vinum? flaky hardware? FreeBSD4.8? ASUS P4SGL-VM?

Malcolm Kay malcolm.kay at
Thu Jun 19 06:58:03 PDT 2003

Over some time I've installed various versions 
of FreeBSD. In the past installation has always 
gone smoothly.

Now however, I'm trying to setup a new system on
a new machine with software RAID 1 (vinum) and 
have run into difficulties (which I don't think
have anything to do with vinum).

The new machine is based on a P4SGL-VM mother 
board with a 1.7G Celeron processor and 256Mb RAM.
Two WDC WD1200JB-00DUA3 (120Gb) drives are 
installed on the primary and secondary IDE master 
ports with 80 conductor cables.

During installation it seemed to be difficult to
move sysinstall on from the fdisk and MBR dialogues 
to the the disklabel dialogue; it seemed to want to
always loop back to the beginning of the fdisk 
dialogue. But after a number of false starts managed 
to get a developer (without X) system installed on
slice ad0s1 of about 6Gb.

After some fiddling with with vinum in ad0s2 and ad2s2
I reset vinum (resetconfig) and discarded these slices.

On ad2 I created one large slice and labeled it with
a view to vinum with ad2s1a having an offset of 281
blocks and the vinum partition an offset of 16 blocks.
After creating a filesystem on ad2s1a and mounting on 
/mnt I attempted to copy the root partition from the
axisting system using:
 # cd /mnt
 # dump -0 -a -f - / | restore -f -
which reported an error something like:
 expected file 223455: found 223456
which (unfortunately) I didn't record so is only an

 # fsck -n /dev/ad0s1a
reported an inconsistency but without any real detail.

 # fsck /dev/ad0s1a
whether or not in single user mode reported (NO WRITE)
and declined to fix the problem.

When attempting to write directly to an unmounted slice or partition:
 # dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad0s2 count=50
I get a message to the effect that the filesystem is 
readonly and a console message:

  fixlabel: invalid magic

and on searching the kernel source I find it in
/usr/src/kernel/subr_diskslice.c preceded by the comment

/* These errors "can't happen" so don't bother reporting details. */

The problem has appeared on both drives.
However fdisk and disklabel do not "seem" to have problems

I first attempted to set this up on another machine with the same 
brand of mother board but slightly different -- significant to us
it had an onboard network interface. On that board (same drives)
I was the installation could not access the hard drives until UDMA was 
disabled in the BIOS. Nor could the installed system operate with
UDMA turned on. Stuck with PIO4 I abandoned that machine.
(While I considered that a CD as slave on one of the IDE ports might
create UDMA difficulties on one hard drive it does not explain, to me,
lack of access to the other hard drive.)

The above is of course a very much cut down version of events.
The cost of the time spent messing about with these system has been
much greater than the cost of the hardware!

Do I have faulty hardware?
Or is the hardware incompatible with FreeBSD?
Is the hardware simply rubbish?
Am I being stupid?

Does any one have good or bad experience with these mother boards?
Does anyone understand what is happening?

 # dmesg ->
Copyright (c) 1992-2003 The FreeBSD Project.
Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
        The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
FreeBSD 4.8-RELEASE #0: Thu Apr  3 10:53:38 GMT 2003
    root at
Timecounter "i8254"  frequency 1193182 Hz
CPU: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.70GHz (1715.28-MHz 686-class CPU)
  Origin = "GenuineIntel"  Id = 0xf13  Stepping = 3
real memory  = 234864640 (229360K bytes)
avail memory = 223227904 (217996K bytes)
Preloaded elf kernel "kernel" at 0xc051d000.
Pentium Pro MTRR support enabled
md0: Malloc disk
Using $PIR table, 6 entries at 0xc00f1930
npx0: <math processor> on motherboard
npx0: INT 16 interface
pcib0: <Host to PCI bridge> on motherboard
pci0: <PCI bus> on pcib0
agp0: <SIS Generic host to PCI bridge> mem 0xe8000000-0xebffffff at device 0.0 
on pci0
pcib2: <PCI to PCI bridge (vendor=1039 device=0001)> at device 1.0 on pci0
pci1: <PCI bus> on pcib2
pci1: <SiS model 6325 VGA-compatible display device> at 0.0 irq 11
isab0: <PCI to ISA bridge (vendor=1039 device=0961)> at device 2.0 on pci0
isa0: <ISA bus> on isab0
ohci0: <SiS 5571 USB controller> mem 0xe7000000-0xe7000fff irq 3 at device 2.2 
on pci0
usb0: OHCI version 1.0, legacy support
usb0: <SiS 5571 USB controller> on ohci0
usb0: USB revision 1.0
uhub0: SiS OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
uhub0: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
ohci1: <SiS 5571 USB controller> mem 0xe6800000-0xe6800fff irq 6 at device 2.3 
on pci0
usb1: OHCI version 1.0, legacy support
usb1: <SiS 5571 USB controller> on ohci1
 usb1: USB revision 1.0
uhub1: SiS OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
uhub1: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
atapci0: <SiS 5591 ATA100 controller> port 0xb800-0xb80f at device 2.5 on pci0
ata0: at 0x1f0 irq 14 on atapci0
ata1: at 0x170 irq 15 on atapci0
pci0: <unknown card> (vendor=0x1039, dev=0x7012) at 2.7 irq 5
rl0: <RealTek 8139 10/100BaseTX> port 0x9800-0x98ff mem 0xe5800000-0xe58000ff 
irq 10 at device 15.0 on pci0
rl0: Ethernet address: 00:50:fc:a8:3e:08
miibus0: <MII bus> on rl0
rlphy0: <RealTek internal media interface> on miibus0
rlphy0:  10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, auto
rl1: <RealTek 8139 10/100BaseTX> port 0x9400-0x94ff mem 0xe5000000-0xe50000ff 
irq 12 at device 16.0 on pci0
rl1: Ethernet address: 00:50:fc:a6:f9:f1
miibus1: <MII bus> on rl1
rlphy1: <RealTek internal media interface> on miibus1
rlphy1:  10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, auto
pcib1: <SiS 5591 host to AGP bridge> on motherboard
pci2: <PCI bus> on pcib1
orm0: <Option ROM> at iomem 0xc0000-0xcbfff on isa0
fdc0: cannot reserve interrupt line
atkbdc0: <Keyboard controller (i8042)> at port 0x60,0x64 on isa0
atkbd0: <AT Keyboard> flags 0x1 irq 1 on atkbdc0
kbd0 at atkbd0
vga0: <Generic ISA VGA> at port 0x3c0-0x3df iomem 0xa0000-0xbffff on isa0
sc0: <System console> at flags 0x100 on isa0
sc0: VGA <16 virtual consoles, flags=0x300>
sio0 at port 0x3f8-0x3ff irq 4 flags 0x10 on isa0
sio0: type 16550A
sio1: configured irq 3 not in bitmap of probed irqs 0
ppc0: <Parallel port> at port 0x378-0x37f irq 7 on isa0
ppc0: SMC-like chipset (ECP/EPP/PS2/NIBBLE) in COMPATIBLE mode
ppc0: FIFO with 16/16/16 bytes threshold
plip0: <PLIP network interface> on ppbus0
lpt0: <Printer> on ppbus0
lpt0: Interrupt-driven port
ppi0: <Parallel I/O> on ppbus0
ad0: 114440MB <WDC WD1200JB-00DUA3> [232514/16/63] at ata0-master UDMA100
ad2: 114440MB <WDC WD1200JB-00DUA3> [232514/16/63] at ata1-master UDMA100
acd0: CDROM <ATAPI-CD ROM-DRIVE-52MAX> at ata1-slave PIO4
Mounting root from ufs:/dev/ad0s1a

If you have any thoughts (on these issues) please respond.

Malcolm Kay

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