AROS Exec

Distros => Icaros Desktop => Topic started by: RC_tech on February 12, 2021, 10:49:40 AM

Title: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 12, 2021, 10:49:40 AM
Hello,

I'm trying a fresh installation of Icaros Desktop 2.3.0. The board is a Zotac GeForce 9300 ITX with nVidia MCP7a chipset. This should be a nForce 730i chipset with integrated GeForce 9300 graphics. The board is socket 775, but I'm using a modified Socket 771 Xeon L5408 Quadcore with a very low TDP. The SATA settings can be IDE, AHCI and Linux-AHCI. Other operating systems like OSx86 are working fine.

So I tried two install media from the ISO: An USB stick created with WinSetupFromUSB and a DVD, booting from an USB drive. But in both cases the boot process stops after this message:

[BattClock] Got RTC century offset 0x32 from ACPI

I'm wondering about this because the MCP7a chipset is specifically listed in the AROS compatibility guide, even 3D graphics should be supported. Of course I tried some other boot options, edited the boot lines, made several BIOS changes, of course different SATA modes. Other drives are not connected to the system. Still, the installation always stops at the BattClock message. The board has a single PS/2 keyboard connector (no mouse), but is PS/2 still neccessary?

Do you have any ideas? I found a really small case which would be great for an AROS system, and I also have an old Samsung 830 SSD with 128 GB which should be enough for AROS. I also have a second board like this, so it would be easy to create an identical system just by cloning the drive. Here are more informatiuon about this board.

https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mainboards/zotac-geforce-9300-itx-wifi-0 (https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mainboards/zotac-geforce-9300-itx-wifi-0)

Greets, RC.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 12, 2021, 01:21:04 PM
Hi

I have a laptop with nvidia 8400m GS graphics card, only in vesa I can use the system, the same card in desktop version works perfectly, as regards your configuration I know you have the same problems as me, so as long as gallium will not be updated you will need to use the vesa solution
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 12, 2021, 02:48:32 PM
The GeForce 8400M is something different. Depending on the laptop you're using it may be a MXM mobile graphics card. The 8400M is also not listed as compatible in the AROS compatiblity guides.

https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Aros/Platforms/x86_support
https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Aros/Platforms/x86_Complete_System_HCL

The nVidia MCP7a chipset is listed, with full 3D support. Otherwise I wouldn't even try an installation. Check your laptop, if it uses a dedicated MXM graphics card (no onboard-chip), it may be possible to exchange it with one which is AROS-compatible. The replacement mustn't have a higher TDP than the actual one, otherwise it will overheat. All mobile GPUs including TDP are listed in the Wikipedia. In some cases a laptop doesn't accept new hardware, but that's depending on the manufacturer.

My actual problem is that the installation media stops during the early boot process.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 12, 2021, 03:24:29 PM
I understand, you will surely have some incompatibility problems unfortunately :-\
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 12, 2021, 05:14:47 PM
First I'd like to get the install media booting to get to the Live DVD. Icaros stops on most of my computers after the BattClock message, except on my Thinkpad x61t. But this is not working anymore. The DVD us burnt with the Mac's Disk Utility and the following check was ok.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 13, 2021, 12:54:47 PM
in some computers aros it may not work, I have only tried it on old but absolutely functional machines, i'm sorry that on your computers it doesn't work  :-\
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 13, 2021, 02:15:14 PM
What is 'old' ?
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 13, 2021, 02:19:38 PM
i have one laptop with intel core duo 2 and another with intel celeron m
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 13, 2021, 06:24:09 PM
Yes, my board is socket 775, also Core 2 Duo. And the MCP7a chipset with included GeForce 9300 is explict listed in the hardware guide, including the green fields for 2D and 3D support. And why isn't even the install DVD booting? Why did it stop after the BattClock message? What should be displayed next? I used DVI, do I have to use VGA?
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 13, 2021, 06:49:51 PM
yes
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 13, 2021, 08:02:00 PM
So, I tried a board with nForce 4 Chipset and and AMD socket 939. I'm also using a PS/2 keyboard. The board is so old, it doesn't even have an AHCI option in the BIOS, onboard SATA-2 always works in IDE mode. As only drive connected to SATA I have a SSD, because these have real 512 byte sectors.

Using DVI I got past the BattClock message, but then the system stopped immateadly at the 'Bootable Media' screen. Booting in VGA mode I immediately got an 'Out of Range' message on my monitor. This is a professional HP TFT which is starting at 48 Hz (Amiga-PAL-compatible) and even has an inbuilt filckerfixer. So it's no cheapo-monitor. I tried in VGA mode, it stuck on the bootable media again. By the way, is the triangle cursor supposed to move? It doesn't react to an USB mouse.

This was booting from the USB stick created by WinSetupFromUSB, so the full ISO image was written to the stick. I now tried booting from DVD, but not even GRUB was loaded:

boot error 0x0 from 'hd31'

I immediately got into the console. I don't have normal DVD's at home, just dual-layer DVDs. So I searched and found a DVD+RW. Still, same error. The USB-DVD is from LG and requires just one USB port, no power from a secondary port is neccessary. I tried it directly on the motherboard and a powered USB hub. Still no success.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on February 14, 2021, 04:15:14 AM
@RC_tech:
1. stop using those so called iso image to USB utilities, as they simply do not work for AROS.
2. do not boot a physical dvd from a dvd-drive that is connected through USB. It is already a stretch to make that happen successfully with an internal PATA or SATA connected device, let alone using a USB connected device using whatever (unsupported) hub(s), subtle power drainage/drops and/or other devices that are connected to the same header. The boot process is all about timing and that unfortunately isn't exact science with (certain) USB chipsets/connections/devices
3. always make sure that you do not boot with default grub settings, but select one from the list that displays some debug information and that do not try to boot with all kind of extra's such as entries that attempts to access hardware that isn't (properly) supported.


The easiest path for testing purpose would be to download the Icaros Desktop lite usb/pendrive image and image write that (correctly) to your usb-pendrive. Also there make sure to not boot with the default grub entry but select one from the list that is more defensive. You can always try the default entry later and see where that ends you up with.


If that allows you to at least boot properly (whatever grub options selected/chosen) then boot your dvd iso image file in a virtual machine (configuration of vmware/vbox is described in the Icaros Desktop manual), hook up your usb pendrive  (also make it accessible by your vm-software), then invoke the Icaros desktop installer and install Icaros Desktop onto your usb-pendrive. That is currently the only way to make/create a proper working AROS usb-pendrive (*).

If the installation succeeded, you now have a properly prepared USB pendrive that should allow you to boot from your machine (provided that the first test with the icaros desktop light image file worked for you as well, just  make sure to select the same options).

There are still some caveats left, but you can address those as you come across them. In case you stumble upon one of them before being able to make the steps as described then report that first. For example there are MoBo's/BIOS' that are not able to properly boot from USB to begin with (you can test that with most common Linux distro's or if you must a Windows pendrive distro).


(*) The only end-user proof way of doing so. There are other more convoluted ways to accomplish this task but that requires a lot more technical knowledge and can be hazardous to do so (especially if the person doing so is not aware of what exactly (s)he is doing).
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 14, 2021, 11:59:43 AM
Thanks, at least I got some tips now.

Well, usually I'm using OSx86. macOS can handle disk images very well, so if I double-click the Icaros Desktop ISO I can see all contents. I'm not sure if it will work to rewrite the ISO (or an USB-Image) to an USB-Stick via Disk Utility and then make it bootable. This could be done with fdisk, the primary partition has to be set active. The dd-command is also available, of course. For all other operation system installers I'm using WinSetupFromUSB. This tool is one if the few reason why I'm keeping a Win 7 installation. I didn't download the USB image yet because it is smaller. Is there something missing in comparison to the DVD?

Connecting a SATA DVD drive is a bit annoying. I don't know if I have a spare laying around. So the LG drive which needs only a single USB port is quite useful. The last time I used a DVD was during the new setup of my Powerbook G4.

Hm, I just remembered I can try my Dell XPS One All-In-One computer. It has an Intel chipset an a GeForce 9600M video card, the DVD drive is connected to SATA.

ADDON: On the XPS One I tried to boot from DVD+DL, DVD+RW and USB with various boot options. SATA was set to IDE and AHCI. Every time the 'Insert Boot Media' screen should appear, the system resets.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 14, 2021, 02:16:22 PM
sorry you downloaded the icaros iso and burned it to cd or dvd and it won't start on your computers, is that correct? then every utility to create a usb key will not work, unfortunately, only after loading the system from dvd you can create a boot key, however I am convinced that your systems are incompatible, if you are booting the iso from an external cd player usb make sure you are using usb 2.0 ports
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 14, 2021, 06:59:41 PM
Why is hardware incompatible when it is shown in the AROS compatibility list?
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 14, 2021, 07:30:12 PM
and i know if your hardware would be compatible, you would be able to boot from cd or dvd with no problem
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 14, 2021, 07:43:42 PM
I've tested lots of operation systems on my computers, even so weird stuff like Red Star OS 3.0, a Mac OS X-Clone from North Korea!

If Icaros Desktop has a worse hardware compatibility than software from the most isolated country of the world then the developers should realize that their software has severe issues.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: salvo on February 14, 2021, 08:20:16 PM
I don't know what to say, in 10 years of using Aros I have only had a problem with a computer, I usually buy fairly common systems on ebay for a few euros  :-\
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on February 14, 2021, 08:29:56 PM
Well, usually I'm using OSx86. macOS can handle disk images very well, so if I double-click the Icaros Desktop ISO I can see all contents.
That works for me the same way on Linux and Windows. Perhaps not as integrated as is for you on MacOS, but it works :-)

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I'm not sure if it will work to rewrite the ISO (or an USB-Image) to an USB-Stick via Disk Utility and then make it bootable.
Be careful not to mix USB image with ISO image. They are two different concepts and as such act diffently. As i wrote in another thread: ISO <> image file. So that discredits aout 90% of the hits you get when searching for this on the interwebs because everyone stating that they are the same do not have a clue as of what they are talking about.

The fact that it works for them (and as such make them believe ISO and diskimage are the same) is because there are so called hybrid ISO's, for example making use of isolinux or syslinux that allows modern distributions to write an iso image to a harddisk/Pendrive and from an end-user point of view act exactly similar.

That does (currently) not work for AROS because AROS supports grub(2) and not isolinux/syslinux (and al those other methods that are used by pendrive imaging utilities that 'convert' an iso image to a disk-image). Making hybrids with Grub is possible, but research on that topic makes me believe that nobody seems to do it (thus documentation is sparse on that subject).

AROS requires a properly sfs formatted harddisk to boot from (or an iso-9660), and none of the pendrive imaging utilities are able to grasp that concept, and thus make all the wrong assumptions, sometimes even copying files to a fat formatted partition. The latter is theoretically popssible to do with AROS, but last time i checked it is very error-prone becuase of the differences reqarding the filesystems.


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This could be done with fdisk, the primary partition has to be set active. The dd-command is also available, of course.
For the Icaros Light USB image, simply use dd (make sure to skip the first 512 bytes when writing the image to your USB flash-drive. In case you need help with that then let me know so i can paste the proper command to do so.

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For all other operation system installers I'm using WinSetupFromUSB. This tool is one if the few reason why I'm keeping a Win 7 installation.
Also winsetup is using a solution that is not compatible with AROS.

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I didn't download the USB image yet because it is smaller. Is there something missing in comparison to the DVD?

The light version, is indeed different in that it contains less software on the image file. Icaros light lacks certain software that the DVD does contain. But you only benefit from that when you select to install all package during installation.

That is why i suggested to test with the USB image file first, before actually creating your own Icaros Pendrive because it will take you a couple of hours to install all that software onto the pendrive (whether you use a vm or doing it natively).

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Connecting a SATA DVD drive is a bit annoying. I don't know if I have a spare laying around. So the LG drive which needs only a single USB port is quite useful. The last time I used a DVD was during the new setup of my Powerbook G4.

Hm, I just remembered I can try my Dell XPS One All-In-One computer. It has an Intel chipset an a GeForce 9600M video card, the DVD drive is connected to SATA.
Just a friendly suggestion: stop wasting your time and resources by trying to get that to work.

If you insist on attempting to boot from DVD, then make sure to write your image at single speed (not doing so will many times result in dissapointment). Results are better when using a write once disc as my experience proofed that rewritables often fail to boot properly.


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ADDON: On the XPS One I tried to boot from DVD+DL, DVD+RW and USB with various boot options. SATA was set to IDE and AHCI. Every time the 'Insert Boot Media' screen should appear, the system resets.
If you boot from USB, than make sure (if possible) to disable the dvd/cd rom drive before actually booting the pendrive. Make also sure that if that option is available to set USB to legacy mode. Usually a bios allows you to display a boot selection menu when the machine is booted cold. If you have such a choice then make sure to boot that way. It also allows you to 'see' if the USB pen-drive was detected properly by your BIOS. Sometimes selecting the correct USB device will still fail to boot (i have currently such machine). That option only works properly for me when doing a cold boot (and not a warm boot).

Also make sure that, also in case your BIOS allows you to, to change the boot order so that the first device your machine tries to boot from is the USB-port/pendrive. Not doing so will mostly end up in not being able to boot the pendrive properly.

Similar have to be done when attempting to boot from a DVD/CD-rom drive.

In case your DVD-rom drive spins on boot and spins down when the grub-menu displays or shortly after making your selection (so during the AROS boot process), indicates that your DVD-rom drive is suffering from the SATA reset bug that is present in AROS (i have no idea if that bug has been addressed/fixed already).
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on February 14, 2021, 10:33:22 PM
and i know if your hardware would be compatible, you would be able to boot from cd or dvd with no problem
With all due respect, but that is nonsense.


There are simply too many things that can go wrong when burning cd/dvd's and trying to boot from them, as there are many (other) factors to consider.


If i would judge Linux and Windows the way you seem to do then my success ratio is about 0% for those operating systems. Simply because i burn my cd-roms at 52x, then refuses to boot,  it then renders the operating system incompatible with my hardware ? That is a very strange conclusion in my book.


Add to that, that AROS does indeed has (or at least had) an issue with regards to certain SATA devices and you would have a perfect circular reasoning to be able to make such a statement (and one that would be totally false).


Up til this day AROS was able to boot from almost (i puke on compaq with their proprietary and closed software) every piece of intel compatible hardware that I had my hands on (literally hundreds of machines, including secure boot etc.), and yes some do require a workaround to be able to boot properly (and do so by doing things that are not mentioned anywhere). Whether or not it is particular useful to run AROS on certain hardware is an entirely other subject.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 17, 2021, 09:21:17 AM
So, I created now a bootable USB stick with the Windows tool. Here are the results after testing various boot options:

- On my AMD Opteron board the stick always stops at the 'Insert bootable media' screen.
- On the Dell XPS One it was booting once, but I got a black screen. In AHCI mode the system always resets.
- My GeForce board doesn't like the USB stick, it hangs the system. I have an identical one, this also doesn't work. Have to buy a new small stick

If Icaros has successfully booted from the USB stick, is it possible to use this USB stick creator of the full DVD to overwrite the USB stick which was booted from? At least AmigaOS 3 doesn't care about deleting for formatting the partition it has booted from. I don't know how the USB creator from the DVD works, does work only when the DVD was the boot media? Will some assigns to the DVD work in that case?

Is there some support for serial Wacom graphic tablets? There is a driver for AmigaOS 3 and it even supports pressure in TVPaint. MacOS X also supports Wacom tablets using the TabletMagic driver. The old beige serial Wacom tablets are dirt cheap, I got a DIN A3 version for just 30 Euro!


On the Zotac GeForce 9300 ITX board I have now OSx86 Leopard 10.5.8 working, with the onboard GeForce. Even sleep works which is the most difficult issue. But also other versions of OSx86 are working, I also found a combined WIndows 7/Windows XP system which I created for this board years ago. So guys, lets get AROS working to get a great micro multiboot machine!
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on February 17, 2021, 06:58:16 PM
So, I created now a bootable USB stick with the Windows tool. Here are the results after testing various boot options:
What Windows tool would that be exactly ?

To make sure, you really need to setup your BIOS correctly in that you do not have any other device interfere with the boot-process (so really disable a DVD/CD-rom drive and make sure the boot order is correctly trying to boot from USB first). Also make sure that in case there is such an option for you to set the USB-boot device to legacy USB boot (some BIOS' name this floppy or zip-drive emulation).

The Dell XPS boot seems to be the most promising but at the same time seems to indicate you booting from default boot options (e.g. AROS trying to use your internal HD graphics device instead of vesa/vga).

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If Icaros has successfully booted from the USB stick, is it possible to use this USB stick creator of the full DVD to overwrite the USB stick which was booted from?
That is a question I have never asked myself so therefor never tried I guess, in theory it could but, i wouldn't get my hopes up.


Icaros Desktop offers a special USB pendrive installation script for creating a installation USB-pendrive only.


Another possibility is to have two USB pendrives and install from one to the other. But that can be a bit tricky with regards to device names (that have to be provided when setting up the destination pendrive).


Hence the suggestion to use virtualization software for that. That way you only have to do the installation process once, simply because you boot the ISO image from the vm.


The reason i insist on using a usb-pendrive is simply because once you have a working one, you are able to insert that into any computer you have and try to boot AROS from it. If that works you are able then abel to see for yourself how much the machine is compatible to AROS, and in casey ou have a match that works for you, decide to install it native on such a machine.


The success rate i had trying to do something similar with cd/dvd's is almost zero.


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I don't know how the USB creator from the DVD works, does work only when the DVD was the boot media? Will some assigns to the DVD work in that case?
No, the original boot device does not have to be a cd-rom/dvd.

With regards to the second part of your question, yes some assigns to the dvd will work in case you have that also inserted. That is exactly the reason you should not boot AROS with another AROS medium connected to your machine. AROS is even able to trip over an internal HD that contains windows or linux (given the right conditions), and is able to fails booting correctly when that happens.

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Is there some support for serial Wacom graphic tablets?
Not that i am aware of. Is that tablet connected by USB ?

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So guys, lets get AROS working to get a great micro multiboot machine!
Multiboot is a topic which has a complete book of its own as there are many caveats. On the other hand there where many users on the old forums that have reported to have successfully installed AROS in a multiboot system. There is just simply a lot that can go wrong.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 17, 2021, 08:09:51 PM
I used PassMark ImageUSB like written in the documentation. It's not possible to deactivate HD or DVD in the Dell XPS, just by removing the cables. But this is very annoying. The dell also has a weird display. It needed a special dsdt.aml to get OSx86 working, otherwise there was only a black display after initializing the graphics card. It uses an MXM laptop graphics card, GeForce 9600GT M. But now it's working, and the display is great, 24" 1920x1200.

The old Wacom tablets are using RS-232 with 9600 baud, so they are using the standard serial connector. That's how they can be connected to real Amigas. They have a row of up to 20 buttons on top of the tablet, the pen has two buttons, tip and eraser. There are also a mouse and these cool CAD things with the crosshair pointer for Wacom tablets. And then there's also the 'Wacom Penabled' system, a touchscreen standard which is using the same protocol. It is used on various older laptop-tablets, f.e. the Thinkpad x61t. So, porting the Wacom driver from Amiga 68K would be an interesting idea. Every PC has an onboard RS-232 port and since USB they're mostly unnused.

I'm an expert in multiboot systems, I can get up to seven operating systems on one 1 TB-HD. It's possible to install a non-english Windows XP in Win 7 or newer, they won't interfear if you're creating an other XP system directory. If you are using Linux, it's possible to install Android-x86 in the same partition, they won't interfear because Android-x86 always uses an own directory. Just add the loader to GRUB. AROS will get an own 128 GB SSD in my build, maybe together with Windows. It's possible to add a boot entry for Windows in GRUB, and it's also possible to boot Windows from Clover, the OSx86 bootloader. Unless all other OSx86 users, I'm always using BIOS and MBR, even on my Core i7 systems. I always had problems with UEFI and GPT, and for multiboot BIOS/MBR is the better choice. I'm an operating system junkie and I've tested lots of OS's. That's why the AROS incompatibility is really annoying for me. It's the only OS I want to install, but it doesn't accept any of my hardware.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on February 18, 2021, 05:38:32 AM
I used PassMark ImageUSB like written in the documentation.
Ok, thank you.

Even though i never used this software myself, it should be able to write the USB image from Icaros Desktop Light correctly (e.g. no need to correct the header manually).

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It's not possible to deactivate HD or DVD in the Dell XPS, just by removing the cables. But this is very annoying.
Yups, i know it is annoying. I always recommend to complain about these kind of things to the manufacturer. It is a simple matter for them to have that supported using some simple BIOS options. Unfortunately, some manufacturers persistently insist on being incompetent.

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The dell also has a weird display. It needed a special dsdt.aml to get OSx86 working, otherwise there was only a black display after initializing the graphics card. It uses an MXM laptop graphics card, GeForce 9600GT M. But now it's working, and the display is great, 24" 1920x1200.
Just for my recollection. The dell XPS one is a all-in-one computer that is build to the back of (or even inside) the screen ?

If it is then it is a weird device... not meaning it is bad, just weird from a hardware point of view.

With regards to the dell, i have no clue as how to approach this hardware simply because i never owned such hardware (or know anyone around that has such a thing, so that i would be able to check). Can you share some pictures from the BIOS of that device ?

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The old Wacom tablets are using RS-232 with 9600 baud, so they are using the standard serial connector. That's how they can be connected to real Amigas. They have a row of up to 20 buttons on top of the tablet, the pen has two buttons, tip and eraser. There are also a mouse and these cool CAD things with the crosshair pointer for Wacom tablets. And then there's also the 'Wacom Penabled' system, a touchscreen standard which is using the same protocol. It is used on various older laptop-tablets, f.e. the Thinkpad x61t. So, porting the Wacom driver from Amiga 68K would be an interesting idea. Every PC has an onboard RS-232 port and since USB they're mostly unnused.
I asked because i do not know anything about graphic tablets at all, other then they exist and there were some of them supported on Amiga. Hence me asking :)

As far as i can tell, indeed that would require a specific driver to be written for AROS.

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I'm an expert in multiboot systems,
I am sure you are (i am certainly not), but right now you seem to unable to even boot a single one of them.. namely AROS  :P

The point there is to first make sure you have a working USB-pendrive, no matter what hardware it runs off. That way you are able to at least cross one hurdle of your list of things to check.

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That's why the AROS incompatibility is really annoying for me. It's the only OS I want to install, but it doesn't accept any of my hardware.
Well, it is annoying to have to dig through hardware that you do not own yourself  ;)

The zotac board you have should be fully supported, and you should have no issues at all booting AROS from a USB-pendrive from that. All the BIOS options are there: able to remove/add storage devices, boot order, boot priority, IDE legacy mode, USB legacy mode, USB storage emulation, able to shut-off acpi  etc. etc.

As said AROS is able to boot from almost any hardware. The hardware compatibility list is just a small list of things that are reported that do work. And even when it is listed as not working then it is sometimes possible to work-around things, either by replacing some hardware or otherwise.

To give you an example: i have a board that is fully supported by AROS. Even the graphics card is supported. Yet, the darn thing runs havoc. Why ? because there is one tiny little issue in that the graphics card is usually connected internally because it is a laptop mobo, while my board was stuffed into a netbook- case with an external screen adapter. AROS boots, tries to detect the graphics card (which goes fine), and then switches the display output to the internal header. which is not connected on my mobo, is then unable to receive a signal from the monitor, and decides to throw in the towel.

That does not mean that my hardware is unsupported or that the HCL is wrongfully listing the hardware as compatible. It is just one of those little things that requires attentions from a developer,. But even then i cannot expect any developer to pay attention to it because (s)he would have to have the exact same hardware to be able to reproduce the issue and being able to address this specific situation. Same goes for the many many many revisions of a specific audio codec or wifi chipset.

btw, i still would have to investigate things with regards to your 3-th mentioned hardware setup...
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 18, 2021, 06:41:06 PM
Donīt tell me, there is so many different PC hardware... it's amazing OSx86 works so well. I already had my first system working in May 2006, five monts after the Intel-Macs were released! On an socket 754 Athlon 64 without SSE3, nForce 3 chipset and an AGP Radeon X1600. That's a completely different hardware than Intel Macs and it was working great. Since 10.4.6 my board was fully supported.

So, with my lots of operating installing experience it's really annyoing why AROS is making so much problems. I like to have it, but I want a fully working, native installation with full 3D support. No Linux hosting or something like that. I'm no fan of virtual machines or emulators. However, FS-UAE is a really great Amiga emulator and very comfortable, I even bought AmigaOS 4.1 Final for it. VICE is also working but very difficult to configure. And of course the keyboard layout is annoying.

The Dell XPS One is truely a rather weird machine. The hardware is more a like a laptop than a desktop. The EDID of the display was rather unusual, and I have no fans in OSx86. That's why I'm using a Low-Power Xeon L5408 in there.

If it's not known, Socket 775 boards for Core 2 Duo/Quad can use a Socket 771 Xeon if you cut out the orientation notches in the socket 775. Then you have to add a little sticker on the Xeon which connects two pins, they're available on ebay. All my socket 775 boards are using Xeon Quadcores now, including the Zotac board. Xeons are ranging from the E5472 of the Mac Pro (4x 3 GHz, 12 MB L2, FSB 1600, 80W TDP) to the Xeon L5408 (4x 2.13 GHz, 12 MB L2, FSB 1066, 40W TDP). I'm mostly using the L5420. That's a low-power quadcore Xeon with 2.5 GHz and just 50W TDP, 15 W less than every C2D. And these things are available for less than 10 Euro! Also noteworthy: The Xeon dies are soldered to the heatspreader, the Core 2 are just glued with some thermal paste. You can't decap a Xeon. 
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 20, 2021, 02:25:43 PM
Some basic questions for an AROS installation:

- Is it possible to install the AROS bootloader on one drive and the system on another?
- AROS needs an empty space on the drive to create its own RDB. Where has this to be on a MBR partitioned drive?

 a) before the primary partitions
 b) in the area of the primary partitions (partitions 1-3)
 c) inside an extended partition (partition 4)
 d) after the extended partition (so the RDB would be partition 4)


Instead of two SSDs I'm planning to install one 512 GB SSD for the operating systems and a harddisk for data. The AROS system (DH0: etc.) would be on the SSD, the bootloader has to be installed on the harddisk. It works with OSx86, Clover doesn't care where the bootloader is located. It would be neccessary to modify the AROS boot entry in GRUB. Is it possible to add AROS to the bootloader of a Ubuntu-based Linux? Linux directly allows to install the GRUB bootloader on another partition or drive. It's possible to add Windows or Android-x86 to Linux GRUB.

I have to know the position where the free AROS space has to be located before I can calculate the partitioning. I need two primary partitions, one for the Clover bootloader and one for the Windows partition. OSx86 and Linux can be booted if they are inside the extended partition. I've planned 40 GB free space for the Icaros installation on the SSD, splitted in 4 partitions (DH0-DH3).

If everything works, this little machine will become an octaboot system  ;D
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: AMIGASYSTEM on February 20, 2021, 03:44:00 PM
Some basic questions for an AROS installation:

You can install AROS wherever you want, it is important to leave to AROS a "RAW" partition, after that InstallAROS will take into account only that partition and ignore the others.

Example if you want to create a DualBoot between Win7 and AROS, you will have to create two partitions, the first initialized and formatted in FAT or NTFS, the second partition you leave "RAW".

Once this is done by running InstallAROS, AROS will recognize the RAW partition as its HD and ignore the first MBR partition.

After the installation of AROS I installed Windows that finding the AROS partition will create the DualBoot menu, see my view:

DualBoot Win7/AROS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HanNDtybtew&feature=youtu.be

Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 20, 2021, 04:13:31 PM
Is there a difference between 'RAW' and a leaving free space?
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: AMIGASYSTEM on February 20, 2021, 04:20:49 PM
Yes otherwise AROS could take the whole disk or not write RDB, for RAW I mean deleted partition "without initialization".

Even OS3 with HDToolbox can recognize a Partition but this must have ID 0x76.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 20, 2021, 06:25:25 PM
I've just worked with the new HDToolbox a few times because I'm a classic WB3.1 user. And because the old HDToolbox is incompatible to large drives, I'm always using HDInstTools 6.9.

Actually I created a 40 GB partition as first primary partition and selected 'cleared' in gparted.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: AMIGASYSTEM on February 20, 2021, 06:47:17 PM
I've just worked with the new HDToolbox a few times because I'm a classic WB3.1 user. And because the old HDToolbox is incompatible to large drives, I'm always using HDInstTools 6.9.

Actually I created a 40 GB partition as first primary partition and selected 'cleared' in gparted.

HDInstTools by hearsay seems to have some bugs, use HDToolBox OS3.9 BB

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19aNk3n4eXI-EdQFecdU45zZ5We6peYa-/view
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on February 20, 2021, 07:02:11 PM
Nah, I never liked 3.5 or 3.9. I presume I'm getting Kick 3.1.4 soon, this will remove a lot of patches.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: AMIGASYSTEM on February 20, 2021, 07:17:38 PM
OS 3.1.4 is an update of OS 3.1 but it remains a less updated and less advanced OS than OS 3.9, I never liked OS 3.1, too primitive.

With OS 3.9 the AfA One is the most powerful and modern Amiga OS, I also have AfA One with OS 3.1.4.2, but it is not up to it by OS 3.9 bb4 on many things.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: Germandroide on February 21, 2021, 09:58:58 AM
That sound very nice...

Where I can found bb4 and how can I install AfAOS to OS3.9? Is there a guide or any think to follow?
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: AMIGASYSTEM on February 21, 2021, 10:54:25 AM
My AfA One is no longer available for the reasons I explained HERE (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=99043) in this link you will also find useful info to install

If you are interested in a complete distribution of AfA OS you can find it here HERE (http://www.amiganews.it/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19581) Find AfAWB

If you are only interested in the AfA OS (AROS For Amiga) extension you can find it here HERE (http://aminet.net/package/misc/os/AfAOS4.8), You only need to install the Wizard.library
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on March 16, 2021, 06:00:04 PM
So, finally I got the USB stick. The ebay seller I bought it did not ship it. I bought one from another seller and it arrived very quickly.

Still, no success. The boot process always stops again at the Got RTC century offset 0x32 from ACPI message. Only using 'safe mode' and disabled SATA controller the system comes to the 'AROS waiting for bootable media' screen', but that's then it stops. Also with 'legacy drivers / no TLFS' it stops after the RTC message.

I tested various boot settings, even disabled SATA completely in the BIOS. I've only connected VGA, no DVI or HDMI. PS/2 is not possible because the board has only an USB keyboard connector, but no mouse. It's nothing connected, just the USB boot stick and the Logitech USB keyboard/mouse receiver. In the PCI-Express port is an Atheros 5212 WLAN card. It is compatible to AROS, had it working on my Lenovo x61t. I'm using 8 Gigs of DDR2 Dual Channel RAM (2x 4G modules).

I don't understand this. The board should be compatible to AROS because everything is from nVidia, the onboard 9300 graphics is even connected via PCI. But on the most of my systems Icaros Desktop stops at the RTC century offset message.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: aurabin on March 17, 2021, 09:01:01 AM
Try the ATA=noapic Option in Grub Menu.. press e edit the line andpress F10 to boot!
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: RC_tech on March 17, 2021, 10:33:09 AM
Still stops after RTC century offset, even in Safe Mode.
Title: Re: Installation on nVidia MCP7a / GeForce 9300 Chipset
Post by: magorium on March 19, 2021, 06:51:38 AM
Still stops after RTC century offset, even in Safe Mode.
Ok, let's do a quick resume.

You have downloaded http://www.icarosdesktop.com/icarosfiles/IcarosLight_2_3_0_usb.zip , unzipped that file, then used passmark imageusb to create the pendrive ?

Then you inserted that pendrive into your machine on a USB header that has no other peripheral's attached (also not internally) and booted your machine. You entered the grub menu and selected to start icaros in safe mode and you watched the boot process continue on your VGA attached monitor (*), and the last part that you are able to see is "RTC century offset" ?

Did you disable all your internal/external connected devices in your BIOS, and changed your boot priority ? How does your MCP7a handle the floppy options in the BIOS ? (that was the only weird things that did not made any sense to me as the board does not even seem to have a header for a floppy-drive (but perhaps i overlooked it ?). If possible disable that obscure device, unless it tells somewhere that it allows your USB connected device to act as a floppy drive (in which case more testing is required simply because i do not know your board).

(*) it can be that video is outputted (e.g. switched during boot-process) on another output connector.

In one of your previous post you mentioned "out of sync". was that on the same MCP7a machine ? Because if it is then aros booted correctly. In that case the driver uses the wrong frequencies for your attached monitor (usually this is due to edid). You can verify that case by booting your pendrive inside a vm (or attach it to a vm that has aros installed and running) and manually edit the startup-sequence of the pendrive to output some text and pipe that to a file. Then boot the pendrive again on your machine until you receive the "out of sync from your monitor", wait a few seconds longer to make sure the message is written, then shutdown your machine and re-insert the pendrive in your aros virtual machine to verify whether the text you piped to the file is present on the pendrive.

If the text is present then you know aros booted correctly, and in which case the issue is either your monitor (reporting wrong values to AROS) or the AROS driver that does something wrong.

fwiw: the latter case is similar to a situation that i have with a particular machine that i tested in that it does not seem to boot properly when i use the default grub line because it tries to use my (supported) video-card but my monitor is displaying a similar message (for me it is "no input signal received") so i now have to figure out whether:
- aros crashed during boot
- aros booted and runs ok, but selected the wrong output connector (i have both dvi and hdmi)
- aros booted and runs ok, but it somehow gets confused about my connected monitor.

The fact that you seem to be trying this on multiple machines and report on that all at the same time works confusing. Just stick to the MCP7a machine, as that should work (and is reported to work). What the pendrive does or doesn't do during boot on those other machines is really irrelevant. That and the fact that i can't see from here what you have or haven't done in your bios. That you 'disconnected' your sata devices isn't nearly enough from what i can find/see online about the bios in that particular machine, as there seem to be many more related settings (such as the floppy drive settings i mentioned).