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Boot Trouble and Boot Speed

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  • Roger Gilbert
    I have uNLSUng linux running on my NSLU2. My NSLU2 has been upgraded to 266 Mhz. I solved the write frequency problem by using a compact flash to usb adapter
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 4, 2008
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      I have uNLSUng linux running on my NSLU2.

      My NSLU2 has been upgraded to 266 Mhz.

      I solved the write frequency problem by using a compact flash to usb adapter and installing an IBM 1 gig microdrive to unsling to.

      I have a problem whether running unslung or not. When I power down the NSLU2 and come back later to boot it, it fails to boot.The System Ready/Status light stays yellow and my ethernet light stays green. I have left it and it will sit there for hours with no change.

      Yet if I power cycle and start the unit it boots fine.

      I have flashed back to linksys firmware and never see the problem. It boots every time.

      Is this a common problem ?
      Is there a fix for this ?

      Also in the same lines is there a way to make the system boot faster ?

      I run this system from a battery supply, and no I have a computer grade power regulator
      to regulate the voltage to the NSLU2.

      The boot problem happens with battery or AC.

      I run this system coupled to a 2.5 inch 250 gig usb hard drive and a proxim mini access point.

      I carry it into a room and use it as wireless shared storage for other systems in the room.

      I can get it to run close to 5 hours from battery with about 20 users connected.

      I am running unslung because I have a custom logging program that tracts individual users,
      they normally can only read from the device, allows them to upload their assignments to
      individual folders. Once the work is completed and turned in, I allow the users to run games
      from the server. You would be surprised how complete the turn in rate is when there is incentive. The games are also educational and interactive and they do not know that I track
      their progress even in the games.

      I would love to solve this problem and if possible make it boot faster.

      Thank you


    • Rod Whitby
      ... You probably need to specify a larger mount delay for the microdrive to spin up - it will be slower than a flash disk. -- Rod
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 4, 2008
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        Roger Gilbert wrote:
        > I have uNLSUng linux running on my NSLU2.
        >
        > My NSLU2 has been upgraded to 266 Mhz.
        >
        > I solved the write frequency problem by using a compact flash to usb
        > adapter and installing an IBM 1 gig microdrive to unsling to.
        >
        > I have a problem whether running unslung or not. When I power down the
        > NSLU2 and come back later to boot it, it fails to boot.The System
        > Ready/Status light stays yellow and my ethernet light stays green. I
        > have left it and it will sit there for hours with no change.
        >
        > Yet if I power cycle and start the unit it boots fine.
        >
        > I have flashed back to linksys firmware and never see the problem. It
        > boots every time.
        >
        > Is this a common problem ?
        > Is there a fix for this ?

        You probably need to specify a larger mount delay for the microdrive to
        spin up - it will be slower than a flash disk.

        -- Rod
      • gr8npwrfl
        ... Problem happens with or without the disk. It will happen even if I unplug the usb cable to the disk. It happens even when I use a high grade usb stick
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 4, 2008
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          --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Rod Whitby <rod@...> wrote:

          > You probably need to specify a larger mount delay for the microdrive to
          > spin up - it will be slower than a flash disk.
          >
          > -- Rod
          >
          Problem happens with or without the disk. It will happen even if I
          unplug the usb cable to the disk. It happens even when I use a high
          grade usb stick also.
        • Mike (mwester)
          ... I m a bit confused at this point - can you clarify a few points? You say you have a problem whether running unslung or not, and then you say that you
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 4, 2008
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            Roger Gilbert wrote:
            > I have uNLSUng linux running on my NSLU2.
            >
            > My NSLU2 has been upgraded to 266 Mhz.
            >
            > I solved the write frequency problem by using a compact flash to usb
            > adapter and installing an IBM 1 gig microdrive to unsling to.
            >
            > I have a problem whether running unslung or not. When I power down the
            > NSLU2 and come back later to boot it, it fails to boot.The System
            > Ready/Status light stays yellow and my ethernet light stays green. I
            > have left it and it will sit there for hours with no change.
            >
            > Yet if I power cycle and start the unit it boots fine.
            >
            > I have flashed back to linksys firmware and never see the problem. It
            > boots every time.

            I'm a bit confused at this point - can you clarify a few points? You
            say you have a problem whether running unslung or not, and then you say
            that you don't see the problem when you flash back to linksys firmware?

            The procedure you describe doesn't seem to be different -- in both cases
            you power it down. Is the problem that it fails to boot if you leave it
            powered off for a while, and it boots ok if you immediately power-cycle
            it? Also, how do you initiate the power-cycle for each case (web
            interface, power button, command line, pull-the-plug)?

            > Is this a common problem ?

            No.

            > Is there a fix for this ?

            I don't know; we need more information.

            > Also in the same lines is there a way to make the system boot faster ?

            Certainly. There are a number of things that the Linksys firmware does
            that can be removed, or streamlined in all probability. In order to do
            so, you would almost certainly need a serial console on the device. See
            the wiki for information on how to add this.

            The first step is to determine the current boot time you're seeing, and
            establish a goal for what you require it to be -- and based on that
            you'll have to start looking at where the boot time is being spent. One
            area that will be very tricky is the mounting of the drive's partitions
            at boot; that's handled by Linksys code for which we have no source --
            so there's little that can be done about that part of it. However,
            other steps can be skipped, or deferred -- the web browser, quota
            enabling (although I think that's already deferred). Another area to
            examine would be the boot-time delay that's built in where Unslung waits
            for the drive(s) to become ready during boot; this is tricky as many
            devices have two times that they present -- one at first power-up, and
            another (usually faster) if the device is already initialized and
            spun-up. So if you're not careful, you can "tune" the timeout so that
            it reboots very quickly -- but won't boot to unslung mode when it boots
            from a power-off state.

            Mike (mwester)
          • gr8npwrfl
            The boot problem occurs when I have the system running and either tell the system to shutdown or I press the front panel button. I leave the wall mount
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 6, 2008
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              The boot problem occurs when I have the system running and either tell
              the system to shutdown or I press the front panel button.

              I leave the wall mount transformer plugged into the unit and come back
              later or the next day to boot.

              I press the front panel button and the system hangs with the status
              ready light at yellow and the network light at green.

              I pull the power plug from the NSLU2 and plug it back in immediately
              and press the front power button to start the system up. It then
              continues a normal boot with no problems.

              If I leave the power plug disconnected for an extended time, plug it
              in and press the front power button to boot. It will hang with the
              yellow/green status. Unplug and plug in the power and hit the front
              panel switch it will boot properly.

              If it occurred in stock linksys software I would then tend to believe it
              would be in the reset circuit. But since it only happens in uNSLUng it
              has me stymied.

              When I said before it happened both slung and unslung I was saying
              that it is not my external micro drive that is causing the problem.
            • Ian Key
              ... From: gr8npwrfl To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, 7 August, 2008 7:34:42 AM Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Boot Trouble and
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 7, 2008
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                ----- Original Message ----
                From: gr8npwrfl <gr8npwrfl@...>
                To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, 7 August, 2008 7:34:42 AM
                Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Boot Trouble and Boot Speed

                >The boot problem occurs when I have the system running and either tell
                >the system to shutdown or I press the front panel button.
                >
                >I leave the wall mount transformer plugged into the unit and come >back later or the next day to boot.
                >
                >I press the front panel button and the system hangs with the status
                >ready light at yellow and the network light at green.
                >
                >I pull the power plug from the NSLU2 and plug it back in immediately
                >and press the front power button to start the system up. It then
                >continues a normal boot with no problems.
                >
                >If I leave the power plug disconnected for an extended time, plug it
                >in and press the front power button to boot. It will hang with the
                >yellow/green status. Unplug and plug in the power and hit the front
                >panel switch it will boot properly.
                >
                >If it occurred in stock linksys software I would then tend to believe it
                >would be in the reset circuit. But since it only happens in uNSLUng it
                >has me stymied.
                >
                >When I said before it happened both slung and unslung I was saying
                >that it is not my external micro drive that is causing the problem.



                Could it be the microdrive is taking time to spin-up? When Unslung, the drive isn't ready and the boot process hangs and never recovers. By powering off and on quickly and the drive is ready (having spun up on the failed boot process)? 


                You wouldn't see the problem with the Linksys firmware as it may not access the drive for booting up......

                Ian


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