Hi,

for some time I'm trying to get FreeBSD 6 running on my server 
as a host for VMware and several other functions.

I'm using a 1.7GHz Pentium M 735 on an AOpen i855GMEm-LFS mobo 
w/ USB, VGA, 2xGbit/s, 2xPATA channels etc. on board.
I used to run FBSD-5.2.1 with vmware3 on an Epox mobo w/ a 2GHz 
Celeron without problems.
After changing HW (mobo, CPU, HDD) and OS (FBSD6.0) I found the 
system to "freeze" upon accessing an USB device when vmware was 
running. 
So my first investigations led to its driver, but in some cases 
heavy disk I/O was sufficient to cause a freeze.

Since the situation got worse with FreeBSD 6.2 I started to work 
on it more systematically and found the following (actually I was 
on the verge to switch to Linux CentOS 4.4 or OpenSUSE 10.2 with 
VMware Server running nicely, but the HD and network performance 
were disappointing):

1)**ACPI off, "Assign USB IRQ" disabled in BIOS, vmware3 started:
    vmware3 runs fine, but no USB devices.

2)**ACPI off, "Assign USB IRQ" enabled in BIOS, vmware3 started:
    system "freezes" with network connections breaking, endless 
    messages
ad2: WARNING: - SETFEATURES SET TRANSFER MODE taskqueue timeout - completing
request directly
ad2: WARNING: - SETFEATURES SET TRANSFER MODE taskqueue timeout - completing
request directly
ad2: WARNING: - SETFEATURES ENABLE RCACHE taskqueue timeout - completing
request directly
ad2: WARNING: - SETFEATURES ENABLE WCACHE taskqueue timeout - completing
request directly
ad2: WARNING: - SET_MULTI taskq.....
ad2: FAILURE [or TIMEOUT] - WRITE:DMA timed out [or retrying] LBA=....
g_vs_done():ad2s1e[WRITE(offset=...., length=....)]error = 5
    typing reboot will finally reboot the system after several hours,
    nothing in the logs though.

3)**ACPI off, "Assign USB IRQ" enabled in BIOS, additional PCI-VGA 
card installed, using either PCI-VGA *or* on-board VGA, vmware3 
started:
    vmware3 runs fine, also when accessing the USB device.

4)**ACPI on, "Assign USB IRQ" enabled in BIOS, additional PCI-VGA card 
installed, using on-board VGA, vmware3 started:
    system "freezes" with messages above.

So, what's the relation between the scenarios?
Where can I tweak the system to get it stable?

Since I spend already several man-days on getting VMware running 
on my machine, I would like to help further debugging by making 
additional tests, but I don't know where to start.

I can live without ACPI (for the time being) -- the old system 
consumes 125W while the Pentium M machine stays at 42W with ACPI 
taking about another 8W in idle-state.
For me it seems essential why enabling/disabling USB in the BIOS 
or adding an additional PCI-VGA card stabilizes the system and 
why the unstable system behaves the same way like with enabling 
ACPI.

I put some boot_verbose-logs on http://www.robert-eckardt.de/ghost/

Regards,
Robert

--
Dr. Robert Eckardt    ---    [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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