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Linux on the Jasper_Forest/Xeon_C5500 : rhel v5 ap usb dvd & Fedora on ext2


good evening fellow engineers:

i have recently started working with the Jasper_Forest / Xeon_C5500 processor on Intel's Wahweap Canyon (WWC) Customer Referenced Board (CRB).

my configuration is the CF disk in its slot, which the Aptio BIOS enumerates as disk1, a SATA hard drive connected to the light blue SATA connector from the IbexPeak 3420 chipset, a USB keyboard & mouse connected through a powered USB hub, and booting off a USB DVD drive to install OSs.

my experience with OS installation:

* Windows boots and installs with no problems at all.

* Fedora_10-x86_64 will hang when installing onto an ext2 partition.

the error issued is "Thread died in Berkeley DB library".

* Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server v5 Advanced Platform (AP) installer will not run at all. the installer hangs when loading the USB Mass Storage driver.

* coincidentally, the QNX Bootloader runs perfectly, since i think it uses the BIOS, whereas the QNX installer will not run at all. there are many problems, but, for sure, the USB driver wont run at all.

anyone know about these problems with the JF?



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4 Replies


Once again, we meet on the internet ...

We tried this on our WWC CRB. I think the problem exists because of how the CF slot is implemented, using a SATA-to-IDE converter chip on SATA port 0.

Our engineers have seen some odd behavior when the CF slot is not populated, but this varies based on OS installer (as you have observed). One thing you may notice is an increased boot time if the CF slot is not populated ... this means the "drive" times out when the BIOS runs detection at boot time (there's a drive on the bus but it's not responding when interrogated).

You might see the same behavior with certain models of USB card reader, if the reader is attached without any media in the slots. The installer sees the drive, but doesn't treat it as a removable device or report that media is not present.

You can test this by disabling the 1st SATA controller in BIOS setup to disable the CF slot ... but on WWC that also disables the only other SATA port on the board. There are no ports actually run to the 2nd SATA controller (whoops) and the BIOS doesn't have the ability to disable individual ports.


good evening Brian:

i always install the OSs with the CF slot populated. i only install Windows_Server_2008_R2 with no CF disk to avoid a System partition being used.

btw, there are no problems with Windows, only with Fedora on EXT2. i chose EXT2 since QNX does not recognize EXT3. i managed to successful install and run Fedora using EXT3 on the JF.

the older Xeon SuperMicro PDSM4 had some problems with Fedora on EXT2, but not as bad as the JF WC CRB.

yes, i know that there is a long delay when the BIOS times out when there is no CF disk installed in the slot, but i install all Linuxes with only a CF disk inserted.

so, why are there so many problems with the WC? also, why does the USB mass storage driver with the latest RHEL v5 server AP not load on the WC but it works fine on the SM PDSM4?

just wondering.

have a wonderful evening,



{ Brooklyn's Peter Steele of Type O' Negative dead at 48! }


hello Brian:

since you said that you have a WC CRB in your office, can you tell me what tool do you use to update the Aptio BIOS in the 8M Numonyx 25PX64PV SPI Flash?

Intel Architecture it seems has now been modified to include other data and code in the same BIOS device. one is Intel ME firmware.

so, i dont know if AMI's AFUWIN will work. in fact it does not.

kindly see my posting in the New To Intel Architecture Discussion Forum

Aptio BIOS update does not work on WC CRB

http://embedded.communities.intel.com/message/3675 http://embedded.communities.intel.com/message/3675" >http://embedded.communities.intel.com/message/3675

from Intel IBP, we have obtained Intel ME Ignition tools that has Flash Programming Tool (FPT). however, this requires defining the Flash device to the software in fparts.txt.

isnt there some simple tool available from Intel or AMI?

thank you for your time.

have a good evening,


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{ i have a dream, a song to sing: Peter Miller's life }


I replied to the flash issue in the original thread.