Bootup freezes at "Starting up..."

Flynn, Steve (L & P - IT) Steve.Flynn at
Wed Apr 8 15:37:43 UTC 2009

Flynn, Steve (L & P - IT) wrote:
> Have you tried booting by forcing the kernel to just use one of the
> processors on the problem machine - this may assist in narrowing down
> the real issue. It's been a long time but "NOSMP" rings a bell.

Yes!  That did it, it now boots.

...But what does that mean?  Is there a way to get my other CPU back 
online and still use this kernel?

Apologies for the woeful Outlook quoting! 

Your servers are identical in hardware; are they identical in BIOS
versions and patches?

The fact that the machine boots in uniprocessor but fails in
multiprocessor mode would imply that there's a problem configuring the
second processor and this would normally be a BIOS function (to a
certain degree).

As you have one machine which boots just fine with this kernel and
another which doesn't I'd begin with trying to determine the BIOS
versions in both machines and see if there's an update path open to you.
You may be able to glean some of this information from dmesg output if
you're loathe to reboot the boxes just to get into the BIOS's - I'm not
sure what uptime you need to maintain on those servers.

I doubt it's a kernel bug or you'd have the same issue on both servers.
As it happens so early in the boot process (there's not much happens
before CPU's are configured) my immediately suspicion would like in the
general direction of the BIOS.

At least you have the machine up, albeit slightly hobbled.

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