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Re: P-II ASUS box won't boot another drive

On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 02:21:20PM -0500, Mumia W.. wrote:
> On 10/03/2007 08:39 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> >[...] Surely a P-II that came 
> >with an 8GB drive (with no extra jumpers) should be able to use a 1 GB 
> >drive.  The BIOS does show the correct size for each drive, detecting 
> >the same geometry as printed on the drive.
> >
> Sorry about my other message. I had forgotten that you said that a 850MB 
> drive works fine in that machine, and Etch installs.
> However, maybe you should check the hardware anyway. The power supply 
> might be "on the edge"--able to support some operations and not others. 
> Use a boot CD or floppy to help you verify that the installation of Etch 
> succeeded.
> IOW, check that the files you placed on the HD are there. Write a few 
> more files to the HD, reboot, then verify that the files haven't changed.
> You can also copy the bootsector/MBR to a file using dd and check that 
> it looks right (whatever that is).

Since I've never had Etch's installer actually _install_ grub to the
MBR, I've always (on all my computers) had to reboot the installer in
rescue mode and install grub.  So yes, I can boot the installer and run
a chroot shell (low-memory mode; won't pick up full rescue menu choices)
and run grub-install and have it report no errors.

Before installing on the new drive (after installing in the box), booted
GRML and:

-	ran wipe -k /dev/hda
-	ran mke2fs -c /dev/hda
-	ran e2fsck -c -c /dev/hda

The badblocks run on the mke2fs does a write/read-verify cycle on all blocks,
and on the e2fsck does a read/write/write/read-verify cycle on all blocks.

I also watched syslog during the whole thing and there were no errors of
any kind showing up.  Also, I can install onto and boot from these
drives in my 486.

The P-II hardware itself is rather suspect in general but this seems a
rather specific difficulty.  When I was given the box, it was absolutly
full of cat hair.  It had clogged the CPU fan and the PS fan.  I cleaned
it all out and fixed the fans (too cheap/poor to buy a new ones).  The
case has no fans so I cut a grill and installed a 3" on the rear.

The BIOS checks for PS voltage before booting and while it occasionally
finds a transient error, the non-booting is consistant.


I've got a better computer: Athlon64 in the basement.  The P-II is for
upstairs with a small monitor for simple stuff like email or quick web
browsing (ssh to the Athlon); sort of a slim X client box.  The reason
for the larger drive is that Etch barely fits on 850 MB and I can't keep
OpenBSD up-to-date since security fixes are source-code patches
requiring lots of room to recompile.  Since this upstairs box is also a
rescue toolbox (in that it has a modem, email, and web browser on its
own) for getting help/software/whatever should anything happen to the
Athlon, I don't want to make it dependant on the Athlon with something
like NFS.

Thanks for the ideas.


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