[syslinux] Soekris net45xx initialization hang

Evan Webb evan at lockdownnetworks.com
Mon May 23 18:51:17 PDT 2005

Adding a bit more information to this: 

I began going through the mailing list archives and noticed that there
were reports of older machines hanging in the exact same way that I'm
experiencing. I began going back through the pre releases and found

1) Beginning with 2.20-pre1, syslinux reports "Boot failed" only. If
enter is pressed, it prints "Boot failed" again.

2) This behavior continues all the way up to 2.20-pre14, where the
behavior changes to displaying the type/version/date string ie.
"SYSLINUX 2.20 2.20-pre14".

3) All 3.0 releases tested (3.0, 3.07, 3.08, and 3.09-pre1) exhibit the
type/version/date hang behavior that began in 2.20-pre14.

I've looked through ldlinux.asm a bit, and it appears that the code to
find ldlinux.sys changed between 2.13 and 2.20. I'm wondering if perhaps
the new code isnt working on older machines and this is root cause of
this error. The change in behavior from "Boot failed" to the version
string might be that the version string is now encoded into sector 0 and
is displayed before any loading of ldlinux.asm, and this message is
somehow usurping the "Boot failed" message.

I may take a crack at altering the assembly to load ldlinux.sys, if I
do, I'll post my results.

On Mon, 2005-05-23 at 16:57 -0700, Evan Webb wrote:
> I'm working with a Soekris net45xx SBC and I'm experiencing problems
> using any syslinux code (syslinux, pxelinux, extlinux) above version
> 2.20. I'm interfacing with the Soekris via the serial console port,
> which is the primary bios console. I've tried different configurations
> with setting serial in the config file, but no change (though I dont
> even thing it's getting to reading the config file, see below). I've
> confirmed that I experience the same symptoms at 2.20-pre14 and all
> versions above. I did not test any version before that as I need to use
> extlinux. Enough with the setup, on to the show:
> The system boots fine and loads the code off sector 0 without fail. It
> displays (for example)
> SYSLINUX 2.20 2.20-pre14
> Then does nothing. I dont even get the copyright, which after examining
> the assembly, is the next thing written out after the header. I dont
> believe that it's even getting to loading the configuration file. Has
> anyone else experienced this? I've had all previous versions work fine
> and something seems to have changed in 2.20+ that his blocking these
> boxes from working. I have the latest soekris firmware and I've
> confirmed that the terminal emulator I'm using is operating correctly.
> Thanks for the help.
Evan Webb <evan at lockdownnetworks.com>
Lockdown Networks

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