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[K12OSN] problems with a Compaq Presario SR1759NX

I just bought a Compaq Presario SR1750NX to be a terminal server for a small group of about 6-12 users. It has a 2.2ghz Athon 64 processor, 1GB RAM (to which I added 1GB for a total of 2GB), a 200GB SATA drive, an on-board ethernet powered by a Realtek RTL8101L chip. At $600, the price seemed right for a server for a group this size. But I'm having trouble getting K12LTSP 4.4.1 working.

The first problem is the ethernet port. I'm doing the installation via NFS, and while the installer finds the onboard ethernet, when it does a DHCP request for an address, it's never able to get an address. The LEDs on the port and on the switch it's connected to both light up, so electrically it's connecting; but it's not functioning correctly. So, I disabled the on-board ethernet and put in two ethernet cards (I want a two-nic installation). With these, the installation went fine, but after the reboot, when the machine is coming up, at the point where it launches dhcpd, I get a kernel panic with a message about trying to kill init.

I've never used a Compaq for a terminal server before, and I think of their quality as being pretty good. Does this seem like a defective machine? Or what would explain these failures?


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