[syslinux] More on Problems with PXELinux and ramdisk not loading

Richard Plana RPlana at zicorp.com
Sun Jan 9 10:14:18 PST 2005

Had to changed the Subject header because the mailing list software thought the previous one ("so old bootloader" ...) was suspicious.

Just a backgrounder and a little more info I've gathered:

Trying to install Fedora Core 3 via PXE using DHCP-TFTP. Kernel loads but initrd isn't used for rootfs.

The machine's an AMD Athlon 64-based box with 512MB physical memory (one DDR DIMM), NVidia NFORCE4 4X-based mobo), built-in ethernet.

At the top of dmesg is the following:

so old bootloader that it doesn't support commandline?!
Linux version 2.6.7-1.667 (bhcompile at dolly.build.redhat.com) (gcc version 3.4.2 20041017 (Red Hat 3.4.2-6.fc3)) #1 Tue Nov  2 14:50:10 EST 2004
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
 BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009f800 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 000000000009f800 - 00000000000a0000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 000000001fff0000 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 000000001fff0000 - 000000001fff3000 (ACPI NVS)
 BIOS-e820: 000000001fff3000 - 0000000020000000 (ACPI data)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000c0000000 - 00000000d0000000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000fec00000 - 00000000fec01000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000ffff0000 - 0000000100000000 (reserved)
No mptable found.
initrd extends beyond end of memory (0xfffffdfb > 0x1fff0000)
disabling initrd

As I mentioned the machine has 512MB (0x20000000 bytes) physical RAM. It seems the BIOS is reporting some "reserved" chunks of "memory" (dunno if it's really physically there) that can't be used and something (the kernel or bootloader) keeps trying to put it at the top of physical memory space.

Any insights on what I should do?

Richard Plana

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