Help installing Redhat 4.1 on a 486

Help installing Redhat 4.1 on a 486

Post by Darrell Shan » Wed, 21 May 1997 04:00:00

CPU:            486SX, AMI BIOS 7/25/94
Speed:          50MHz
RAM:            12MB
Hard Drives:    Primary IDE bus, Primary drive, (407MB formatted),
                Conner  CFS420A, partitioned as follows:
                        224MB     hda1     /dos
                         32MB     hda2     Linux swap
                         50MB     hda3     root
                        100MB     hda4     /home
                Primary IDE bus, Secondary drive (407MB formatted),
                Conner CFS420A, partitioned as follows:
                         56MB     hdb1     /tmp
                        350MB     hdb2     /usr
Video Card:     Cirrus: CL-GD540X/542X BIOS version 1.00a
                (which does not seem to work properly with the
                Metro-X Cirrus CLGD542 device driver)
CDROM:  TEAC 6x, Secondary IDE bus, Primary drive
Network Card:   NE2000 compatible Ethernet
                (irq 10, i/o addr 0x300)
Other Components:       Microsoft compatible serial mouse at cua0                               (com1, irq
4, i/o addr 0x3f8)
                        Internal 33.6 modem at cua2
                                (com3, irq 5, i/o addr 0x270)

I have tried to installed Redhat 4.1 numerous times on this machine.  Those

times when I have gotten the farthest are when I installed without network
        [In fact when I tried to install network support, the network card could
        not be found at installation.  And subsequently I ran into problems
        installing the bootloader.  The following error message appeared:
        An error occurred during step "Install bootloader" of the install...  
        This happened a few times.]

Without network support, I have gotten to the point of being able to log
onto the system as root; configure a few things (ex., add a user and edit
fstab for floppy and cdrom mounting).  However when I use Metro X, (with
just the default drivers) after a little while the system becomes unstable
(i.e., most commands result in core dump; cd and type do not core dump).
After exiting from X windows, the system is still unstable.  In fact, I am
not able to shutdown the system by either pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete or via
the shutdown command.  Once the system is in this state, after entering a
few commands the following message appears:
        INIT: Id "2" respawning too fast: disable for 5 minutes
A similar message appears if I try to login via another screen (i.e.,
Alt-F2, Alt-F3, ...).  Even without running X windows the system becomes
unstable if left on over night.  What am I doing wrong?

I am trying to configure PC to be a mail server and name server for our
company.  To have it dial up our Internet service provider upload &
download email and dispatch the mail to the proper machine.  I have read
various documentation such as HOWTOs for: Hardware, Ethernet, Net3, Lilo,
Serial, PPP, ISP-Hookup, etc, as well as the Linux Network Administrators'
Guide by Olaf Kirch.  And still I have not been able to make much progress.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,
Darrell Shane


1. Redhat 4.1 w/ 486 --> problem

: Here's my problem:

: I'm intending to install Redhat 4.1 to a 486. Problem is, I have a 2.5
: Gb hdd for that computer and with the way 486's are, they REQUIRE a disk
: manager to set up the drive properly since the BIOS is so old and can
: only recognize up to 528 mb ATA hard drives. I'm currently running
: Win95. I read somewhere that DISK MANAGERS and LINUX do not work well
: together. So, my question is... how am I supposed to get it working then
: if I CAN'T use a disk manager? I NEED the disk manager to partition the
: drive into smaller segments (400 mb each)...

Starting with Linux's 1.3 series of kernels, Linux has supported (and
auto-detected) hard drives formatted with Disk Manager and EZ-Drive --
so you're in luck.

There are two alternative approaches you might consider (since Disk
Manager/EZ-Drive do some _ugly_ things to hard drives):  (1) Use
a modern IDE host adapter with BIOS extension code, such as a Promise
adapter, thus adding the ability to do LBA or ECHS sector-translation.
(2) If your motherboard chipset & BIOS are supported by them, try
Microid Research's MR-BIOS code, which you can swap into your system
EPROMs, pay a shareware fee if you like the result, or put back your
old BIOS if you don't.  See <>.  The MR-BIOS
code is modern enough that it will do sector translation with your
existing (old) host adapter.

Use Disk Mangler (er, "Disk Manager") and its ilk if you must, but
I'd urge considering the alternatives.

Cheers,                    Facta tua Restitueri ad Status Pristinus Eius.
Rick Moen                       (May your data be restored to
rick (at)       its original pristine condition.)

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