A7V133 und  7.2

On this page, I'ld like to report some experiences and give some hints with installing Linux Mandrake 7.2 on the ASUS Mainboard A7V133.

Experiences & Hints

I personally made the experience, that booting from the mandrake 7.2 CD already fails. Either booting stopped at "Initializing CDROM..." or "Please Wait...".

I found a couple of  Links describe similar problems and I tried some kernel parameters (I always used the parameters x86_serial_nr=1 and mem=256M). All mentionend I/O-Addresses (0xa000,...) are valid for my system! You have to find them out by yourself for your system (e.g. in the Windows Device-Manager, or see Links).

It turned out, that the used CD-ROM drive (Sony CDU-701, old 24x) is not fully functional. But even without this CD-ROM drive connected, the system hangs on mandrake 7.2 installation ("Please Wait...")!!!

Finally, the solution was to deactivate the Promise-Controller for the installation process (the Linux harddisk has to be connected to ide0 or ide1).
Later on, after Linux is running from harddisk, you can activate the Promise-Controller again and by using the correct kernel parameters (ide2=0xa000,0x9802 ide3=0x9400,0x9002,noautotune) in the bootloader (lilo) you can also use all connected devices (the defect CD-ROM works at the Promise-Controller).

The Installation of Mandrake 7.2 will fail, if any harddisk is connected to the Promise-Controller (and the Controller is active)!!! Either disconnect all devices or deactivate the Controller in BIOS.

My Setup is like this:
ide0 (VIA Primary) Master IBM DTLA 307045 UDMA-100 Extended Partition:
  • Linux /boot (with LILO)
  • Win-Data (Video) (FAT32)
  • Win-Programs (FAT32)
  • Win-Data (FAT32)
  • Linux swap
  • Linux /
ide1 (VIA Secondary) Master Plextor CD-RW 121032A -
ide2 (Promise Primary) Master Quantum Fireball 3.2GB Primary Parition 1: Bootmanager
Primary Parition 2: Win 98 (Video DC10+)
Primary Parition 3: Win ME
  Slave Quantum Fireball 2.0GB Primary Partition: (perhaps later W2k)
ide3 (Promise Secondary) Master Sony CD-ROM CDU-701 -
For Mandrake 7.2 installation I deactivated the Promise-Controller and booted from the CD-RW.

The Bootmanager on the first primary Partition (at the Promise-Controller) can start  LILO, Win98 or WinME! From Windows only one of the 4 primary partitions is visible.




On some webpages, it is mentioned that the kernel parameter x86_serial_nr=1 should be used in case an AMD Athlon or Duron is used. I think that most :-) of the A7V(133) users will be using on of these... Though I always used the kernel parameter and did not even try without it. - Okay, initially, I did not used any parameters because I assumed that the standard installation works - but as we both know by now, this is not the case.
This parameter will prevent the kernel from testing the CPU-ID which would lead to a kernel crash in case of unknown (AMD) processor.


By the kernel parameter ideX=0xXXXX,0xYYYY the Kernel retrieves the address of an IDE-Controller. Normal onBoard controllers should be found by the kernel, but the Promise-Controller used on the A7V(133) will NOT be found by the Mandrake 7.2 kernel! Though LILO (or GRUB) has to be configured to pass the actual I/O-Addresses to the kernel to be able to access the devices. For installation the Promise-Controller should be deactivated!!!
The Addresses XXXX and YYYY can be found out in the Windows Device Manager or by using one of the methods described in the Links. The second address has to be increased by 2 for each controller port!
Another possibility to retrieve the I/O-Addresses is to boot from the Mandrake CD into the rescue-Mode, enter lspci -vv and look for the addresses in the output (eventually scroll back by using SHIFT-PgUp).


ideX=noautotune instructs the kernel not to tune the IDE ports. I have to give this parameter for the port I have the CD-ROM drive connected or it won't work. The parameter can be appended to the address parameter (ide3=0x9402,0x9002,noautotune).


The kernel parameter idebus=33 had NO EFFECT at all in my case (concerning installation problems). The parameter tells the kernel to use the given speed for all IDE devices.


The kernel parameter mem=256M tells the available amount of memory to the kernel.

If these experiences and hints helped you (or not) in any way, I'ld appreciate any feedback. My guestbook is also looking for news entries.