Centos 4 on Asus P5Q - Hardware

This is a discussion on Centos 4 on Asus P5Q - Hardware ; I have a Asus P5Q motherboard with Intel Q9450 (2.66 Ghz Quad Core), 2GB RAM and 320GB SATA drive. The board has an ICH10R Southbridge and a Sil5723. The SATA drive is connected to the ICH10R controller. I am trying ...

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Thread: Centos 4 on Asus P5Q

  1. Centos 4 on Asus P5Q

    I have a Asus P5Q motherboard with Intel Q9450 (2.66 Ghz Quad Core),
    2GB RAM and 320GB SATA drive.
    The board has an ICH10R Southbridge and a Sil5723. The SATA drive is
    connected to the ICH10R controller.

    I am trying to install Centos / RHEL 4 on this board. Initially the
    distro cannot detect the drive and then I changed the SATA controller
    to Compatible IDE mode (in the BIOS) and then I could see the drive
    and install the distro. However I then notice the IO seems a bit
    slow. iostat -k shows a max of only read 2.3MB/s and it seems to run
    in PIO mode. DMA is disabled and cannot be turned on by hdparm -d 1.

    But when I switch back to Enhanced Mode in the BIOS, the drive is not
    detectable.

    I tried to upgrade the Kernel to 2.6.9-67 but it still cannot detect
    the SATA drive in enhanced mode.

    I also tried AHCI mode but again, the kernel does not detect the
    drive.

    Any suggestion ? I am trying to use this as an Oracle database server
    but the IO is very very slow.

    Thanks

    CK

  2. Re: Centos 4 on Asus P5Q

    On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 07:31:19 -0700, cklee1967 wrote:

    > I have a Asus P5Q motherboard with Intel Q9450 (2.66 Ghz Quad Core), 2GB
    > RAM and 320GB SATA drive.
    > The board has an ICH10R Southbridge and a Sil5723. The SATA drive is
    > connected to the ICH10R controller.
    >
    > I am trying to install Centos / RHEL 4 on this board. Initially the
    > distro cannot detect the drive and then I changed the SATA controller to
    > Compatible IDE mode (in the BIOS) and then I could see the drive and
    > install the distro. However I then notice the IO seems a bit slow.
    > iostat -k shows a max of only read 2.3MB/s and it seems to run in PIO
    > mode. DMA is disabled and cannot be turned on by hdparm -d 1.
    >
    > But when I switch back to Enhanced Mode in the BIOS, the drive is not
    > detectable.
    >
    > I tried to upgrade the Kernel to 2.6.9-67 but it still cannot detect the
    > SATA drive in enhanced mode.
    >
    > I also tried AHCI mode but again, the kernel does not detect the drive.
    >
    > Any suggestion ? I am trying to use this as an Oracle database server
    > but the IO is very very slow.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > CK


    Install a modern kernel on the system. Download a recent kernel from
    kernel.org and build it. The RHEL/CentOS kernels are useless on modern
    hardware, RHEL4 uses a .9 kernel which is hopeless, even 5.2 is still
    using a .18 which is unusable on Core2 boxes because it lacks the drivers
    for the ethernet MACs that are found on most Core2 motherboards. I have a
    2.6.23.17 kernel on my CentOS5 system which works fine. I picked a .23
    because VMware Server 2.0 beta2 has trouble with kernels later
    than .23.x, I haven't checked to see if Server 2.0RC1 has fixed that
    issue, it may have.

  3. Re: Centos 4 on Asus P5Q



    On Tue, 15 Jul 2008, cklee1967@gmail.com wrote:

    > I have a Asus P5Q motherboard with Intel Q9450 (2.66 Ghz Quad Core),
    > 2GB RAM and 320GB SATA drive.
    > The board has an ICH10R Southbridge and a Sil5723. The SATA drive is
    > connected to the ICH10R controller.
    >
    > I am trying to install Centos / RHEL 4 on this board. Initially the
    > distro cannot detect the drive and then I changed the SATA controller
    > to Compatible IDE mode (in the BIOS) and then I could see the drive
    > and install the distro. However I then notice the IO seems a bit
    > slow. iostat -k shows a max of only read 2.3MB/s and it seems to run
    > in PIO mode. DMA is disabled and cannot be turned on by hdparm -d 1.
    >
    > But when I switch back to Enhanced Mode in the BIOS, the drive is not
    > detectable.
    >
    > I tried to upgrade the Kernel to 2.6.9-67 but it still cannot detect
    > the SATA drive in enhanced mode.
    >
    > I also tried AHCI mode but again, the kernel does not detect the
    > drive.


    You need to edit the file /etc/modprobe.conf to add the line:
    alias scsi_hostadapter ahci

    Then you need to recreate the initrd file (/boot/initrd-2.6.9-67.img or
    something similar -- the exact name will be in /etc/grub.conf). You create
    this file with the command "mkinitrd".

    Then set your disks in AHCI mode again and reboot.

    You can have multiple lines in /etc/modprobe.conf for different adapters,
    so you could also have:

    alias scsi_hostadapter1 xxxx

    where "xxxx' is the name of the kernel module (minus the ".o") that
    provides support for your disk controller. However, looking at this page:
    http://gentoo-wiki.com/Asus_P5Q-E
    it appears that using AHCI is most likely to be successful.


  4. Re: Centos 4 on Asus P5Q

    OK, I found that (by turning off the quiet and rhgb option on the
    kernel command lines) that on 2.6.9-67, the ahci driver
    actually picks up the SATA drives attached to the ICH10R controller.
    So I moved all the partitions out to another external
    drive before I reformatting the SATA disk (for some reason, when I
    installed it using COMPATIBLE mode and LVM2, VolGroup00
    was not recognize when using the ahci driver). Then I copied back the
    partition from the external drive (without LVM2) and
    installed grub on it again. It now works and I can get roughly 30MB/s
    read/write throughput.

    On another note, the motherboard also has a Marvell 6121 with a Sil
    5723 behind it with 2 SATA ports. So I can setup
    something called SuperSpeed which seems like "disk striping" in
    hardware. It will even boot on the drives using a more
    recent kernel (ubuntu 8.04) but it requires pata_marvell to work which
    is missing from 2.6.9-67.

    Thanks to whoever for the pointer.

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