FreeBSD 9.0 ICH8M trouble, no HDD found, unable to install.

Michael Powell nightrecon at
Thu Jan 26 10:52:39 UTC 2012

Jasper Valentijn wrote:

> L.S.,
> I'm not able to install FreeBSD on a Sony Vaio vgn-cr31s. The problem
> seems to be related to PR kern/153440,
> <>.
> The "FreeBSD-9.0-RELEASE-i386-memstick.img" was used to try the
> install and extraction of the information below, verbose dmesg output
> and pciconf output.
> Does anybody have a workaround for this problem?
> If I could/should provide more information, just ask.

I do not have this hardware, so these are just a couple of wild guessses 
from the blue on my part.  I am also looking only at 64 bit platforms here, 
so if there is any signifigant difference with 32 bit I can't look/see.

First, you might try using the "2" option on the boot menu and then 'load 
acpi_sony' followed by 'boot'. If this works, then you are indeed fortunate. 
If this is the case, at the end of the install when it gives you the chance 
to edit files put acpi_sony_load="YES" in /boot/loader.conf prior to 

Second has to do with AHCI support, and I'm a little fuzzy here. IIRC Intel 
began AHCI support with the ICH6 chip. With the advent of FreeBSD 9 the 
underlying mechanism has changed to the new ATA_CAM layer, with ahci support 
a default. Check your BIOS (if possible) to see what options are available. 
You may try disabling AHCI by switching to Legacy IDE mode and see what 
changes. If it works when you do this it confirms this to be where the 
problem lies. Also ensure you are not using any BIOS config for AHCI+RAID.

Now you don't really want to run a modern day box without AHCI as you lose 
things like NCQ resulting in performance loss. Especially for SSDs as they 
demand it.  You may be able to play around a little using the loader (press 
"2") to set and unset various variables. For example, hint.ahci.X.msi=0 
would turn off MSI support. As far as specific settings for controlling 
ATA_CAM and/or other AHCI support I'm fuzzy on this. Perhaps if you reach 
this point someone more knowlegable can chime in. But if you were to find a 
sysctl that made it magically work with AHCI you could put it in loader.conf 
to make it permanent.

As far as what I can tell from the PR you mentioned, if you saw the exact 
same behavior after having installed FBSD 8.1 and then subsquently trying to 
upgrade to 8.2 it would nail it to matching the PR. Sometimes there are 
hardware identifiers like PCI ID's that just need to be added to source for 
some minor offshoot/revision chip to be recognized properly. If you got down 
to this by process of elimination you would probably at that point want to 
work with a developer (someone much smarter than me) to get support added. 
If this were to become the case this is desirable as it would remove the 
problem for anyone else coming along later.

Hope this helps any, as it's just basically just a couple of wild guesses to 
maybe get you started.  


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