ASUS A6U hangs at POST

rodneyp
Posts: 32
Location: Australia

ASUS A6U hangs at POST

Postby rodneyp » April 14th, 2017, 12:42 pm

I'm trying to install IPFire i586 on an ASUS A6U notebook (which has a broken screen, but displays fine via external VGA). Notebook has adequate resources - Sempron 3100 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 60 GB HDD, 10/100 eth0 & 10/100 PCMCIA ethernet.

Installation proceeds quickly and smoothly from the internal CD drive. On reboot, the machine hangs at HDD detection stage - identifies the drive but proceeds no further. Same result with either Fujitsu or Seagate drives, both of which were fully scanned via Seatools before installation of IPFire. It completely locks up - won't boot from CD or USB device - although it has identified the former by then.

If I put the IDE drive in an external USB 2 case, IPFire boots, configures and runs fine. In this configuration, I zeroed the first 8 MB of drive and put an empty GPT disk label on it. Following re-installation in the notebook, this HDD got past the POST stage.

On this notebook openSUSE Tumbleweed i686 installs to a GPT formatted internal drive, then boots via GRUB2 & runs OK. TENS boots & runs OK from DVD or USB. The machine was running Win 7 Pro, recently updated, OK and from an identical model HDD.

Running from external HDD is not a convenient solution and I would like to ascertain what firmware setting is incompatible with IPFire. Any suggestions ?

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Arne.F
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Re: ASUS A6U hangs at POST

Postby Arne.F » April 15th, 2017, 8:14 am

Souds like the good old "large-ide-translation" problem. Go into the Bios and set the translation from "AUTO" to "LBA" because some old bios versions set the mode to "Large" if they find GRUB2 (ms-dos partition) on the hdd. -
Arne

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rodneyp
Posts: 32
Location: Australia

Re: ASUS A6U hangs at POST

Postby rodneyp » April 15th, 2017, 11:31 am

Thanks for the advice.

I'll see how I fare. The BIOS is too old to get an update and does not provide an explicit setting for LBA - options are AUTO or DISABLED plus those can be set only when the drive is in place; not generically in advance.

I might have to make do with an external drive. The machine draws only a measured 23 Watts when operating and I would like to persist with it.

rodneyp
Posts: 32
Location: Australia

Re: ASUS A6U hangs at POST [progress]

Postby rodneyp » April 21st, 2017, 1:06 am

This BIOS has few settable parameters and LBA is not one.

It appeared that the process was locking up at stage of detecting bootable drives. I tried removing the "boot" flag from IDE drive but that did not get POST any further.

My work around:
1 install HDD in USB housing & attach
2.run early version of "gdisk" that provided for conversion of MBR disklabel to GPT and do that
3.change type code /dev/sda2 from "linux-swap" to "bios-grub"
4. boot from yet another HDD having working grub2
5. from grub2 CLI configure one-off boot of ipfire
6. from running ipfire, run grub-install
7 confirm that ipfire now boots from its own grub2
8. install HDD to laptop's IDE interface
9. confirm ipfire now boots of its own accord
10. update kernel to PAE, as suggested by pakfire


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