Urgent problem - 7.x doesn't work on HP servers

Robert Watson rwatson at FreeBSD.org
Mon Feb 18 16:34:32 UTC 2008

On Mon, 18 Feb 2008, Ivan Voras wrote:

> I've again encountered the problem of FreeBSD 7 not wanting to boot on a HP 
> server. The last time was early in 7.x development on a HP blade 
> (2xdual-core Opteron), without any solution (reported on this list about a 
> year ago). This time it's on a ML 350 G5 machine, with a quad-core Xeon.
> The problem is very hard to diagnose - the entire machine locks up during 
> pci bus/device detection - the kernel debugger doesn't work, the keyboard 
> lights (PS/2 keyboard) don't work, it's completely frozen.
> This is on both i386 and AMD64 kernels.
> The machine freezes after detecting pcib6. The working 6.x kernel detects 
> upto pcib16, and the first device detected after pcib6 is the CISS 
> controller, so maybe it's the controller driver, but the first machine (the 
> blade) didn't have CISS controllers.

FYI, I'm not seeing anything like this on the two DL 145 boxes I'm using for 
10gbps testing with 7.x / 8.x.  I did have problems with at least a couple of 
the BIOS revs in the past, so I'd repeat the advice offered elsewhere in the 
thread and make sure that it's up-to-date.  There was one BIOS rev where I 
couldn't use a boot loader cross-built from i386 to amd64, but both the i386 
boot loader and the natively built amd64 boot loader worked fine.  The BIOS 
upgrade made the problem entirely go away, go figure...

Otherwise, you're probably down to the printf model for debugging, unless you 
have an NMI button that can get into DDB?  Mine have NMI buttons on the 
botherboard, I believe, but it requires opening the case to get to.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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