system resets with openbsd flash drive

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system resets with openbsd flash drive

Jim Rowan
Hi,

I'm trying to resurrect some neoware ca22 thinclient boxes, and seeing  
strange behavior I don't know how to interpret.

I have a bootable 5.4 usb stick.   If I put that in the box, right  
after the initial bios boot screen (after it says "via c7 1.0Ghz"),  
the system resets.  This is before it tests the memory or probes for  
devices.   If I go into bios setup, and *then* plug the usb stick in,  
it resets immediately.  If I let it start booting windows xp (which is  
on it's flash DOM), and then plug it in, it continues to boot.

Suspicious that it was the usb drive itself, I tried three separate  
brands.  Same thing.
I put grml on one of them, it boots fine.  I put nanobsd on the same  
one; again boots fine.   With openbsd on the usb drive, and I wipe out  
the beginning of the drive with dd, it then does not reset.

I haven't yet managed to get a dmesg captured, but it's a rather  
unremarkable via c7 motherboard.  I've tried changing all the bios  
settings to the most conservative, disabled everything I can, ... same  
thing.  Oh, and I've tried a different box (I have several of them)  
and a different power supply; neither had any effect.

One of the confusing things is the reset that happens when the usb  
drive is plugged in while in the bios setup...

What can I do next?

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Re: system resets with openbsd flash drive

Shawn K. Quinn-2
On Mon, Mar 31, 2014, at 10:35 PM, Jim Rowan wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm trying to resurrect some neoware ca22 thinclient boxes, and seeing  
> strange behavior I don't know how to interpret.
[...]
> Suspicious that it was the usb drive itself, I tried three separate  
> brands.  Same thing.
> I put grml on one of them, it boots fine.  I put nanobsd on the same  
> one; again boots fine.   With openbsd on the usb drive, and I wipe out  
> the beginning of the drive with dd, it then does not reset.
[...]
> One of the confusing things is the reset that happens when the usb  
> drive is plugged in while in the bios setup...
>
> What can I do next?
 
It seems like the BIOS looks at the partition table and panics when it
sees the OpenBSD partition, which honestly it should not care about.
Anti-virus protection run amok perhaps? Either that, or some other type
of BIOS bug.

--
  Shawn K. Quinn
  [hidden email]

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Re: system resets with openbsd flash drive

Martin Brandenburg
In reply to this post by Jim Rowan
Jim Rowan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm trying to resurrect some neoware ca22 thinclient boxes, and seeing  
> strange behavior I don't know how to interpret.
>
> I have a bootable 5.4 usb stick.   If I put that in the box, right  
> after the initial bios boot screen (after it says "via c7 1.0Ghz"),  
> the system resets.  This is before it tests the memory or probes for  
> devices.   If I go into bios setup, and *then* plug the usb stick in,  
> it resets immediately.  If I let it start booting windows xp (which is  
> on it's flash DOM), and then plug it in, it continues to boot.
>
> Suspicious that it was the usb drive itself, I tried three separate  
> brands.  Same thing.
> I put grml on one of them, it boots fine.  I put nanobsd on the same  
> one; again boots fine.   With openbsd on the usb drive, and I wipe out  
> the beginning of the drive with dd, it then does not reset.
>
> I haven't yet managed to get a dmesg captured, but it's a rather  
> unremarkable via c7 motherboard.  I've tried changing all the bios  
> settings to the most conservative, disabled everything I can, ... same  
> thing.  Oh, and I've tried a different box (I have several of them)  
> and a different power supply; neither had any effect.
>
> One of the confusing things is the reset that happens when the usb  
> drive is plugged in while in the bios setup...
>
> What can I do next?

What brand of BIOS is this? I had the exact same problem on a Gigabyte
motherboard with Award's BIOS before. I assumed it was a BIOS bug and
gave up because it wasn't a particularly good motherboard to begin with.

- Martin

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Re: system resets with openbsd flash drive

Mikkel C. Simonsen
In reply to this post by Jim Rowan
Jim Rowan wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm trying to resurrect some neoware ca22 thinclient boxes, and seeing
> strange behavior I don't know how to interpret.
>
> What can I do next?

I have used quite a few Neoware thin clients for OpenBSD (and FreeBSD)
systems. I boot from an USB floppy or CD on those that support that, or
connect a CD-drive to the IDE connector. In all cases I have installed
on the internal flash module. Larger modules are available at low cost.

Best regards,

Mikkel C. Simonsen