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NetBSD Installation and Upgrading Have trouble getting NetBSD on your toaster?

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Old 16th May 2011
sjakke sjakke is offline
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Default Trouble installing NetBSD

Hi All

I recently built a new stationary computer. I tried installing NetBSD, but it did not install. I tried installing without acpi enabled and it worked. But it won't boot up unless I have acpi disabled.

Then I tried installing PCBSD, and it didn't even make it to the install screen.

I ran dmesg with my previous NetBSD installation, and it showed a warning about my two hardrives being identical. So I guess that's the culprit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
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Old 17th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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You might want to look at your BIOS settings and see that the drives are correctly ID' d in the bios. If you are using SATA drives you will need to have ide emulation enabled for FreeBSD or OpenBSD. It may also be helpful to post the motherboard model number and the chipset it has ie intel, amd, via sis etc. Via brand chipset do not play well with multiple SATA drives in OpenBSD
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Old 18th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
If you are using SATA drives you will need to have ide emulation enabled for OpenBSD.
That is NOT accurate information. OpenBSD supports SATA HDD and you can see them listed as

Code:
/dev/sd*
i.e. like SCSI HDD. If you have some kind of BIOS supported softer RAID your information is accurate (at least for VIA in my experience)
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Old 18th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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From a March 9 Post

Quote:
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OpenBSD has a single PCI IDE driver for multiple vendors/chipsets, this includes SATA controllers in PCI IDE mode (..instead of AHCI).

The driver is full of quirks for initilizating all sorts devices, setting up channels, etc.. and there are buggy/undocumented chipsets out there that don't work properly as-is.

If you want to get this resolved, send a bug report using sendbug(1) or send an email to bugs@ or even tech@.

This is not an issue with documentation, it is an issue with your chipset.
Quote:
ATAPISCSI(4) OpenBSD Programmer's Manual ATAPISCSI(4)

NAME
atapiscsi - ATAPI<->SCSI adapter

SYNOPSIS
atapiscsi* at wdc? flags 0x0000
atapiscsi* at pciide? flags 0x0000
scsibus* at atapiscsi?

DESCRIPTION
The atapiscsi driver supports ATAPI (also called IDE) devices such as CD-
ROMs, ZIP drives, LS-120 floppy drives, and tape drives. All ATAPI
devices talk a subset of the SCSI protocol.

The atapiscsi driver acts like a SCSI adapter. Thus, the ATAPI devices
connected to the system will appear as SCSI devices. ATAPI CD-ROMs will
appear as cd(4) devices, ATAPI tape drives as st(4) devices, and ATAPI
floppies as sd(4) devices.

For performance reasons, one should avoid putting an ATAPI device and a
hard disk on the same cable. The driver does not support bus release
and, even if it did, many ATAPI devices do not support it. There is only
one command outstanding on a cable at a time. For example, if a hard
disk and a CD drive are placed on the same cable, the hard disk requests
may get queued behind slower CD operations.

The flags are used only with controllers that support DMA operations and
mode settings (like some pciide(4) controllers). The lowest order
(rightmost) nibble of the flags define the PIO mode to use. The next
four bits indicate the DMA mode and the third nibble the UltraDMA mode.

For each set of four bits, the 3 lower bits define the mode to use and
the last bit must be set to 1 for this setting to be used. For DMA and
UltraDMA, 0xf (1111) means ``disable''. For example, a flags value of
0x0fac (1111 1010 1100) means ``use PIO mode 4, DMA mode 2, disable
UltraDMA''. The special setting 0x0000 means ``use whatever the drive
claims to support''.

SEE ALSO
cd(4), intro(4), pciide(4), scsi(4), sd(4), st(4), wdc(4)

BUGS
Slow devices, like tape drives, could do a better job of sharing the
channel. For now, we recommend you put the tape device on its own
channel.

OpenBSD 4.9 May 31, 2007 OpenBSD 4.9

The original poster did not give information on his motherboards chipset but having struggled with this previously and finding the bios settings were the key to making the install I gave the advice I did.
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Old 18th May 2011
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Why are you quoting me? SATA is a physical connection.. it can be exposed to the operating systems in a variety of ways.

ISA IDE controllers on i386 were originally mapped to several known addresses in I/O space, with the advent of PCI a standardization was drafted and a mostly generic driver could be written so that PCI IDE controllers from different vendors could use the same driver, but obviously support code exists to handle additional features and other quirks.

The SATA specifications define the electrical conventions, but not how it should be exposed to the OS, for compatibility reasons.. chipset designers would emulate a PCI IDE controller so that for "basic" support was available, however almost all chipsets have a native mode of operation, i.e: need a dedicated driver.

Intel published a software-side standard called AHCI, which can be implemented by vendors in a standard way and exposed "native" SATA features like command queuing (NCQ) and hotplugging, not every SATA controller supports this, and not ever BIOS allows "toggling" between modes (..so the kernel needs to, but how it's done is chipset specific).

OpenBSD has many drivers, wdc(4) for controllers in legacy ISA mode.. pciide(4) in compatibility or native mode which doesn't mean what you may think, it refers to a SATA/IDE controller being mapped at the fixed ISA address OR in memory space as a "native" PCI device (MMIO).. ahci(4) only for SATA devices that comply with Intel's specification, and other SATA/IDE native "RAID" controllers.

The point I'm trying to make shep is that you can't say blanket statements like "OpenBSD doesn't support SATA" without realizing that "SATA" is a physical interface and if the chipset isn't exposing a PCIIDE/AHCI face.. someone needs datasheets and some free time to write a driver.
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Old 18th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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I think my original statement is being taken out of context. OpenBSD does support SATA drives but the BIOS needs to have IDE emulation (or as you said in your earlier post IDE mode) set- ie not RAID mode.
The one statement I have made is that on motherboards that use the VT8237S chipset OpenBSD will not support more than one SATA drive.(PR6117) The original poster said he had two hard drives.

FreeBSD will support more than one SATA drive and the fact that the Original Poster could not get PC-BSD to install suggested that the bios settings might be at fault. Certainly his motherboard could have a bad chip or even less likely both SATA drives are bad. I thought his bios setting should be the first thing looked at.

Oko and BSDfan666, I appreciate all the support you provide to the forums, each of you has helped me several times.
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Old 19th May 2011
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Incorrect, OpenBSD does not require that all SATA controllers be in IDE mode.

You're taking me out of context, I meant that unlike some OS's, OpenBSD only has a single PCI IDE driver instead of having one for each vendor/chipset.

Depending on the chipset another driver may attach, for instance, ahci(4) on AHCI complaint SATA controllers.. or one of the hardware RAID controllers that OpenBSD supports, try apropos "SATA RAID" sometime.

In fact, you don't know what hardware the OP has.. saying that his only choice is to enter the BIOS and enable IDE mode for all SATA controllers isn't true.
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Old 19th May 2011
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As for your issue with that VIA chipset, that is only a single chipset, many others do work fine.

Send it to a developer so that support can be added, and if the vendor doesn't provide documentation, complain to /them/.
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Old 19th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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Where did I say this?
Quote:
The point I'm trying to make shep is that you can't say blanket statements like "OpenBSD doesn't support SATA"
or this
Quote:
saying that his only choice is to enter the BIOS and enable IDE mode for all SATA controllers isn't true.
Feel free to quote me.
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Old 19th May 2011
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Quote:
OpenBSD does support SATA drives but the BIOS needs to have IDE emulation.
You just said it above, seriously?
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Old 20th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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The bios in both and Intel Atom based motherboard and a Via C7 motherboard offered 2 options: 'ide' or 'raid'. I had a single SATA hard drive and a SATA DVDRW drive in both systems. Only the Intel board would load OpenBSD and that was with 'ide' selected in the bios. If I selected 'raid' in either system the bios would not configure raid for a single drive and it would not show up in the bios when raid was selected. The Via C7 motherboard had the additional problem that the OpenBSD driver only supported one SATA device with 'ide' selected.

How else would you say this?

I am still waiting for you to back this statement:
Quote:
The point I'm trying to make shep is that you can't say blanket statements like "OpenBSD doesn't support SATA"
I never made a blanket statment that OpenBSD doesn't support SATA.

Last edited by shep; 20th May 2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 20th May 2011
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There are two standard ways of accessing SATA controllers, via PCI IDE emulation or AHCI.. the "RAID" settings configured by some BIOS allow exposing a SATA controller in a native form, sometimes it's proprietary, sometimes it's AHCI with custom metadata on the disk on integraded chipsets.. OpenBSD -CURRENT refuses to attach in this case until softraid(4) can support such configurations.

Many BIOS's offer toggling a non-RAID AHCI mode, and it is often the default on systems sold with Windows 7.. older versions lacked an AHCI driver.
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Old 22nd May 2011
sjakke sjakke is offline
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I have a ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard. And a AMD Athlon II X2 250 processor. The memory is kingston an hard drives are WD....etc.

I tried going in to bios settings and change IDE to AHCI and RAID, but those made no difference.

I'll post a dmesg shortly.
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Old 30th August 2011
sjakke sjakke is offline
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What ever the problem was, it seems to have been solved with NetBSD 5.99.55.
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Old 30th August 2011
sjakke sjakke is offline
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Sorry for the late reply.
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