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Thread: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    Just upgraded the PC to an AMD AM2 processor on an Asus MSN motherboard, using the Nvidia chipset, and come across an interesting problem concerning the High Precision Event Timer (HPET)

    Loading a Linux 2.6 Kernel gives the following error message:

    Kernel Panic - not syncing: IO-APIC + timer doesn't work!

    It then goes on to suggest booting with the noapic option passed to the Kernel, and sure enough, that then works.

    There is another solution which is tio disable the HPET tables in the BIOS (part of the Southbridge setup routines) and with thgis disabled teh system boots normally without the noapic option.

    Looking at dmesg with the HPET table and the noapic option shows that teh HPET is initialised correctly and obviously operates OK, and all IO functions seem to operate.

    Similarly, looking at dmesg with HPET tables disabled and without the noapic option shows that tjhe 'normal' boot up routine operates, initialises both cores of the CPU without problem.

    Googling around shows this is a problem with the Nvidia chipset which appears not to implement the HPET function correctly. (I haven't found all the tech details though)

    The question is

    "Which is the better option from a performance point of view? HPET and noapic, or just disable the HPET table?" My feeling is that disabling the HPET is the simplest solution, although HPET is the future direction for system timing.
    Last edited by peterb; 06-01-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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    Fried Chip Extremist alsenior's Avatar
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    Re: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    i have never seen any performance decrease by disabling Apic. i have never tried the other option so i could not tell you
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    Re: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    Which exact motherboard are you running? I have 2 machines, both with M2NPV-VM motherboards both with fairly recent BIOS (10.01 I think, it was a beta version). Single core one runs Fedora 7, the dual core runs Fedora 8 with no issues.

    Both boards are running APIC mode.

    Have you tried a BIOS update? Lob the file on a pendrive and do it from the BIOS itself on mine, pretty easy and no Windows/DOS install required.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Re: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    you don't need HPET. it'd be nice, sure, but you don't need it. you're much better off with apic.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    Thank you! The mobo is a straight M2N and I have updated the bios to V803. (V804 is available but in beta only)

    The 32 bit version of FC6 is running OK, but I ewnt to install the 64 bit b=versuion last night - unsuccessfully. The install environment loaded off the CD OK, but while it was transferring the install image to disk, I got an unhandled exception error. I was installing as an upgrade rather than a fresh install, so the next step (this evenimng) is to try the install with the HPET tables enabled and the noapic option, and if it still fails, I'll try a fresh install without HPET and with apic. (or go to FC7)
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    Re: ASUS M2N and Linux issue

    Update. Loaded fresh install of FC with HPET disabled - problem was upgrading.

    Thanks for the advice.
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