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    SubjectA7N8X (Deluxe) Madness


    seriously, I'm pretty fed up with it.

    I have an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe mainboard. Yeah, right, that thing causing
    serious trouble. I'm getting hard lockups all the time. No panic, no
    message, no sysrq, no blinking cursor in the framebuffer. Gone for good.

    I went through the mailing list archive and tried out many
    things. However, this is how far I got:

    With 2.6.0-test9, the machine locks up while booting or shortly
    after. This is clearly connected to high IDE (PATA) load, since it
    locks up with a 100% chance while doing an fsck. If I managed booting
    it (which means, if it doesn't do an fsck while booting) I can lock it
    up immediately by doing a hdparm -t /dev/hda. I don't know what SATA
    load would do on that kernel, I never got that far.

    Specifying "noapic nolapic acpi=off noacpi=off" helps, I got no
    lockups. However, I don't like this, because of the performance flaws
    (I'll talk about this later).

    So, one might suspect: Something between APIC or ACPI (or both) and
    the IDE controller broken, nothing to fix there, that's life. Right?
    Wrong. Because:

    With 2.4.22-ac4 it actually works *better*. Not absolutely good, but
    better. I can achieve uptimes up to *several days*. However, it still
    locks up. Sometimes after several days, sometimes some minutes after
    booting. But basically I can actually use my computer with
    2.4.22-ac4. Strangely, the lockups don't seem to be connected to IDE
    load with that kernel. When the machine locks up, it simply does,
    without any appearent cause. I can create as many CPU, disk, network
    or whatever load I want. All goes fine. Then I leave the computer, the
    machine staying idle, I come back and it's crashed. I even have the
    impression, that it only crashes when it has no load at all. Clearly
    spoken, I can't really remember that it locked up when I was sitting
    in front of the computer. Moving the mouse or typing things seems to
    create enough load to actually keep it from locking up?!

    So, things are totally different between 2.6.0-test9 and
    2.4.22-ac4. 2.6.0-test9 doesn't like the slightest IDE load with that
    mainboard at all. 2.4.22-ac4 doesn't care, runs for hours or for days
    and then locks up when it just gets bored or something similar.

    The solution might look simple: why don't I just use 2.6.0-test9 with
    the enormous "noapic nolapic acpi=off pci=noacpi" command line?
    Because then, my SATA performance really is a pain compared to what I
    can get with 2.4.22-ac4. A simple example with hdparm -t (I tried
    other things, also, but this already gives a nice example): with
    2.4.22-ac4 I get amazing 100 to 110 MB/s on the SATA RAID. With
    2.6.0-test9 and the nasty command line, I get at most 40MB/s. To feel
    the difference, I just have to fire up Oracle and let it do some I/O
    expensive things.

    Has nobody an idea what it could be? That's just strange, both kernels
    are unstable on that mainboard, but the one is much more stable while
    locking up in completely different situations.

    If that continues like that, I'll begin to feel the urge of hunting
    ASUS and NVIDIA down.

    Well, I hope I could give you some worthy information.

    In great despair,
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