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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)Win '95 Hesitates After Box Has Run Linux?

From Frank & Mary Veldkamp on 15 Jul 1998 in the comp.unix.questions newsgroup

Hi Jim;

To let you in on what I have done:-

I have an AMD 586/133 processor, 24M RAM, 2 x HDD (2.5G and 635M) run Linux off the 635M and boot in with floppy using LILO.

Win95 is resident on the main 2.5G which is formatted as C: and D:,

The problem occurrs any time that Win is run from a restart, be it a warm boot (Ctrl-Alt-Del), full power off, or reset button.

Its as if its trying to ascertain what is on the second drive and can't. It finally allocates it as a 2nd CDRom drive. You can't access it or get any more info from it.

I've tried re-installing the OP/SYS and have tried it with Win95 on its own but the same thing happens.

(!)It sounds like this problem occurs with Win '95 regardless of whether Linux has been installed or not.
What sort of controller are you using? Is it IDE? SCSI? If it is IDE you'll want to double-check the settings with regards to "master/slave/standalone." If you have two IDE channels (pretty common these days) you might try putting the second drive on its own cable, on the other controller channel.
If this is a SCSI controller, double and triple check the ID's, any pin settings and options on the drives and the termination settings/resistor packs on the drives and on the controller, and any settings on the controller or accessible via its "setup program" (firmware or software).
In either case, try replacing the cables.
The 635Mb drive is pretty small these days. You might consider setting it aside and springing for an extra 2 or 4 Gb drive.

(?)If you can't help maybe you know of some one who can. I'm in no hurry and can manage other things without the solution, but any help you can give would be greatfully accepted.

Kind regards Frank.

(!)At 01:43 11/07/98 -0700, you wrote:

(?) Hi,

I'm sorry if you've had this one before and I don't want to waste your time but I've put Linux on for the first time and have no previous experience. I really put it on because I would like to learn something new. Anyway the problem is that when I boot to Win95 in which I have most of my programs, the first time that I try to do anything that requires reading of the hard-drives the computer stops responding for a considerable period. Some times up to 10 mins. Is this normal or can I bypass this problem with some sort of configuration. It's not too big a problem because it only happens once during any session but it is a pain in the @$#%^$. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

(!) If I understand you correctly you're saying that, since you installed Linux when you reboot into Win '95 your first subsequent access of the hard drive causes a hestitation of several minutes.
Is that a proper understanding?
If so I'd just simply be baffled.
Does that only happen after a "vulcan PC pinch" warm boot (Ctrl-Alt-Del), or after a hard boot (reset button on the case), or does it happen after a full power cycle (wait about 15 to 30 seconds between power off and powering back up)?
Does this happen only once? Or does it happen periodically?
I've seen some devices (ether cards mostly) that could "stay confused" through a hard boot. However, I can't imagine anything that Linux would do to your hardware that would cause this behaviour.
In cases like this (where something inexplicable is going on and the secondary OS seems to be involved) I suggest removing the new software (Linux) and testing again. If that doesn't work try backing up all of your data and doing an IPL (initial program load --- i.e. a complete re-installation of your system software).
Please note that Linux can run off of removable drives and can be loaded from a DOS prompt (Win '95 "Safe mode"). So, once you have your system behaving properly again you can explore alternative ways to access Linux that are even less likely to affect the rest of your system.
If you're really motivated, and you can isolate it to a particular module, driver, or application under Linux that is causing the problem, it will be very helpful. If you're really motivated, and more of a programmer than I, you might even track down and fix the bug --- since that's what the sources are for. At least you might try building a couple of different kernels (try stripping out everything except the disk/controller driver that applies to the controller on which you've installed your root filesystem -- leave out the the sound, and ether drivers, and boot up into single-user mode --- don't start X or xdm and just reboot back If the problem never occurs in this configuration then you can keep adding things back until the problem recurs --- or you've got Linux running the way you want).

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 31 August 1998

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