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Linux doesn't like my dual cpu system

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    Linux doesn't like my dual cpu system

    I'm doing things to my home network, and I wan't to build my own router again. For a LONG time I used my XG-DLS (fully pimped). It worked great with no problems for years; it used smoothwall and had zero issues. ( ) I bought a dual Tualatin, and got it fully decked out, and I go to install smoothwall, and it would just crash. Furthest I ever got was 12% copying files. I google the error code I saw during boot, and disabled APIC. Better, but still had errors, Something about /etc/rtc file missing. (i'm not in front of the computer atm) I dick around with it for about 3 hours, get nowhere. Try VYos, exact same issues. Basic troubleshooting led me to believe it was a hardware issue with some drive. new cables, new cd, new disk, new hard drive, ide hard drive, all resulted in the same issues. I install XP, runs smooth as silk, no problems. Passed 24 hours memtest and 12 hours of multi-PI. Damn thing runs like a raped ape. By this time i'm pretty irked. I set up my xg-dls again, everything installs perfectly, works as expected.

    Anyway, I mean I CAN use my XG-DLS, but the power supply is on its last leg, and to be honest, I don't want to loose this board. Also, they are slated to install gigabit fiber nearby in the near future, and 2x 900mhz xeons aren't going to cut it. I'm not doing anything crazy; basic routing, QoS, VPN, segmented wifi, and the usual suspects. I figure I'd ask here, and not the smoothwall forums (yet), as I am 100% certain 90% of the replies I would get would be "omg! buy new hardware, warble, warble, warble." And to their credit, A simple itx atom setup would be absolutely sweet, but until someone is going to ship one to me for free...

    Asus XG-DLS - 2x 900/2m/100 p3 xeons ( SL4XY ) - 2gb ecc ram
    Tyan Thunder HEsl-T S2688 - 2x 1400mhz p3 tualatins - 6x 1gb ecc/reg
    - common -
    3x gigabit nics based off the RTL8169
    ati rage iic video
    1x 320gb sata drive on converter
    250/25 internet
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

    What are you using for your Linux distro? I've got a Supermicro with dual Coppermine 1GHz Slot 1 P3s and 2GB of RAM. No problems at all. I've got to check the next time it's powered up, but I think it's a fairly old Debian distro.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


      For the amount you'd save on your power bill, you might want to look into one of the Atom based Intel boards with dual gigabit NICs. Something like the AsRock AD2550R/U3S3 ($150, plus laptop DDR3 SODIMM for RAM), which is what I have in my new Linux server... and it has a PCIe slot to add a third NIC. Or there are some quad gigabit Atom boards too.

      Unless you have electric heat, in which case your computer is just another space heater in the winter.

      Are you running into a PAE problem? With 6 gigabytes of RAM on 32 bit CPUs, the system has to use PAE to address everything above 4GB. Try removing two sticks of RAM and dropping down to 4GB. Linux will use PAE by default, XP will not. You may also have to disable PAE using kernel command line options at boot.


        did you not read what I posted?
        Removing 2 gb of ram made no difference

        vyos appears to be debian based, and smoothwall looks *identical* during bootup, so I would surmise they are both debian. I'm trying pfsense right now, it doesnt crash, but has very similar issues. I'm getting a constant "error issuing ata_identify command" There are mentions on google regarding my sata controller not liking freebsd.
        It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


          Originally posted by luckybob View Post
          did you not read what I posted?
          Removing 2 gb of ram made no difference
          I read it... but I wanted to make the space heater comment.

          I see that the board has built in SCSI, have you tried it with a SCSI hard drive for storage instead of IDE? Used Ultra 160 or Ultra 320 SCSI drives are pretty cheap... Ultra 320 drives should work OK on a 160 controller, just at the 160 speed.

          Do you have a PCI IDE controller you could try instead of the built-in controller?


            havent tried scsi yet. all my scsi drive are either small old ones, or 10/15k screamers. I have literally a pile of sata 320gb drives that are cool, quiet and designed for 24/7 use. (video recording) I don't see where a scsi drive will work, when the add-on sata will not. That said, I will give it a shot now.

            and yes, same results onboard ide, addon ide, addon sata.
            It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


              Well frack me sideways and call me sally. it seems to work okay. The problem is still there, but honestly it doesnt matter to me how it boots. I guess I need to buy a quiet scsi drive. :P

              Got to enable pae next (because reasons), but I think I can do that tomorrow after a night's sleep.

              she looks nice:

              Gotta also find an i/o shield but for now all is good. thanks.
              Last edited by luckybob; November 2, 2016, 12:50 PM.
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                I remember some one saying that some MBO's have a RAID mode for the IDE that is enabled by default, even for a single disk, and apparently it can spook Linux.

                Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.


                  What kind of cable do you have between your MB and SATA converter? When I installed FreeBSD 9 on my Athlon recently, I was getting all sorts of drive issues I hadn't seen in 15 years of operation. Turns out Ultra DMA was finally getting enabled and my 40 conductor PATA cable was no longer sufficient. An 80 conductor cable from the parts bin (didn't even know I had one) resolved all the problems.


                    Originally posted by g4ugm View Post
                    I remember some one saying that some MBO's have a RAID mode for the IDE that is enabled by default, even for a single disk, and apparently it can spook Linux.
                    It's certainly true for some early SATA-capable motherboards. The assumption is made that if you're using SATA, you must be using RAID. You can get around it, but you do get some artifacts still showing in Linux. I've got a socket 754 ECS board like that.
                    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                      Smoothwall is debian based, however I think the free one (Smoothwall 3) is running quite an old kernel, and that may be your issue. But I'd try to rule out hardware, pimp the thing out again and then throw on a copy of Ubunutu 14 or 16 and see if it works.

                      Have you thought about switching to Untangle or PFSense instead of Smoothwall? They might make better use of that hardware.

                      IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
                      IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
                      Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10


                        I mean the onboard IDE is bog-standard. It should not have caused any issues. Add on sata/ide cards also should have just worked. I wasn't using anything strange here. I just wanted to use a cool quiet sata drive. That said, I am happy it works now.

                        I've tried pfsense in the past, and I just did not like the interface. For the life of me, I could not get it to port forward to run a simple web server. i've looked at vyos, untangle, and smoothwall. I went with #3 because I've used it successfully in the past and it worked very well. I don't need a lot of new, fancy features. My main goal is have better security on my wifi. I recently picked up several cisco wap units locally for $4 each. I also got a REALLY good deal on a practically new 48 port managed gigabit switch.

                        I'm going to buy a few 4 port gig nics for 3 computers and "upgrade" and do some smb multichannel goodness. At the very least all my main systems run dual nics.
                        It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                          How are those Cisco APs managed? I thought that all the Cisco stuff needed to managed via their, not free, cloud based management system or a very expensive in-house management system.

                          I've used Untangle at home, as well as Smoothwall. I found Untangle to be far more robust that Smoothwall 3, and I too did not like PFSense. My Smoothwall box was a celeron 300 with 256mb of ram and it ran like a champ until my internet speed went over 25Mbit/s, that's when I switched to an Untangle box with real PCI Intel Nics on some faster hardware (Core 2 Duo with 4Gb of RAM IIRC). That handled all the subsequent speed upgrades, all the way to 100Mbit/s.

                          IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
                          IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
                          Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10


                            Don't know yet, I have one in front of me now booting. had to buy one of those blue management cables, $1 shipped from somewhere. thank you ebay.

                            I've seen youtube videos regarding their setup. Seems straightforward enough for cisco equipment. I just tested my managed switch, one fan has a bad bearing and I'll need to deal with that, but otherwise its in perfect working order.
                            It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                              I've generally found that with most P3 hardware I have, Linsux goes tits-up face-down if you even TRY to run a Linux kernel newer than 2.4. This is because the ACPI support is often incomplete/unrecognized/missing on the hardware side, and 2.6/newer kernel doesn't know how to handle APM properly because nobody seems to be willing to bother porting the old drivers for it over... and since the kernel driver API changes every time Linus gets wood (part of why many hardware makers don't want to support Linux in the first damned place and why you're stuck with volunteer work -- particularly the more complex the device; see VIDEO and SOUND) older features required for older hardware often fall by the wayside.

                              Which is why quite often you get into P3 era hardware, Linux is often just not an option and does, well... pretty much what you describe.

                              See my Dell Inspiron 8200 -- 1ghz P3, great laptop... but I can't run a modern linux distro on it, even IF I can get it to boot, the CPU fans never come on, the CPU never clocks faster than 500mhz, and if you plug in headphones you get output from both the headphones and speaker at the same time.... or the dual P3 I have in a U2 rack where the second CPU is unrecognized and it won't EVER let me boot from a SATA drive -- PATA only... EVEN if I use an expansion card for SATA or EVEN if I set the BIOS to emulate PATA for SATA, it just won't recognize it at boot.

                              When both rigs run Winblows XP just fine.

                              It's why when people suggest Linsux for older machines, I laugh in their face. Just like I guffaw when people claim it is useful as a desktop OS. My own experiences with it -- new hardware, old hardware, new distro's, old distros -- It's a pathetic joke at BEST that I cannot fathom why anyone would put up with it in that role.

                              Server? Fine and dandy OS. Desktop use? Not so much. Pathetically crippled... well, that an d fre ety pe' s hal fwi t fon t ker ni ng mak es me wan t t o j ab o ut my ey ebal ls wit h a ho t poke r.

                              Oh, and little trick for P3 era and early athlons? If you're on a VIA chipset motherboard disable ACPI regardless of what OS you're using. The resting low power state for the bus can make all sorts of things -- audio, IDE, etc -- go completely nuts. It can run slow at best, constantly enter/exit a reboot state at worst. If you'll remember Soundblaster Live "crackle" common to the LIVE + VIA combination, it was ACPI under XP that was causing the problem. That problem was just one symptom of a larger issue in that in the early migration from APM to ACPI, a LOT of chipset makers cut corners that the OS and peripherals weren't exactly happy with.

                              But that's what happens when you start deploying specifications whilst they're still basically in DRAFT.
                              Last edited by deathshadow; November 2, 2016, 06:40 PM.
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