More about the 9500S-4 issues with the MoBo and FreeBSD...

Olaf Greve o.greve at
Wed Nov 30 08:57:00 GMT 2005


> Are you sure you have the installation CD for amd64?  The error messages
> make me think you might be using an i386 version of the CD.

Well, I D/L-ed it from the French (I think) FreeBSD mirror from the 
AMD64 directory... Having said that, I did notice the CDs bootstrap 
loader mentions freebsd/i386 (I meant to ask about that one).

If indeed I somehow was totally numb (a thing which I cannot entirely 
exclude given some of the following I'm about to type) and made such a 
stupid mistake myself, then that could certainly explain a lot. 
However.... that still wouldn't explain why FreeBSD 5.4-release AMD64 
also chokes on it; and on that CD I am 100% positive it's the AMD64 
version, as I have installed it on my own AMD64 machine from the very 
same CDs. Also, really, I am about 99% (if not 100%) sure that I made 
very certain to D/L the AMD64 version. The ISO images also reflected 
that name (I think), so it's not very likely it's the i386 version.

Then: I'm amased. Really I am.

As the client needs this machine to be up an running this Friday, 
yesterday evening I decided to opt for a different strategy: install 
this machine using the on-board RAID controller, then in the meantime 
ask the client to order an Opteron (or dual Opteron) with a Tyan MoBo, 
install, tune and test that one at ease and then when it's all set-up 
swap that with the machine I'm currently working on.

So, just when I thought I had a workable strategy again, look at what 
horrors were bestowed upon me next: the Sil 3114 on-board RAID 
controller recognises the drives, enters the BIOS, but when confirming 
the total RAID array size it totally hangs! And that's the controller's 
BIOS; it didn't even get to the point where one could install FreeBSD 
(or anything else for that matter). So, with "Plan B" out, there was 
even a "Plan C": use the nVidia on-board RAID controller. O.k., I 
plugged over the SATA controllers, configured the MoBo's BIOS to do 
this, and what do ya guess? Indeed, another full blown controller hang. 
Nice. :(

Well, over the past 15 years I must have installed dozens of machines 
(several of them including Asus boards, in combination with Adaptec SCSI 
RAID controllers and various different versions and flavours (i.e. 
1386/amd64) of FreeBSD), with OS-es ranging from MS-DOS, through the 
full array of W*nd*wses, FreeBSDs, Linuxes, and I can hardly recall any 
more troublesome installation process than this time; really, it reminds 
me of the good 'ole MS-DOS days where one had to jumper each and every 
ISA board and then tweak memory configurations in order to get the lot 
going. :((((((

Actually, I think something is simply b*ll*xed up on the board, but I 
just can't put my finger on what it is. Surele even if it is primarily a 
gaming board, still these type of errors should not have occurred. I 
spent the better part of late last evening and the wee hours on reading 
the MoBo's docs, and checking if we perhaps missed something.

I didn't spot anything, but something MUST be off... :((((

Dunno. Time for a "plan D" I guess; I'll ask if the client can somehow 
get a working machine, and then I'll pull two more late nighters to at 
least get the bit I was supposed to do done: installing and tuning 
FreeBSD and MySQL. At present it's highly frustrating that I can't even 
really reach the OS installation part...:((((

OK, guys thanks for hanging in there with me. I'm sure some day in the 
future I can laugh out loud at it too, just not right now....;)


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