XF86 on 80486 solution

XF86 on 80486 solution

Post by Christoph Rasch » Sat, 22 Mar 1997 04:00:00

===== Issue:
Installing XF86 on a 80486. (problem found)
===== Configuration:
- AMI 486 DX, 33 MHz, ISA BIOS, ROM BIOS Date 7/7/91
- UMC 80486 System Board (4SLUD-1.0)
- TSVGA VESA VGA, Tseng Labs ET4000AX
- 16 MB RAM, 1.6 GB hard disk
- Logitech serial MouseMan (3 button)
- slackware 96, XFree 3.2 (I think), kernel 2.0.27
===== Problem:
- mouse movements around the center on the screen lock up the
machine when running only X. We call it the evil machine.
===== Comparison:
- We have a similar machine in our institute (except with a SCSI
board and no ID hard disk controller) including the same version
of linux , mouse, and graphics card. It works fine. We call it angel.
===== What we have tried:
- swapped video cards with machine above
        - angel worked fine with both cards
        - evil didn't work with either card
- tried Microsoft Bus Mouse instead of serial mouse
        - evil still locks up
- gpm on
        - evil works fine without X
        - evil still locks up with X
- gpm off
        - evil still locks up with X
- XF86Setup
        - evil locks up before switching to graphics
        - angel works fine
... after several more tests, it turned out that a 1.0 GB hard-disk
(from an angel machine) is working! And evils hard disk is working in
angel's machine! Tied of testing components we will now simply swap the
hard disks.
===== Conclusion
There was obviously a mismatch between the old controller (no name, year
1993) and the new hard-disk (1997). The 1.0 GB hard disk that is running
on evils machine is older and is apparently better handeled by the

Thanks again for your ideas.
Christoph Rasche
Institute for Neuroinformatics, ETH/UZ
Gloriastrasse 32, CH-8006 Zurich


1. XF86 on 80486?

Hello all,

we are trying to run XF86 (latest slakware linux) on a 486 machine (33
MHz). We succeeded to setup XWindows: with the mouse disconnected,
everything seems work fine. But when we connect the mouse, the machine
locks up after several seconds of moving the mouse around on the screen
(particularly if the mouse crosses the center).

We have tried multiple video cards (all of them TSeng ET4000), disabling
various bios caches, plus we have loaded the identical version of
slakware linux on another 486 and the same video card with no problems.

Does anybody have any suggestions what we could try next?

Thanks, Christoph
Christoph Rasche
Institute for Neuroinformatics, ETH/UZ
Gloriastrasse 32, CH-8006 Zurich

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