?

That board uses a Broadcom BCM5701C Gigabit Lan chip... However that chip is wired to the AMD 8131 PCI-X controller which is wired to CPU1.

Ie, If you only have CPU0 populated... then the onboard LAN isnt going to work. (nor will the PCI-X slots).

I could be wrong.

Since it sounds like your PCI-X and/or Gigabit Lan ports worked fine in Windows 2003 Server... I'm going to assume current problems with CentOS is not because you're lacking processors... but maybe I misread your message.

You probably want to refer to your motherboard as a Thunder K8QW (S4881)
I think, the VX50 B4881 refers to the entire barebones transport chassis & motherboard combo.

ekarlson
Posts: 6
Joined: 2006/05/23 16:45:49

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by ekarlson » 2006/08/16 04:14:13

I've tried reseting the BIOS, updating the BIOS, tweaking settings one at a time. So far, no success with any combination of settings.

What I am finding is that if I disconnect the SATA drives and connect an ancient 40GB PATA drive, I can install and run just fine. The moment I attach SATA, it falls over.

I'm currently using the 1.03 BIOS (which is the latest). Can you tell me what settings you have choosen in your BIOS that are different than fail-safe that made your system work?

Thanks.

ekarlson
Posts: 6
Joined: 2006/05/23 16:45:49

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by ekarlson » 2006/08/16 05:46:22

If it helps, what I get in the virtual console during the hangs/stalls are repeats of:

ata3: command 0x25 timeout, stat 0x50 host_stat 0x24

Much like the energizer bunny, they just keep going and going...

I've seen some people say this is a problem with the APIC - but I see other people say they've installed with no problems. Unfortunately, none of the people who say they have no problems have supplied enough details to figure out what is different in their BIOS settings and system config.

ekarlson
Posts: 6
Joined: 2006/05/23 16:45:49

Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by ekarlson » 2006/09/15 20:42:53

Well, I think I figured it out.

If I disable the built-in NICs and use a third-party NIC (in this case, an Intel Pro/1000 GT), everything works fine.

Even with a third-party SATA RAID controller (a 3ware 9550SX in this case) I was still seeing various forms of time-out failures from the hard drive system if I had the on-board NICs enabled. As soon as I disabled the on-board NICs, those time-out problems went away. I have to assume that the older 'forcedeth' driver was somehow leaving the APIC (or some similar board-level controller) in a bad state such that it started dropping interrupt/dma requets. (just guessing on this point - I have no verification at this time).

I've read about a number of problems with the 'forcedeth' driver used for these on-board NICs. I also noticed that the version of 'forcedeth' found in CentOS 4.3 [x86_64] is 0.41, which is about a year out of date.

This would also explain why some folks reported that they had to custom build the latest kernel to get the platform stable. The latest kernel source includes the 0.51 version of 'forcedeth'. Sadly, there are at least some extensions in that version of the driver that seem to require features in the newer kernel. I've not done a detailed analysis to figure out whether I can back port that driver to the earlier kernels yet.

gemby
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006/12/21 16:02:12
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Re: Help with CentOS 4.3 x86_64 and Tyan S2895

Post by gemby » 2006/12/22 13:35:04

I have Tyan S2895 based barebone with 3ware 9590SE-8ML sata raid controler and have some strange reboot problems. Machine is reboting by itself every day or two in random times. Where to look, what to check.....I have two opterons 265 and 4 gigs of RAM onboard and Centos 4.4 x86_64 with 2.6.9-42.0.3.ELsmp kernel and cpanel

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