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Memory not cleared by BIOS

 
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LadyLuck



Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:54 pm
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Memory not cleared by BIOS Reply with quote

I have a Dell Lap-Top (Inspiron 1721) running Sabayon 13.08 Gnome. I tried various Linux distributions before settling on Sabayon. I simply installed the system as recommended - no fiddling. Did not bother to retain the pre-existing Vista.

When I boot the system and come to the first log-in window my screen is broken into three or four triangles and the user-name and log-in space are hard to see. Prior to the log-in window the GRUB2 window and the Sabayon footprint and progrees bar appear fine.

During the boot process I get an error report which does not stay on the screen long enough to read but I believe it says (among other things) something like:

[........] memory not cleared by BIOS [...] clearing now

this line is displayed twice with a reference to CPU 0 and once with reference to CPU 1.

I have googled a bit without much luck. The manufacturers on-line assistance assumes I have explorer. So I could use some help with this at this point.

Obviously I assume that the problems reported in start-up result in the broken log in window but I may be wrong. I should mention that when I boot from DVD-image i have no problems.

Cheers
LL
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LadyLuck



Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:54 pm
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:36 pm    Post subject: Memory not cleared by BIOS Reply with quote

I should add the error messages include the words
"Firmware warning"
and
MMTR

(i think)
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nelz
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 8453
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get back to the consle, login and review the kernel messages with

Code:
dmesg | less


I doubt the message you saw is the cause as it was a waring, not an error. You can also see any errors from the X server with

Code:
grep EE /var/log/Xorg.0.log

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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LadyLuck



Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:54 pm
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you nelz. Now I have the complete Fimrware warnings and another warning I had not noticed flashing on the screen.

[ 0.000000] [Firmware Warn]: MTRR: CPU 0: SYSCFG[MtrrFixDramModEn] not cleared by BIOS, clearing this bit

[ 0.000000] ACPI BIOS Bug: Warning: Optional FADT field Pm2ControlBlock has zero address or length: 0x0000000000000000/0x1 (20130328/tbfadt-603)

[ 0.020000] [Firmware Warn]: MTRR: CPU 0: SYSCFG[MtrrFixDramModEn] not cleared by BIOS, clearing this bit

[ 0.090418] [Firmware Warn]: MTRR: CPU 1: SYSCFG[MtrrFixDramModEn] not cleared by BIOS, clearing this bit

So now I'm looking for causes and solutions to these warnings and finding a lot of material pointing in various directions.

I welcome any suggestions in the meantime.

Cheers
LL
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nelz
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 8453
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt these are the cause of the graphics problem, but you could try adding nomttr to the kernel options at boot time. A lot of people see similar warnings, including on a couple of my systems, with no ill effects.

The X log is a more likely indicator of the true problem.
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LadyLuck



Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:54 pm
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you again nelz. You were quite right. The following error is recorded in the Xorg log:

Quote:
[ 32.463] (EE) Failed to load module "modesetting" (module does not exist, 0)


This error has been discussed in a number of threads related to various distributions such as:
Gentoo: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-957128-start-0.html
Arch: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=150817
Fedora: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=283534

The solutions seems to be "dowgrading" a number of packages to older versions (see Arch thread).

These threads are from the last 14 months (the latest one from august 2013) and so I gather one is looking at a backward compatibility issue that will not be resolved. So either I downgrade or live with the flickering log-in screen.

I think I will "grin and bear it."

Thanx
LL
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