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A7N8X Deluxe

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February 15, 2009 4:52:10 PM

No matter which Linux package I try to install (2nd HD for Duel Boot), SUSE, Ubuntu, etc., I get install errors. The install disk starts with the CD-ROM booting it then a long list of alpha-numeric code slowly loads, and then after about 6 to 24 hours later the install locks up.
Is this the system board ASUS A7N8X Deluxe?, the CPU AMD 1.3? It's not the software because as I stated, it happens with all of them. What gives?

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February 15, 2009 11:54:39 PM

Linux can be installed in about 4minutes so if it's taking 24 hours there is definitely a hardware problem somewhere.

Are you sure your 2nd HDD is in good shape?

Do you get any IO errors during the install process?

What are the exact errors you're getting?

I have a couple of those boards and they work, although some versions had ACPI problems, BIOS, USB and possibly SATA issues. One of them has been running Linux for 5-6 years.

GL :) 
February 16, 2009 4:01:38 AM

I had an A7n8X deluxe. The problem that I had with it was its incredibly **** ACPI implementation. It was so bad that I couldn't even install windows XP, and trying to load any liveCD or install CD for linux would fail. The way I got around that was I went into the BIOS and disabled anything having to do with ACPI and APIC. Then, when you want to boot a Linux install disk or LiveCD, you have to give it the following parameters at the end of the boot parameters list:

acpi = off noapic nolapic

This worked perfectly for me, and that computer was an otherwise good machine, with the exception of the ACPI/apic problems. Be warned: disabling this stuff most likely means you will not be able to use suspend on your machine since that is controlled by ACPI. I can't tell you what specific stuff to change in the BIOS because that motherboard died about a year ago and I had to replace it on the machine that had it.

Hope this helps.

--Zorak

P.S. I didn't find out about the evil ACPI problems until i had searched everywhere and failed, and then asked a buddy of mine at engineering school about it, and he told me about the problem (he had the same mobo).
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February 16, 2009 4:53:32 PM

The errors are during the install scroll, some lines are stating 'ERROR' or 'ERR'
I'll have to try installing again to get more detail.

My 2nd drive is fine, its a Seagate 80gb.
February 16, 2009 5:59:40 PM

rktompsett said:
The errors are during the install scroll, some lines are stating 'ERROR' or 'ERR'
I'll have to try installing again to get more detail.

My 2nd drive is fine, its a Seagate 80gb.


Hmm. I have an A7N8X-E Deluxe (which is supposedly slightly newer?) and it installed Linux just fine. The only issue with the board is that it will not flash the BIOS no matter how I try to do it- floppy, FreeDOS CD, built-in BIOS flash utility.

I wonder if you don't perhaps have memory errors. Have you run Memtest86 on your machine?
February 16, 2009 6:31:34 PM

memtest is a great idea :) 

Most Linux distributions have memtest on the installation disk.

On Ubuntu there is a menu option for it, on many others you can type in "memtest" at the boot: prompt.

Good luck :) 
February 16, 2009 6:36:33 PM

K7s won't scale their frequency if they overheat- they just shut off. It was P4s that scaled frequency when they overheated.
February 16, 2009 6:44:55 PM

Error corrected. Thanks MU_Engineer :) 
February 16, 2009 7:14:08 PM

linux_0 said:
memtest is a great idea :) 

Most Linux distributions have memtest on the installation disk.

On Ubuntu there is a menu option for it, on many others you can type in "memtest" at the boot: prompt.

Good luck :) 



Thanks for the tip on Memtest. I was not aware it was on my Ubuntu disk.
February 17, 2009 1:19:39 AM

I ran Memtest and memory (1gb) is working fine.

The following is a typical scroll during install, the box numeric [xxx.xxxxxx] varies like line numbers...

Exception Emask
Initrams Emask SErr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
Buffer I/O Error device sdb logical block 0

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

This will continue for hours until it locks up.
February 17, 2009 1:31:17 AM

rktompsett said:
I ran Memtest and memory (1gb) is working fine.

The following is a typical scroll during install, the box numeric [xxx.xxxxxx] varies like line numbers...

Exception Emask
Initrams Emask SErr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
Buffer I/O Error device sdb logical block 0

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

[xxx.xxxxxx] ata 3.01-status {DRDY}
[xxx.xxxxxx] exception Emask 0x0 s act 0x0 Serr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen
[xxx.xxxxxx] cmd c8/00.000.000.00.00/00f0 tag 0 dma 40s6 in

This will continue for hours until it locks up.


Sounds like you are having ATA errors. It sounds like you either have a bad driver, controller, or disk. I'd boot the machine from a live CD and run smartctl on the disk and look for SMART errors to rule out the disk.
February 17, 2009 2:19:26 AM

Yes MU_Engineer is absolutely right, it seems your SATA / ATA interface is freezing up and this is the reason it is taking 24 hours to install and doesn't get done.

This can be caused by a defective SATA cable, a failed drive, faulty controller or a flaky driver.

Start by replacing the SATA cables and make sure you're using an SATA power cable and not a 4 pin molex.

The smart command for checking the drive that MU_Engineer mentioned is

  1. sudo su -
  2. /usr/sbin/smartctl -T permissive -T permissive -T permissive -T permissive -d ata --all /dev/sda
  3. /usr/sbin/smartctl -T permissive -T permissive -T permissive -T permissive -d ata --all /dev/sdb


Please post or PM me the results.

The "-T permissive" argument is normally optional but it will do no harm.

Fedora Core 7 i686 with the 2.6.23.15-80.fc7 kernel works on my board, it is version 2.0.

The SATA controller is an Sil 3112 and it is using the sata_sil kernel module.

Good luck :) 
February 28, 2009 4:55:00 PM

Now that I have Ubuntu installed, and running (I swapped out my HD cables), I ran a muck with another cliche.

After logging in with my user name, and password. Doing the updating, and loading in more applications, and rebooting due to a lock up from an application that did not work to my expectations - The screen does a little flicker, turns copper color, and where my Desk Top Icons should be seen is now just a solid white screen with the mouse curser on center screen but functional to mouse movement.

Durning Boot I have a choice of OS. What is the difference between Kernal 2.6. 24-23, and 2.6 24-16?
February 28, 2009 9:14:46 PM

Can you post a screenshot on flickr for us to look at?

If you hit the "print screen" key, the system should take a screenshot.

2.6. 24-23 is the newer kernel and 2.6 24-16 is the older kernel, probably the failsafe option for recovery, this is in case something breaks, which shouldn't happen.

:) 
February 28, 2009 10:51:48 PM

linux_0 said:
Can you post a screenshot on flickr for us to look at?

If you hit the "print screen" key, the system should take a screenshot.

2.6. 24-23 is the newer kernel and 2.6 24-16 is the older kernel, probably the failsafe option for recovery, this is in case something breaks, which shouldn't happen.

:) 


Well not really, I have sense reinstall Ubuntu. I believe it had something to do with installing a driver and it fouled up my screen. If you hold a white sheet of paper up to the a light source, draw a little arrow in the center, you should sort of see what I was saying. The reinstall this time pointer out that my AMI Radon 3300 is propitiatory and Ubuntu does not support it so it now loaded a different driver. I think. I'll have to see how this plays out. At least a reinstall here is not as bad as a Microsoft Windows.
February 28, 2009 11:00:32 PM

Ok, cool :) 

Keep the questions coming :) 

Nvidia cards usually work better, although some are quirky.
!