Possibly defective BIOS detected (irqtable) on a PE8450

David Chait davidc at bonair.stanford.edu
Thu Jan 2 17:29:00 CST 2003

I hate to say it but..."Dude, lighten up!" Linux is not Dell's primary
business focus, and frankly I'm thrilled to get the level of support that I
do from them. Honestly, Dell is not under any obligation to hand over
anything to an outside development group, and publicly harassing their
support people like this is hardly the way to get any cooperation.

----- Original Message -----
From: <fluke at gibson.mw.luc.edu>
To: <Matt_Domsch at dell.com>
Cc: <schmitt at inf.ethz.ch>; <linux-poweredge at dell.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 3:41 PM
Subject: RE: Possibly defective BIOS detected (irqtable) on a PE8450

> On Thu, 2 Jan 2003 Matt_Domsch at dell.com wrote:
> > > On a PE8450, I see the following kernel boot message:
> > > Dec 22 17:32:18 sim0 kernel:  *** Possibly defective BIOS detected
> > > (irqtable)
> > > Dec 22 17:32:18 sim0 kernel:  *** Many BIOSes matching this signature
> > > have incorrect IRQ routing tables.
> > > Dec 22 17:32:18 sim0 kernel:  *** If you see IRQ problems, in
> > > particular
> > > SCSI resets and hangs at boot
> > > Dec 22 17:32:18 sim0 kernel:  *** contact your hardware
> > > vendor and ask
> > > about updates.
> > > Dec 22 17:32:18 sim0 kernel:  *** Building an SMP kernel may
> > > evade the bug some of the time.
> >
> > Yes, we're aware of it, and the liklihood of that BIOS being fixed is
> > really small (it's been like this for several years...  It's actually an
> > Intel BIOS.)  Please use an SMP kernel on the PE8450, that doesn't use
> > pirq routing table and thus it works.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Matt
> Please don't tease us with a claim that there is a "small" likelyhood of
> Dell releasing an approbate BIOS fix.  I am personally aware of two BIOS
> issues that Dell has ignored from multiple users:
> 1) Intel's technical documentation for the i830M states that the amount of
> shared memory reserved for video be user selectable.  The Dell Latitude
> BIOS never provides such an option but instead fixes the video memory at
> the lowest amount (1MB) reducing the usefulness of using X on the laptop.
> 2) ATI All-In-Wonder 7500 (Dell Part# A0000132) which the Dell sales
> description includes "view and edit digital videos using the included IEEE
> 1394 ports and cable."  These ports report their PCI ID via the AGP slot.
> When the ports are enabled, the Dell Dimension BIOS fails to properily
> probe the *ENTIRE* PCI bus effecting *ALL* OSes on the machine including
> Windows 2000 and Windows XP (no soundcard, no network card, etc).  Only
> fix available to Dell customers is to disable the IEEE 1394 ports such
> that the card never works as advertized by Dell in the Dell computer.
> When the same exact card is moved from the Dell to a real computer the
> IEEE 1394 ports are fully functional.
> To further reduce the usefulness of Linux on Dell, the company has choosen
> to ignore all requests from members of the LinuxBIOS project on technical
> specifications of Dell motherboards.  This project helps to reduce the
> time it takes to boot Linux on servers and computation farm nodes but is a
> feature that can never be extended to Dell machines.
> Hence the motto:  Dude, your getting a door stop.
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