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Firmware bug – the bios has corrupted hw-pmu resources
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NotExcessive
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:46 am    Post subject: Firmware bug – the bios has corrupted hw-pmu resources Reply with quote

Hi all, I'm trying to carry out a fresh install of Gentoo on an HP DL380 G5 server. The server has an older version of Gentoo currently running on it, but I want to nuke it and start fresh from the ground up. The problem I'm facing is that when I try to boot off the current version of the minimal install CD, I get the following error:

Code:
FIRMWARE BUG – THE BIOS HAS CORRUPTED HW-PMU RESOURCES
(MSR 186 is 43003c).


Now I've read that the problem is due to the server utilising processor power and performance monitoring, and kernel wants to own all the performance counters, so it has a heart attack. The apparent solution is to turn off processor power and performance monitoring in the BIOS. Although I can see where this is done in G6 machines onwards,
Code:
– enter BIOS (press F9 during boot)
– press CTRL+A (Service Option is hidden by default)
– select “Service Options” -> Processor Power and Utilization Monitoring -> Disable

Press F10 to save and exit and reboot the server.


There's no such option in the G5 BIOS. I booted up using the Gentoo Admin CD and successfully installed the current version of Gentoo without any problems, but of course as soon as you boot the machine with the new version of Gentoo and thus load the new kernel, it falls over and hangs with the THE BIOS HAS CORRUPTED HW-PMU RESOURCES error message, so you're back at Square One.

From all of the posts I've read elsewhere on the net, everyone says that this is an informational message only and that the "Message Can Be Safely Ignored", but it can't be ignored as the machine falls over fatally, so that's a bit of a deal breaker.

Does anyone know of a workaround for this? Perhaps an option in the kernel menu when performing an install? From what I can tell, there's no current fix from HP.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NotExcessive,

NotExcessive wrote:
I booted up using the Gentoo Admin CD ...


NotExcessive wrote:
hangs with the THE BIOS HAS CORRUPTED HW-PMU RESOURCES error message

are apparently contradictory statements.

The Gentoo Admin CD and the minimal install CD kernels are both made with genkernel (maybe genkernel-next) all.
As a starting point, try a genkernel all kernel.

You may even be able to use the kernel from the Gentoo Admin CD itself.
You will need its initrd and /lib/modules too.

I think the config will be in /proc/config.gz if you want a starting point for your own kernel.
Anyway, as the Gentoo Admin CD works, you know it can be made to work.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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NotExcessive
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear what you're saying, but I can definitely state that the admin CD will boot, whereas the minimal install one won't... there has to be some subtle difference in the options between the two kernel images when they were compiled.

I'll try this again later with a genkernel-all build and see if that solves the problem.
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Zucca
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that same message being printed on my old laptop. It's Compaq Armada E500, with 900MHz Pentium III processor. I don't run Gentoo on it (I have previously, long time ago) but Alpine Linux with grsec kernel. The system boots fine and I can just ignore the message.
I'd guess that your server doesn't boot for some other reason than what's behind the message. Do you see any other messages that might tell what's going on?
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Code:
ERROR: '--failure' is not an option. Aborting...
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen that message on another model of HP server. It relates to the CPU's Performance Monitoring Unit and should not stop the machine booting. If you do want to get rid of the message, there should be an option in the BIOS to disable "Processor Power and Utilization Monitoring", leaving it to the OS to do it.
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NotExcessive
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
I've seen that message on another model of HP server. It relates to the CPU's Performance Monitoring Unit and should not stop the machine booting. If you do want to get rid of the message, there should be an option in the BIOS to disable "Processor Power and Utilization Monitoring", leaving it to the OS to do it.


Yes and that's the problem: I can't see any such option on the G5.
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the Gen5 it looks like you need to use the HP conrep utility from the HP STK (Scripting Toolkit) to update the BIOS. See the instructions for tuning with conrep from Page 11 onwards in:

https://h50146.www5.hpe.com/products/software/oe/linux/mainstream/support/whitepaper/pdfs/c01804533-2014-nov.pdf

Quote:
conrep is the only method available for configuring these options on HP ProLiant G5 servers and HP ProLiant G6 servers that utilize AMD Opteron processors.


As you already have Gentoo running on the machine, you could try downloading the STK (see 'Obtaining the Scripting Toolkit' on Page 5 of the above-mentioned HP doc.).

Mind you, I didn't bother disabling "Processor Power and Utilization Monitoring" on a Gen8 and it didn't stop it from booting when it displayed the same warning message as you see, so, as Zucca wrote, your problem could lie elsewhere.

EDIT: Just had a thought: Do you see the warning message if you boot SystemRescueCd instead of the Gentoo Minimal Installation CD? If you don't, you can install Gentoo just as well from the SystemRescueCD as from the Minimal Installation CD.
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KDE on both.

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