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Unable to boot Fedora release later than 11 Alpha on Intel PR440FX



Ever since the days of Fedora 11 Beta, I am unable to boot from any Fedora media on a somewhat classic system built upon the Intel PR440FX (Providence) server mainboard. It is a dual Pentium II Overdrive 333 MHz machine with 512 MB of RAM. The SMOLT profile is

    http://www.smolts.org/client/show/pub_404b0d8f-bccd-4123-97e7-e21d09d2c097 .

The corresponding bug is "F11-Rawhide boot CD hangs at SYSLINUX stage",

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=498829 .

Pressing <shift> during boot time allows to recover the "boot:" argument line. After typing "vmlinuz0" and <enter>, the kernel actually boots to the point where a kernel panic occurs:

    EXT3-fs: unable to read superblock
    EXT4-fs: unable to read superblock
    EXT4-fs: Update your userspace programs to mount using ext4
    EXT4-fs: ext4dev backwards compatibility will go away by 2.6.31
    EXT4-fs: unable to read superblock
    isofs_fill_super: bread failed, dev=md2, iso_blknum=16, block=32
    List of all partitions:
    0b00  1048575 sr0 driver: sr
    No filesystem could mount root, tried: ext3 ext4 ext4dev iso9660
    Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(9,2)

This happens for all Fedora CD/DVD media (system does not support a USB boot device). However, on the very same system, using the same DVD drive and the same physical media, e.g. network install image boot.iso burnt to a CD, it is absolutely possible to run

    qemu -boot d -cdrom /dev/sr0 -m 256 -localtime -monitor stdio

successfully and now, anaconda starts up as expected even bringing up the graphical installer inside QEMU. This rules out any issue related to the integrity of drive or media. It should be added that after a Fedora 10 minimum install, it is perfectly possible to pull in a fully updated Fedora 11 via yum which boots and works as expected. Any live or install CD/DVD of other distributions such as various Ubuntu 9.x and OpenSuse 11.x, OpenSolaris 200x.yy, etc. boot without the slightest hitch.

Any confirmation of this issue for a comparable system or hints in which direction to investigate? I have no issues with a Pentium III-M based notebook and an Opteron based desktop system.

~Christoph

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