Re: startup problems

From: Michele Andreoli (
Date: Wed Dec 15 1999 - 15:26:25 CET

On Wed, Dec 15, 1999 at 12:36:08PM +0000, Stephen Isard nicely wrote:
> Hello,
> I've been having trouble getting a single floppy muLinux to boot on a
> five year old Dell 486/25s with 12 Mb ram. The problem occurs at the
> stage where the USR section of the floppy is uncompressed into
> /dev/ram1. Very occasionally this works and I get the "I feel good"
> message, but much more often I get the "This usr have some problems"
                                                fractured english inside!

> message. I can get muLinux to start up correctly and run programs as I
> would expect if I go into maintenance mode and copy a version of USR
> from the hard disk to /dev/ram1, so I think the ROOT and kernel are
> getting loaded ok.
> One possibility is just that the floppy itself is bad, but I don't think
> so because a) I have tried with several different floppies and b) all of
> these floppies run muLinux with no problem on a different (64Mb Celeron)
> machine.

Your system reach some critical point!
Anycase, If you unpack manually, this require less memory. If you unpack
using script, then you has two *sh* interpreter working, and this heat
much ram.

Sorry, mulinux is script-based: scripts require much RAM compared to

> In fact, I think the trouble comes in reading the data from
> /dev/fd0H1722, rather than in decompressing it, because I can go into
> maintenance mode and copy the data to the hard disk with 'fastdd
> /dev/fd0H1722 1137' twice in a row and get files that differ according
> to cmp and which have bad checksums according to 'bzip2 -stvv'.


> So another possibility is that the floppy drive is faulty. Maybe it is,
> but why should the fault show itself so reliably in this particular
> context and no other that I am aware of? I have used the floppy drive
> for file transfer under dos/windows for five years and minix for a few
> months and never noticed any corruptions. So maybe the 1.7Mb Linux
> driver pushes the hardware harder than dos/windows.

Surely. Please: check standard disclaimer in the "fdformat" Linux manpage:
superformatting may be dangerous.

> A possible clue is that I sometimes get an error message "fd0 timeout
> handler died" while reading USR from the floppy. (I haven't seen it at
> any other time.) However, copying can go wrong without the message.

Beh, this is alarming: I got similar messages in a old machine, and it
happens randomly.

> I'd be grateful for any ideas on how to diagnose or fix this problem.
> (In particular, I'd rather not buy a new floppy drive only to discover
> that the device driver is assuming a faster processor or something.)

A floppy driver is very low expensive.

> On an entirely separate topic:
> I find that I can't mail to with my normal mail program,
> plain old unix mail, called mailx under solaris. The mail is eventually
> returned with a message saying it couldn't be delivered after 4 or 5
> days and something about "451 Open relay". In particular, I couldn't
> subscribe to this group until I discovered that mail sent with the
> netscape mailer would get through.

Sunsite SMTP system is very, very suspicious. In the past, I, the *owner*,
was not be able to post for a lot!!!! SUnsite server consult some
database (a list of bad guy) and refuse to accept emails coming from.
Please, chech your headers!


I'd like to conclude with a positive statement, but I can't 
remember any. Would two negative ones do?       -- Woody Allen
To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.6 : Sat Feb 08 2003 - 15:27:12 CET