Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 134790
Inspiron 8500 practically hangs when configuring b44 NIC with 1.5G memory
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:07:13 EST
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Description of problem:
This is a very odd problem.
When I first installed RHEL4-b1 on my laptop on a spare disk it
installed and booted just fine. I had 768Mb memory.
Subsequently I got a 1G memory stick (so I now have a total of 1.5Gb
memory) and I decided to re-install to choose a different disk layout.
The installation went swimmingly until it came to rebooting for the
The first thing I noticed was that it was taking a very long time to
configure the network. I rebooted and brought the machine up without
the "quiet" and "rhgb" options.
The machine appeared to hang at the point at which it attempted to
configure the network driver (a Broadcom 93406 which uses the b44
driver). I say "appeared to hang" because hitting "x" (say)
eventually echoed the character to the screen some tens of seconds
after hitting the key in question.
Interestingly, in its normal guise (with the usual disk), this machine
is running a stock 188.8.131.52 with the acpi-20040816-26-stable-release
patches and it's just fine.
When I boot the machine with the RHEL4b1 kernel (2.6.8-1.528.2.10) and
start bringing up services one by one, it is fine until I attempt to
run ifconfig on the newly loaded b44 module. Even more interesting,
the leds on the back of the laptop didn't appear to light up at all.
If I remove the 512Mb memory stick, everything is fine and dandy --
well, at least the network works.
Perhaps interestingly, a collegue who has an identical machine running
FC2 2.6.8-1.521 kernel has the exactly the same problem when he has
1.5Gb memory installed.
It's going to be interesting getting an updated kernel on to this
machine as I don't really want to keep levering memory out, but I
really do want to get a fix and I'm happy to install any test ternel
or run some kind of diagnostics as this is pretty much a showstopper
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
2. Wait for network configuration
Actual Results: Observe machine essentially hung
Expected Results: No hang :-)
This sounds like bug 118165 (or a variant thereof).
That was a useful hint. I took the patch from bug #118615 and I'm
now up and running. The final comment:
> Just a status update, the fix is in 2.6.9-rc2-mm2 (bk-netdev.patch),
> hopefully will propagate to the Linus (and thus Fedora) tree
suggests that a fix is on its way. When it hits the RHEL4b1 kernel
I'm ready to try it out.
We have included everything in 2.6.9 into B2. Please retry when its
available in a few weeks.
I await the new kernel with bated breath. However, in the 2.6.10-rc1
changelog I notice:
[PATCH] b44: use bounce buffers to workaround chip DMA
Signed-off-by: Pekka Pietikainen <email@example.com>
A quick look at the corresponding code for this change shows that this
is indeed a fix for the DMA problems I experienced. Is this the fix
that will be in the new kernel?
Finally got around to testing this. Sorry. There's good news and
bad news: kernel-2.6.9-1.648_EL and kernel-2.6.9-1.675_EL both appear
to run without problems. Both kernel-hugemem-2.6.9-1.648_EL and
kernel-hugemem-2.6.9-1.675_EL both hang; the former hangs when
configuring eth0 (b44) and the latter hangs during the udev device
initialisation when the b44 module is first loaded.
A quick look at the kernel source shows that the fix for this problem
didn't make it into the new kernel (unless I've missed it). You can
see this in the diffs for 2.9.10-rc1. I think the link is
(the diffviewer isn't working at the moment). Just look at the diffs
for b44.d and there's a comment in there about DMA above 1G not
working for some hardware.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 145109 ***
Ooop...bug 145109 is for Fedora...reopening...
Created attachment 113632 [details]
Pre-built test kernels are available here:
Please give them a try and report the results. Thanks!
I can confirm that kernel-2.6.9-6.41.EL.jwltest.20 works for me.
An advisory has been issued which should help the problem
described in this bug report. This report is therefore being
closed with a resolution of ERRATA. For more information
on the solution and/or where to find the updated files,
please follow the link below. You may reopen this bug report
if the solution does not work for you.