I'm currently at a customers site loading up 60 Linux systems to run
the store operations of 30 stores in the North West Territories. The
systems we are using are Digital Venturis Fx 5120 computers which
are 120MHz pentiums, builtin IDE, PCI/ISA, 32Mb RAM. Pretty standard
stuff and we have used similar Digital models before. The CD-ROM
drive supplied is different though. Its a GoldStar 8x with a model
The problem is that while loading Red Hat 4.0 we are getting timeout
errors on the CD-ROM device. This makes the load take at least 4
hours per computer (times 60 computers!). The CD-ROMs are on the
primary ide controller and are jumpered as slave devices. The
Quantum Fireball HD is jumpered as the master device. I have also
tried it with the CD-ROM on the secondary ide controller as the
master device but I still get the same problems.
Here is some dmesg output:
hda: QUANTUM FIREBALL_TM1700A, 1628MB w/ 76Kb cache
hdb: GCD-R580B, ATAPI CD-ROM
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7, 0x3f6 on irq 14
ide1 at 0x170-0x177, 0x376 on irq 15
And here is the actual error message. This happens over and over
while doing the install. It will do a little bit quickly (1 or 2
small packages or in a burst a part of a large package) and then
just sit for a number of seconds (5 or 10) before it gives the
timeout message as follows:
hdb: irq timeout: status=0x58
hdb: ATAPI reset complete
Here is what I've tried:
1. Installed Caldera Network Desktop instead. This actually worked
fine so I think it shows that the problem is in the 2.0.x kernels.
2. Used a different CD-ROM (Toshiba) on the same IDE cable jumpered
the same way (slave). This worked for the Red Hat 4.0 install.
I think this shows the problem is specifically between the
2.0.x kernels and the GoldStar CD-ROM.
3. Using the Toshiba CD-ROM I installed the Red Hat 4.0 system. Then
I put back in the GoldStar CD-ROM and ran some tests. If I do a
"ls -lR" on the CD-ROM and the HD at the same time, there is no
problems. When I try to install a rpm package from the CD-ROM
I get the problems. I think this shows that both devices reading
at the same time is not a problem but that reading from the CD-ROM
and writing to the HD at the same time causes the problem.
4. I tried playing around with hdparm to try different options but
5. I tried using the "hdb=slow" option but no change.
6. I have removed all hardware (such as SMC EtherEZ and Cyclades 8YO)
but it made no difference.
7. Patched the kernel from Red Hat from 2.0.18 to 2.0.27 and the
problem still existed.
The end result is either we:
a) Get the problem fixed (hope this is what we can do!)
b) Change the CD-ROM (not sure if manufacturer will do so)
c) Install Caldera Network Desktop instead
I don't want to install CND since I want the newer kernel (we are
also installing floppy tape drives that need the latest ftape
which is included with the 2.0.x kernels).
Using the GoldStar CD-ROM with Red Hat 4.0 is causing lost interrupts
which is making the install speed unbearable. I think I have isolated
it to the point where it is definitely the combination of the 2.0.18
kernel in Red Hat 4.0 and the GoldStar CD-ROM.
I hope we can get a solution for this quickly as we are only here
till Friday (setting up the first 17 computers - coming back in
January for the rest).
I believe is the maintainer of the IDE CD-ROM driver. So far I have
received no response.
Brad Pepers Proud supporter of Linux and
Ramparts Management Group Ltd. Caldera in Canada!
http://www.agt.net/public/ramparts Linux rules!