Hangs at BTX Loader



  • I've got an HP DC5850 MT (AMD Phenom X3 Processor, I can dig out chipset specifics if you want those). This system is about 4-5 years old.

    Anyway, when I try to boot from the liveCD, the system hangs at a screen that says:

    CD Loader 1.2
    
    Building the boot loader arguments
    Looking up /BOOT/LOADER... Found
    Relocating the loader and the BTX
    Starting the BTX loader
    
    BTX loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.02
    

    After this it just hangs. I tried burning an img to a USB drive and I only get the last line (THe BTX loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.02) before it hangs. I've updated the BIOS to the very latest from HP on this system.

    I tried the following images:
    pfSense-LiveCD-2.0.3-RELEASE-i386-20130412-1022.iso.gz for the CD
    pfSense-memstick-2.0.3-RELEASE-i386-20130412-1022.img.gz for the USB stick

    I'm stuck as to what I should try next to get this to boot. It seems like the instructions from the Boot Troubleshooting wiki page are only applicable if you can get further than I am in the boot. Thanks!



  • Some things I would try, not necessarily in this order:

    • Can the system boot a Linux LiveCD such as System Rescue CD (see http://www.sysresccd.org)?

    • Can the system boot a memory diagnostic such as Memtest86 (found on System Rescue CD and a number of Linux Live CDs)? If so, does the diagnostic complete a couple of passes without error?

    • Can the system boot pfSense 2.1 which has much more up to date device driver than pfSense 2.0.x

    • Does it make a difference to disable unused devices (e.g. Audio, additional RAID controllers, parallel port etc) in the BIOS?

    • Does it make a difference to set disk controllers in "legacy" mode (rather than SATA or AHCI or "enhanced" or "Advanced") in the BIOS?t

    • Does it make a difference to disable ACPI in the BIOS?

    • Does it make a difference to swap your RAM around (e.g. drop to one stick, if supported, swap over the slots used by the sticks, reseat the RAM sticks etc)

    I expect at least some of these are discussed in the Boot Troubleshooting wiki page.



  • I used to run an older HP desktop computer that had that issue.  Can't remember what the fix was exactly but I'm sure it was a BIOS setting.  I'm thinking PnP or ACPI.



  • @wallabybob:

    Can the system boot a Linux LiveCD such as System Rescue CD (see http://www.sysresccd.org)?

    Yep. Can boot this fine.

    Can the system boot a memory diagnostic such as Memtest86 (found on System Rescue CD and a number of Linux Live CDs)? If so, does the diagnostic complete a couple of passes without error?

    Yes. I am PXE booting it, but it works fine. I don't have any memory issues.

    Does it make a difference to disable unused devices (e.g. Audio, additional RAID controllers, parallel port etc) in the BIOS?

    Yes. Actually I forgot to mention this, but when I initially tried to boot, I get a constantly scrolling screen full of rows that say things like "ESI= 00 00 00" or something like that. It is scrolling so fast that I cannot read it and I can't get it to pause (Pressing keys on the keyboard seems to make it scroll faster). It turns out that after I disable the onboard audio, this stops happening and it hangs on the BTX loader. I've disabled the onboard audio, the onboard NIC, the serial port, and changed the parallel port to "Output Only" (There was no option to disable it).

    Does it make a difference to set disk controllers in "legacy" mode (rather than SATA or AHCI or "enhanced" or "Advanced") in the BIOS?t

    It was actually set to "Legacy IDE". I tried "Native IDE" and "RAID AHCI" and neither of these worked either. It is also set to Enhanced DMA on one of the settings for the Hard Disk (It won't let me tweak anything on the CD drive) and I tried Ultra DMA and that didn't seem to make a difference either (The drive is SATA)

    Does it make a difference to disable ACPI in the BIOS?

    Unfortunately with this castrated BIOS from HP, I'm limited on what they will let me do. I turned off every power saving option I could find and it still doesn't make it past the BTX Loader.

    Does it make a difference to swap your RAM around (e.g. drop to one stick, if supported, swap over the slots used by the sticks, reseat the RAM sticks etc)

    I moved the 2 sticks to the other two slots and it didn't work there. I've now have a single 2 GB stick in it and it still isn't booting.

    Can the system boot pfSense 2.1 which has much more up to date device driver than pfSense 2.0.x

    It does the same thing.

    I downloaded a livecd of FreeBSD 8.1 and it does the same thing.

    Then I found http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=144437 which matches exactly with what I'm seeing, so I'm guessing I'm SoL on getting PFSense to work on this box.

    Thanks!



  • You have been busy!

    If are prepared to put more time into this you could try running pfSense in a Virtual machine: for example, install Linux and create a pfSense virtual machine using VirtualBox or KVM.

    It would probably be worth checking if your CPU is suitably capable before starting down this path.



  • @wallabybob:

    You have been busy!

    If are prepared to put more time into this you could try running pfSense in a Virtual machine: for example, install Linux and create a pfSense virtual machine using VirtualBox or KVM.

    It would probably be worth checking if your CPU is suitably capable before starting down this path.

    Time wouldn't be a problem, but I firmly believe in the KISS theory and that would be adding a lot of unneeded complexity. I'm just using old desktops that we'd end up tossing out anyway. I guess these will make it to the curb faster than they would otherwise.

    Thanks for your help!



  • @MLIT:

    I've got an HP DC5850 MT (AMD Phenom X3 Processor, I can dig out chipset specifics if you want those). This system is about 4-5 years old.

    After this it just hangs. I tried burning an img to a USB drive and I only get the last line (THe BTX loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.02) before it hangs. I've updated the BIOS to the very latest from HP on this system.

    I tried the following images:
    pfSense-LiveCD-2.0.3-RELEASE-i386-20130412-1022.iso.gz for the CD
    pfSense-memstick-2.0.3-RELEASE-i386-20130412-1022.img.gz for the USB stick

    I'm up and running on a slightly older HP DC5750 SFF (AMD Athlon 64x2).  There was an issue with Legacy vs. Native and the loader absolutely would not accept the M/B RAID.  Just curious, I'm running the AMD64 version.  I notice your two images are "i386".  Have you tried the AMD64?

    Rick



  • @Ramosel:

    Have you tried the AMD64?

    I know this has been a while, but I did try AMD64 on these and it hangs on those too. I'm guessing these boxes just aren't going to work.


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