Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2912 mails)

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Re: 9.2 scsi install: sym53c8xx: Unknown parameter `mpar'
  • From: Jim Osborn <jimo@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 00:16:55 -0800
  • Message-id: <20050219081655.GC3359@xxxxxxxxxx>
On Sat, Feb 19, 2005 at 12:40:27AM -0500, Carl E. Hartung wrote:
> I'm not sure this will fix your install problems, but '98 to now is
> quite a long time in computer years. And this definitely is a "rev 1"
> board. My assessment would be to use the most mature and field-tested
> code, which requires flashing the BIOS.

Thanks, Carl, I'll check those links and grab the utilities. Some
questions remain, though:

First, wouldn't I be risking losing the machine (and with it my
ability to connect and call for help) altogether if the new BIOS
doesn't allow a full 9.2 install, and at the same time, breaks my
ability to boot back to my current installation? Is the flash
utility likely to include the ability to Restore-Exactly-What-
Was-There-Previously? If it does, then it's no real concern,
but I'd hate to have to order a new SCSI board to fix a failed
experiment, particularly without a computer to help with the order.
I live a couple of hours from the big city...

Second, while the current rev 1 board may be old and creaky, it works
well with the kernel 2.4.23 sym53c8xx driver. Obviously a newer BIOS
could require a newer driver, and I can understand that a newer BIOS
could provide improved performance, but I can't understand how a
newer Linux driver could fail altogether to operate the older board.
What am I missing in that thought process?

The sym53c8xx_2 changelog ends with 2.1.17a, and the boot.msg says
2.1.18j, so maybe there's something in there about invalidating
older BIOSes, but I sure don't see anything like that up to 17a.

My current sym53c8xx says 1.7.3c in the boot.msg, which is the most
recent in the SuSE 9.2 sym53c8xx changelog. One of the entries in
that bit of the c-log says:
- Backport from SYM-2 the work-around that allows to support
hardwares that fail PCI parity checking.
as though my sym53c8xx and the new sym53c8xx_2 drivers should both
know how to deal with a problem suspiciously like mine.

Finally, while the BIOS issues are interesting and may prove useful,
isn't the failure of the parameter(s) to the SCSI module occurring
before the driver knows anything about the BIOS? Am I not dealing
with a linuxrc/SuSE-kernel issue there, something to do with the
format of the options/parameters, a mismatch between the docs and the
actual driver code, or something at that level? It seems I should be
able to turn on verbose reporting, at least, regardless of the age of
the card BIOS. Doesn't that extra information come from the driver,
not the card? The "Unknown parameter" error in the boot log occurs
before the
<6>sym0: <895> rev 0x1 at pci 0000:00:0d.0 irq 11
<4>sym0: Symbios NVRAM, ID 7, Fast-40, LVD, parity checking
lines, which would seem to indicate first contact with the board itself.

I don't mean to sound like I really know what I'm talking about here,
but these questions seem relevant and if you could straighten me out
on them, it'd really help me understand what I'm dealing with.

In the meantime, I'll follow those links, and maybe take another pass
through the SuSE sym53c8xx_2 sources.

Thanks for the help.

Jim

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