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Hi. I'm new to Linux, new to the board, and this is my first post. Well, actually, I played with RedHat 7 several years ago, but I forgot all that ...
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  1. #1
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    FC3 init hangs after "Starting cpuspeed"


    Hi. I'm new to Linux, new to the board, and this is my first post. Well, actually, I played with RedHat 7 several years ago, but I forgot all that I learned about Linux in the intervening years except for the ls and pwd commands. Repressed memories of grep, man, and su are starting to come back to me as my dissatisfaction with certain other popular windowing operating systems grows. (Is it OK to say that here? )

    I've installed FC3 on a new 160GB drive on a ABIT KV8-MAX3 AMD 64 system. I downloaded the AMD 64 ISOs to install from. My graphics card is an ATI 9600 with dual monitors. I did a "everything" install of FC3. Probably a total waste of time, as I doubt I'll use a fraction of the packages loaded, but I couldn't resist.

    I've had two problems so far. The first one I got past. I know how I did it, but I don't know why it works.

    Problem 1: On a hands-free boot, rhgb or not, the system hangs fairly early in the boot process and starts screaming at me with a continual high tone, low tone, like the sirens on Italian police cars (in the movies that I watch, anyway). I edited the kernel parms at the grub screen to add pci=noacpi (also, acpi=off seems to work), and that got me past the screaming boot hang problem. I have no idea why this worked, but I read other posts where people tried that, and it worked.

    Problem 2: During an rhgb boot, the system freezes right after it says "Starting cpuspeed". I can only see this if I click on "show details" on the rhgb screen. If I don't "show details", then I sometimes see garbage on the screen, like characters all over the place, or strange looking bars or lines. But the garbage doesn't show up every time. Sometimes, it just stops with no indication that it is hung, but my monitor (both of them) continue to look clean and pretty.

    By the way, I think "Starting cpuspeed" works, because over to the right it says [OK]. It's whatever comes next that I think must be causing the hang. I just don't know what that might be.

    I got tired of editing the kernel parms at grub startup every time I booted, so I used the FC3 install disk 1 to boot to rescue mode. Then I edited the grub.conf file to remove the rhgb and quiet options, and added "acpi=off apm=off 3". I really don't know what acpi=off and apm=off are supposed to do, but those two options seem to get recommended fairly frequently to folks having trouble getting FC3 up. Even so, I still hang right after "Starting cpuspeed [OK]". I never make it to a shell prompt, but at least I get to see where I'm hanging.

    I'm not necessarily looking for the answer here, if no one has encountered it before (I searched, and couldn't find any problems that sound like mine). Any particular knowledge that anyone has about my problems would be appreciated, but I'm really looking for a debugging methodology that I can apply to determine the cause of this or any other bootup problem. I don't really like the idea of just adding a bunch of kernel parms that I don't understand in hopes of making the problem go away.

    I thought that interactive boot might help me to interact more with the boot up process, but I can't seem to get it to work. I type "I" when the message about interactive boot comes up, but it just ignores me and keeps on booting.

    So, for starters, how can I get control of the boot process and/or change what gets loaded or started during the boot process? How can I find out what any particular command means, like "cpuspeed", or whatever the mystery command is that comes next?

    Well, that's probably too many questions for one topic, but any self-help suggestions you might have for me would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Yeeha! I figured it out. I got my FC3 up, and I'm posting this from my Mozilla Firefox browser. I want to explain how in case it may help someone else.

    My first aborted attempt at solving the problem was when I tried to modify the /etc/rc.sysinit file to make the Interactive startup thing work. I found an echo statement in there that asked about interactive startup. There was no pause to give time for a response, so I added a sleep 3, and it paused and gave me time to reply. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the shell language (yet) and I couldn't figure out whether it was actually reading my response or not, nor what should be done with it. It didn't seem to do anything, so I gave up on that approach.

    Next, I was poking around and discovered that a file called cpuspeed was in /etc/init.d directory, and that there were K0* and S0* files in various directories like /etc/rc1.d and /etc/rc2.d and /etc/rc3.d, et cetera, and that one of them was called S06cpuspeed. The various /etc/rc?.d directories appeared to be related to the runlevel selected, based on my inexpert interpretation of the script code in the /etc/rc file.

    So I went through numerous iterations of booting from fc3 install disk 1 to recovery mode, and I started renaming files using the mv command in the /etc/rc3.d directory. (In the process, I learned what a symbolic link was, how to accidentally destroy one, and how to fix it again... very good knowledge to have. All those K0* and S0* files in the /etc/rc?.d directories really point via symbolic link to other files in the /etc/init.d directory.)

    I actually thought that cpuspeed was not what was giving me fits, because it always seemed to end [OK], but I noticed that one or another thing (service?) after that would hang. I tried renaming them to keep them from running, but no matter what I did, one or two of these S0* things would work after cpuspeed, then the system would hang.

    At one point, I noticed that my floppy drive light was always on after the hang, so I disabled it in the BIOS. That turned out to be irrelevant, though. Turning it off didn't change anything. Another dead end.

    Then, in frustration, I reinstalled FC3, but this time as a Workstation install rather than an Everything install. Afterwards, I booted straight default and it still hung after cpuspeed, but I didn't get the siren noise or the weird lines and characters on my screen. Some progress, anyway.

    So I edited my GRUB.CONF again and removed "rhgb quiet" and replaced it wiith "3" to boot to runlevel 3. I got to cpuspeed, and hung again. FInally, a light went on. I went back to /etc/rc3.d directory and renamed S06cpuspeed to K06cpuspeed. Then, without much hope of it having any effect, I booted, and guess what? It WORKED!!! No hang. I got all the way up.

    So I went back and put everything else right, fixing the links to the other things I'd renamed in /etc/rc3.d (e.g., S08iptables S90isdn S09pcmcia), leaving the S06cpuspeed renamed, and booted several times. Total success!

    I have no idea what cpuspeed does, but it doesn't work on my system. If anyone else has an AMD 64 ABIT KV8-MAX3 board and you experience this problem, just try renaming that S06cpuspeed file in whatever runlevel /etc/rc?.d directory you're using, and give it a try.

  3. #3
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    just *speculation* but i would think that cpuspeed probably is for laptops with scalable cpu speeds that change dynamicly to save battery power.
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  4. #4
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    I think you are probably right.

    I googled up this cpuspeed link that seems to say the same thing. I wonder if FC3 always includes cpuspeed in the configuration, or perhaps only if acpi is detected? Hmmmm. Or, maybe I have a "mobile" AMD 64 CPU in my desktop, as suggested by the description at that link. I don't even know if there really is such a thing. I built my system from components, and I don't recall anything like that being described in the instructions that came with the CPU chip.

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