Re: Which distro for VT8237?
From: Rod Smith (rodsmith_at_rodsbooks.com)
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 00:45:04 -0500
On Fri, 12 Mar 2004 20:10:38 +0000, carlos_mason wrote:
> Has anyone successfully installed a Linux distro with
> AMD64/x86_64 support on a drive connected to the VT8237 controller?
> With Fedora I get a "crc error" (a CRC error for what, it
> doesn't say) as the kernel is being loaded.
> With Gentoo, I get the following error messages for hde:
> hde: lost interrupt
> I've been most successful with Mandrake, I was actually able
> to install it. Problem is, I can't get it to boot. No matter which
> boot image I select, I get a similar error as with Gentoo,
> "/dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0:<3>ata1: DMA timeout, stat 0x4".
I got an MSI K8T NEO yesterday (which uses the same VT8237 southbridge as
your board), and I've had luck installing both Gentoo and Fedora. My
system has an old 60GB PATA drive and a new 80GB SATA drive. I've
installed the bulk of both distributions to the new SATA drive, but my
/boot partitions are on the PATA drive. Gentoo was more tedious to
install, but works better once installed. (Fedora tries to handle the SATA
drive using the libata drivers, which I gather can cause compatibility
problems with the PATA drivers I need for the PATA drive, at least in the
case of the VT8237. I'm now trying Fedora using the kernel I compiled as
part of the Gentoo installation, using the PATA drivers to handle the SATA
drive in legacy mode, with much greater success.)
I'm afraid I don't have any sure-fire way to fix your problem. I know I've
heard of "lost interrupt" problems before, but I don't recall what the
causes or fixes were; perhaps you should try a Google Groups search on
that phrase. I do have a few ideas about causes, though:
1) It could be that the problem is something unique to your motherboard or
hard drive. My motherboard, as I say, is an MSI K8T NEO, and my hard
drive is a Maxtor. Our motherboards both use the same K8T800/VT8237
chipset, but there could be some critical difference in how they're
implemented. If this is the case, it's not good.
2) It could be that you're having problems booting off of the SATA drive.
(This would certainly be consistent with the "CRC error" that Fedora
reports.) If so, installing an old PATA drive just for a /boot
partition might help. OTOH, this will open you up to PATA/SATA problems
in distributions that use the libata drivers for SATA, like Fedora (and
apparently Mandrake, given your description).
3) Overall, your problem sounds like one of data corruption -- CRC errors
when loading a kernel, timeouts, etc. Thus, you might want to check
your cable connections and even replace the SATA cable.
If you're up for spending a few bucks, you might also try installing a
separate SATA card. I'd check the Linux SATA Information page
(http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html) before buying anything.
When I looked into Athlon 64 systems, I also looked at SATA boards as a
possible fallback in case of problems. Basic models cost between $20 and
$50, with the more expensive ones, in general, being safer from a Linux
One further suggestion: Try checking the Gentoo forums
(http://forums.gentoo.org). They've got a hardware forum and an AMD64
forum, and you might well find help if you try posting there.
-- Rod Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.rodsbooks.com Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking