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Hang at boot - GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard (AMD)

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:46 am
by richb01803
After researching motherboards to come up with one that can handle jitter-free HD playback, I settled on the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H with an Athlon X2 4850e (2.5GHz dual-core). I'm planning to use this for my main living room TV.

At least, once I can get it to boot up MiniMyth. I had no trouble booting up an EPIA and an AMD single-core box but this one consistently hangs at the following upon PXEboot:

Code: Select all

Loading myth-0.xx/kernel...
Loading myth-0.xx/rootfs....
Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.
INIT: version 2.86 booting
INIT: Entering runlevel: 5
At that point nothing further happens. I've tried all four different versions that are currently on the download site, all with the same symptom: 0.21.0-57, 0.21.0-58 (32-bit and 64-bit), and 0.20.2-53.

This is a widely-available and highly-regarded motherboard so it's hard to believe I'm the only one having this problem.

Here's what I have in my tftpboot options file:

Code: Select all

label myth-0.21
  kernel myth-0.21/kernel
  append ro root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=96000 initrd=myth-0.21/rootfs MM_MINIMYTH_BOOT_URL=tftp:// vga=normal
This works fine on my other two front-end boxes.

Any suggestions?


Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:36 am
by Pablo
This may be the result of 8111 problems that many are having with the Linux rt8169 driver. If that is the case, then the problem is supposed to be fixed in the 2.6.26 kernel.

MiniMyth is built with the 2.6.23 kernel. The MiniMyth SVN repository contains build support for the 2.6.26 kernel.

Unfortunately, the NVIDIA driver used in the MiniMyth binary does not compile with the 2.6.26 kernel and newer NVIDIA drivers do not support DPMS correctly. As a result, it is unlikely that the binary version of MiniMyth will be built with the 2.6.26 kernel any time soon.

Also, I have no idea whether or the Xorg radeon driver will support the graphics.

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:06 am
by richb01803
OK so I did my research poorly and I have $150 worth of just-purchased scrap silicon.

My goal is simple: swap out the electronics of an HDTV setup with a new Myth-based HTPC in the living room. It has to playback HDTV, it has to have an optical TOSlink sound interface, VGA for the current TV and HDMI for whatever I eventually replace that with. It has to run quiet and either stay on 24/7 or come up immediately when I press the remote button. At 20 cents a kWh, it has to not eat up a lot of electricity. (Suspend-to-RAM is a possible solution I've read about, but haven't seen any off-the-shelf method of doing.)

Tossing this AMD-based motherboard into the growing pile of spare parts in the basement bin, what should I buy instead?

Thanks for the response!

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:01 pm
by Pablo
I have added the network driver. It is in test build 59b2.

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:37 pm
by richb01803
For now, I'm running MythBuntu on this MA78GM-S2H board. The download is huge (almost 600MB) and unwieldy compared to MiniMyth, and for all intents & purposes requires installation to a hard drive (which makes some things slower compared to the ramdisk).

The MythBuntu 8.04.1 distro includes a 2.6.24 kernel. I had to do various xorg.conf hacks to get HD running full speed. In fact that's what I consider the most aggravating thing about all this: if we want our friends to be using Myth, we've got to come up with improved methods of automatically activating all the required hardware acceleration without causing crashes.

Alternatively, a hardware-known-to-work with links to vendors (such as the Newegg link on your own home page) would be a great help. The problem, as always, is keeping current. Vendors launch and discontinue products every 3 to 6 months. (That's not a new phenomenon; about 12 years ago, when I first tried to build an audio library, we had the same problem with sound drivers.)

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:17 pm
by Pablo
I will use the 2.6.25 kernel in test build 59b3. Hopefully, the driver in that kernel version will work.

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:23 am
by tsjoender
@richb01803: Did you try the latest test build on this board? I'm considering the same motherboard for my frontend, but like to know it's compatibility.

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:18 am
by Pablo
I patched the older NVIDIA drivers so that they work with the newer kernels. As a result, the latest release build (-59) and the latest test build (-60b1) both use the 2.6.27 kernel.