patrick wrote:
(Sorry for the repost, but in retrospect, I thought a subject
detailing the actual problem would garner more responses.)

Hi, I just got a new Dell Inspiron 530s, and am having some trouble
getting FreeBSD 7.1 installed on it. When I boot up from the CD, after
it detects all of the disks, I start getting messages like:

acd0: TIMEOUT - READ_BIG retrying (1 retry left)

and so on.

Google results suggested that I disable ACPI from the boot menu. This
works insofar as I get to the installation menu; however, when I go to
partition the disk, it says that no disks were found. Is there a way I
can disable ACPI, but set some boot-time variables to help the system
find the disk controller?

I'm in the process of creating a LiveCD to see if acpidump might help
isolate just what the problem is, but if anyone has some advice in the
meantime, I'd greatly appreciate it.

... time passes ...

Booting in safe-mode doesn't have the TIMEOUT - READ_BIG messages, but
instead I get an interrupt storm detected. The LiveCD didn't work
because when I boot with ACPI disabled, no disks are detected which
means that I cannot mount the LiveCD. :(

Has anyone found a way to work around this sort of issue before?


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Change your Bios.

Virus Warning=, set this option to disable. It’s a firmware check of the hard drive boot sector looking for MS/Windows boot virus. This will stop FBSD booting from the install CDROM or finding the hard drive.

plug-n-play=, set this option to disable. FBSD is not sensitive to Microsoft plug-n-play standard and may refuse to install, or cause PCI cards not to be found.

Disable or set to auto any BIOS option to assign IRQ numbers to PCI expansion slots.

Operating system type=, set to ‘other’ or any Unix type of operating system, don’t set to MS/Windows.

Disable all power management options.

Open your box and check that the cdrom reader device is not slave on ribbon with no master. Freebsd assumes the motherboard primary ide controller has hard disk on master nipple and cdrom or another hard disk on slave nipple. The motherboard secondary ide controller can not have empty master nipple with an device on the slave nipple. If this is what you have, move the slave device to the master nipple and change the device jumper pin to indecate master.

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