[syslinux] Dell problems with PXELINUX 3.62

Lindgren Daniel daniel.lindgren at tullverket.se
Mon Jan 11 07:05:34 PST 2010


We've been using a very old version of SYS-/PXELINUX, 3.36, going by the
proven "if it works, don't break it" philosophy. We us it mostly to load
floppy disk images to kick off OS installations.

Unfortunately we've recently had some PXE menu problems (USB keyboard
stopped working) for a certain Fujitsu PC model, and decided to upgrade
to the latest version, i e 3.84. All seemed well until we got reports
about problems with Dell OptiPlex GX280.

I've done some testing and everything works well until version 3.62.
After the floppy image has been loaded and it starts executing DOS 7.0
(Win98), there are several error messages about DOS memory. GDISK also
can't run, complaining about DOS memory.

This problem can be reproduced with the following:

- Dell OptiPlex GX280, BIOS version A08 (the latest/last).
- pxelinux.0 version 3.62 (or later).
- Menu.c32 (I can use menu.c32 from 3.62 with pxelinux.0 from 3.61).

Menu example:

    KERNEL memdisk
    APPEND keeppxe initrd=images/install/w98_aterm_xp_current.IMZ

I haven't seen this problem on any other machine model (3.62 or later

We're stuck with a bunch of old GX280's for the rest of the year, after
that they will be replaced. As long as we do not experience problems
with any of our other PC models (17 at the moment), version 3.61 is fine
for us (we use memdisk from 3.84 for ISO support), but the ideal
situation would be if our GX280:s could use 3.84 (or later). Since the
problem seems to be in pxelinux.0, we can't simply add another menu item
for GX280.

Any ideas?

Daniel Lindgren

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