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Re: Install trouble on Alpha 300xl

Scott R. Sewall wrote:
I'm having trouble installing Debian GNU/Linux on my Alpha 300xl.

I loaded the following two files onto a FAT formatted floppy:
http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dists/Debian2.2r5/main/disks-alpha/current/MILO//linload.exe http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dists/Debian2.2r5/main/disks-alpha/current/MILO/xlt (renamed to milo)

When I boot, the following is displayed on the console:

Linux Loader V1.5

Copyright(c) 1994,1995 Digital Equipment Corporation

System Partition is OSLOADPARTION=scsi(0)disk(0)partition(1)
Load ilke Name is OSLOADFILENAME=\
Load Path is multi(0)disk(0)fdisk(0)\milo
Loading file at 0x8008000 ...

Getting firmware parameters...

...Memory Size is 0x2000000 bytes

Setting up arguments for Milo @ 0x801FFC00

Setting up memory size for Milo @ 0x801FFE00

Setting up memory size for Milo @ 0x801FFF00

Swapping to PALcode at 0x80000 ...

at this point the system hangs.

Any ideas?

-- Scott

Hi Scott.

Sorry for the late reply, but I have been on a trip the last week and just saw your post. I had EXACTLY the same problem when testing the boot-floppies and milo for Woody last summer. I have not looked at them recently, nor have I tried them for Debain Potato (2.2r5), but I suspect the "problem" is the same.

The MILO compiled against the 2.2.X series of kernels and modified for more current capabilites (reiserfs, ext3, etc) exhibit this on the Alpha XLT arch. I suspect this newer MILO made its way into the most recent version of Debian Potato for the Alpha. I am NOT a coder, so I have not been able to get it fixed here, but I have reported it on this list last Aug.

Note to coders: The hang at this particular place "Swapping to PALcode at 0x80000 ..." seems to have been a problem with MILOs on other Alpha Versions too, but was "fixed" in the 2.2.18 MILO.... but NOT on the XLT. See Stephan's changelogs. Stephan didn't have an XLT to test the code on...

I have found a "work-around" by using the milo that came with Debian "Slink/early-Potato" which was compiled against the 2.0.35 kernel. It works to get me to the milo prompt, where I can install the normal boot floppy images. Everything works OK after that. You might have to search the archives to get this version. If you can't find it, fire me an E-Mail and I will send you the one I am using.

-Don Spoon-

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