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  1. #1

    Installation stall Gigabyte mobo

    Hi all

    I am trying to install some linux on a box I built yesterday. I've tried Kubuntu, Lenny, a Lenny custom backport I was recommended, Mandriva, and Fedora. No dice. I've seen accounts of Kubuntu and Fedora being on this board, so I don't think it's a compatibility issue.

    First, parts:
    Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P
    AMD Phenom II X3
    Western Digital Caviar Black SATA

    The gigabyte mobo has both an AMD S750 and Gigabyte SATAII controller.

    My issue:
    It always stalls, saying "ata1: softreset failed (device not ready)" or something about not being able find the DMA, depending on which distro I'm trying to install. Both errors seem to be an issue with the SATA HD.

    This seems to me an issue with the SATA controller or drivers. I don't think it's an issue with the setup, as I used the Ultimate Boot Disk and modified the partition on it, changing it to Ext2/3 and to FAT32, just to change things up. No problem there.

    Some deep googling found this. They suggest that there is an issue with one of the controllers being compatible. I disabled it in the BIOS, no luck. Switched the disabled one (and the connection), no luck. I tried a number of kernel options that I found and that were suggested to me, including all_generic_ide, ide=nodma, acpi=off, noapic, nolapic. No difference.


    edit: I just ran a Western Digital quick media test on it from the Ultimate Book Disk and it came back fine. I am currently running the full media scan, but that has 1.5 hours remaining. The quick scan came back without errors.
    Last edited by jmerkin; 06-05-2009 at 01:36 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    I'll add to the list of kernel boot options to try.

    See if adding irqpoll helps.

  3. #3
    Hi reed9

    I tried that and it still did the same thing.

    This is my first build (I've been using linux for about 3 years ang have thrown it on a bunch of systems), so it's not out of the question for there to be something I missed in the setup. That said, I did RTFM for all the parts. I'm somewhat inclined to think it may not be this because the aforementioned boot disk runs and recognized the hard disk.

    Is there some trouble shooting I should try?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    I've had this error crop up twice for me, both times on laptops. One was an old laptop with an IDE drive, and one was a friend's new laptop with an AMD chip. Can't remember what model. The old laptop, irqpoll worked. The new one installed fine, but spits that error on every boot. Haven't been able to fix it. It always gives the error 3 times, then boots fine.

    This pdf file gives lots of boot options. You can try variations and combinations of the interrupts.

    I've also seen reference to some conflicts with the driver modules ata_piix and piix, but it's all older posts and in reference to PATA drives.
    Arch Linux Forums / ata2: port failed to respond (30 secs) and ata2: SRST failed

    I would double check all your connections to the motherboard and make sure they're correct. I guess keep trying different distros.

    Does the Live CD boot ok? It's a failure on installation only?

  6. #5
    hi reed9

    no, the live cd won't boot either. if i try (with kubuntu) check the disk for defects, in the computer, i get the error. if i try in another computer, it checks out fine.

    i can however boot into DSL, but i think it's just running from the ram.

    i'm really at a loss, but i'm not an expert.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Check to see if there is a bios update for this system. When I first got my Intel MB I had to install a bios flash update in order to run linux on it. Once I did that, it worked like a champ!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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