Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

General support questions including new installations

Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby kenm_uk » 2008/08/10 20:34:44

Hi recently assembled a new machine and am trying to install CentOS 5.2 x86_64. When the installer starts up it reads:

"Loading ahci driver..."

but does not change after many, many minutes of waiting. The computer does not appear to be frozen as I am able to hit Alt+F4 which has lines like the following:

"ata3: failed to recover some devices, retrying in 5 secs"
"ata3.00: failed to IDENTIFY (I/O error, err_mask=0x4)"
"qc timeout (cmd 0xec)"

but it never seems to get past the "Loading ahci driver..." stage.

The details are:
Processor: PHENOM X4 9550 4MB SKT-AM2+ 3600MT/S
Motherboard: ASUS M3N-H/HDMI
Ram: OCZ (OCZ2P10002GK) 2GB (2x1024MB) DDR2-1000 PC2-8000
Hard drives: Maxtor STM3250310AS 250GB SATAII (two as a RAID mirrored array)
DVD: DRU-190S

Any ideas on what I might try? At the moment I am downloading Fedora 9 x86_64 to see if I have much luck installing that instead. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Ken
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby vtstarin » 2008/08/10 21:32:54

Hi Ken,

Changed the SATA connections on the motherboard from 1 & 2 (for HDD 1 & 2) and 3 (for DVD) to DVD on 2 and the HDD's on 4 & 5. Rebooted again.


I found this in some blog search. It works for me.

Regards
Thiagu
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby kenm_uk » 2008/08/10 22:28:35

Thiagu,

Thanks, I'll give that a try tomorrow. In the meantime, I have been able to install Fedora 9. I would like to go back to CentOS 5 if I can get it to work. Will try your suggestion and let you know what happens.

Kind regards,
Ken
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby kenm_uk » 2008/08/12 17:39:43

Thiagu,

Unfortunately that didn't fix the problem. I am still waiting for "Loading ahci driver..." indefinitely.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Ken
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby vtstarin » 2008/08/12 22:13:58

Hi Ken,

Have you looked

http://www.bigsoft.co.uk/blog/index.php/2007/12/30/fedora-core-8-install-hangs-on-loading-a
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby djkappa » 2008/08/13 12:36:23

I have the same problem trying to install Centos 5.2 on my M3N-H/HDMI (AMD Athlon X2 64 5600 EE), with multiple Samsung HDDs: 1xHD501LJ (500G) and 2xHD103UJ (1T)

The install process seems to halt at "Loading ahci driver", but in fact it doesn't - pressing Alt-F4 shows it slowly timing out trying to talk to each of the SATA channels. And eventually, after about 10 min it will finish and continue loading. It is pointless, however, since none of the hard drives have been detected the installation cannot go anywhere!

I wondered if it might have anything to do with my BIOS being set to treat the SATA drives as AHCI instead of IDE? Certainly it didn't make any apparent difference to the problem for me either way.

In any case, changing back to IDE is not a suitable workaround for me, since I believe in order to use all 6 SATA ports they need to be in AHCI mode, not IDE - I have more HD501LJs waiting, so I'll eventually have 4x500GB in a 1.5TB RAID-5 array, plus 2x1TB in a mixed partitioned RAID-0 (OS) / RAID-1 (TV Recordings).

I'm starting to become a little annoyed with this motherboard. It all looks good in the specs, but must be all too new for most Linux distros. The only distro I've found so far that will work with it is the very latest (K)ubuntu 8.04.1. Which is OK, but there still seems to be an issue with X having a mind of its own and not respecting the display resolution I tell it to use. It keeps wanting to go to 1600x1200 when I want 1920x1440, and I know my monitor can do it because that's what I used on my previous install of Kubuntu 7.04 (using an M2NPV-VM motherboard).

Incidentally, the first release of (K)ubuntu 8.04 would hang in a similar fashion whilst booting from CD, so it's quite possible they've got a fix for whatever this problem is...

So, I've been looking for other distros that might behave better, but with no luck yet! Shame, because I really wanted to give Centos a go...

Cheers,
DJKappa

[Edit] Incidentally, I too tried the Fedora Core 9 Live CD, and that got very similar errors trying to talk to the SATA channels. Even worse, once that process had finished timing out, it then couldn't even load the X graphical screen - an nvidia driver issue I think. So Centos 5.2 is _slightly_ better, but still no banana.
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby jlehtone » 2008/08/14 05:48:23

What SATA controllers do these boards have?
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby djkappa » 2008/08/23 14:53:28

It appears to be the NVIDIA GeForce 8300 doing everything, including onboard graphics and SATA controller.
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby kenm_uk » 2008/08/31 10:46:07

A brief update. I have managed to install Fedora Core 9 on my box but am having other problems now. I have a post in the FedoraForum:
http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthrea ... use+freeze

My mouse seems to freeze after logging in to Fedora Core 9 after a random number of minutes. Sometimes it freezes almost immediately. Sometimes it freezes after many tens of minutes.

I have tried ASUS technical support but their response was simply:
"Sorry Ken, I really want to help you, but I am not familiar with Linux and we only support for Windows OS."


I am not sure what the problems are exactly and am no expert. I just thought I would add the info here but I've run out of new ideas to try. At the moment I just use my box as a file server and ssh into it. That's about all it is good for at the moment... a real waste of money so far.

If any of you have had similar problems please post them here (and ideas for solutions greatly appreciated too).

Cheers,
Ken



Motherboard: Asus M3N-H HDMI
Processor: Phenom 9550
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Re: Installation problem: Loading ahci driver...

Postby djkappa » 2008/08/31 14:25:21

Hi kenm_uk,

Whilst I would be very interested to know how you managed to install FC9 on this motherboard, perhaps that's getting off topic unless whatever the fix was is applicable to CentOS too...

I have been playing with my Kubuntu 8.04.1 installation on this motherboard, using a Logitech optical USB mouse for quite a while now, and had no problems whatsoever with it. Is it perhaps a FC9 mouse driver issue? FC9 USB driver issue?

One of the reasons I've kept going with Kubuntu is that I have finally managed to get X to respond at the screen resolution I wanted. Using the command X -logverbose 6, I found that the nvidia chipset seemed to be rejecting many of the modes that X was testing during startup, both my modelines and a heap of built-in vesa modes. And this wasn't a problem with EDID because I'd disabled all that in the Device section of xorg.conf, as well as removing the EDID pins from my monitor extension cable just to be sure. And it seemed to be a problem no matter which graphics driver or version of it that I tried.

No, it seems the M3N-H/HDMI (or perhaps more generically, the nvidia geforce 8300 chipset) just doesn't like many of the standard modelines used by X. However, after a great deal of experimentation I found a very small modification that makes the modeline accepted by the chipset:

Original (fails):
ModeLine "1920x1440@75" 297.0 1920 2064 2288 2640 1440 1441 1444 1500 -hsync +vsync

Modified (works):
ModeLine "1920x1440@75" 297.0 1920 2064 2288 2640 1440 1442 1444 1500 -hsync +vsync

That VSyncStart number 1442 vs 1441 was the thing that worked. I suspect a similar trick might work for many other common modes, and I don't expect this is an issue that is limited to Kubuntu on this motherboard. Hence other people may find it useful to know, maybe even CentOS users if they can get it to work for them...

Good luck with your mouse problem,
djkappa
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