Cruel and unusual problems with Proliant ML350

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Fri Nov 10 19:48:59 UTC 2006

The machine in question has a 2-core Xeon, 2GB RAM and a new
ciss-compatible controller, for which I appologise for not remembering
the exact model but it's "200-something" with three attached 7.2k RPM
SATA drives (so it's probably SAS-compatible) in RAID5, and 128 MB cache
with BBU. I'm trying to install FreeBSD 6.2-beta3, and though all
hardware is correctly detected, there are some curious problems:

- The least problem: drive access is incredibly slow, but since this is
a brand new machine and BIOS complains that the BBU is not filled to
capacity and the controller is doing some calibration, it doesn't seem
serious for now. On one burst I managed to get ~~110 MB/s reads from dd
on raw device which is enough.
- The less serious problem: It looks like a whole bunch of built-in
devices is routed to irq 29: bce, ciss, ohci and ehci. I notice last
three are giant locked, which doesn't look good, especially since this
should be a loaded web server. I'll get a chance to open it after
weekend, but I want to hear advice - does someone have experience with
resolving such conflicts on proliants?
- The showstopper: Sysinstall completes (though slowly), but on reboot
the loader doesn't go further than the "F1 prompt" :( This is very
curious, since when booting from install CD the loader shows it
recognizes the CD drive and drives A: and C:, so BIOS seems to be ok. If
I understand the loader correctly, after the "F1 prompt" phase, the
loader should transfer control to the boot block of the first slice?

I'll get a chance to work on it some more after weekend (after BBU is
charged, hopefully), but this last issue looks like there might be a bug
in sysinstall so I'm complaining early.

The problems listed appear both on i386 and amd64 install images.

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