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Re: Cannot boot any HIGHMEM kernel (kernel panic - not syncing)

Michael Elsdörfer wrote:
This is an etch server machine with 3GB of RAM, and I seem unable to
boot into any kernel that has HIGHMEM enabled, i.e.:

zoidberg:/# dmesg | head
Warning only 896MB will be used.
Use a HIGHMEM enabled kernel.
896MB LOWMEM available.

Specifically, the only kernel image that seems to work is
linux-image-2.6.18-6-486 (or the OpenVZ version fzakernel-2.6.18-486)

Everything else seems to fail with:

Setting up standard PCI resources
ACPI: Interpreter enabled
ACPI: PCI Root Bridge [PCI0] (0000:00)
CPU 0: Machine Check Exception: 0000000000000007
Bank 3: b40000000000083b at 000000fdfc000cfc
Kernel panic - not syncing: Unable to continue

Specifically, I tried at least the following images from the Debian and
OpenVZ repositories:


Now, Machine Check Exception seems to point towards a hardware error,
but note only does the 486 kernel appear to work flawlessly, the server
was perfectly happy running a self-compiled sarge kernel (with HIGHMEM)
just a couple of days ago.

Here's the processor info:

zoidberg:/boot# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
cpu family      : 15
model           : 5
model name      : AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 244
stepping        : 10
cpu MHz         : 1794.546
cache size      : 1024 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 1
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge
mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 syscall nx mmxext lm
3dnowext 3dnow ts fid vid ttp
bogomips        : 3591.45

Does anybody know what the issue might be?


Have you used Linux on this machine before now? If not, the problem may be a hardware issue. You may have a broken BIOS which doesn't allow the kernel to do something it thinks it sould be able to do. Try booting with the kernel parameters acpi=off or noapic.

Mark Allums

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