[coreboot] GeodeLX RAM initialisation issue

Daniel Mack daniel at caiaq.de
Wed Dec 2 14:18:30 CET 2009

(sorry I can't post a proper reply message, I picked that up from the

Nathan Williams <nathan at traverse.com.au> wrote:

> I am suspicious that the reset problem only occurs when I'm using a
> laptop hard drive off the 44pin IDE connector on our board. I have tried
> booting with a 3.5" drive and external 12V, but I can't replicate the
> problem. With the 3.5" drive, a reboot from fsck works fine. Hopefully
> the next PCB revision should perform better because we've moved the 5V
> plane further away from the DDR tracks.
> I don't know if I mentioned another problem that has similar symptoms.
> Some RAM causes the same cache disable problem, even if there are no
> IDE devices connected. This happens from power-up, so it's not a reset
> issue.

I'm facing a very similar issue here on an ALIX.2D board which is based
on the same chipset. The problem happens to occur only sometimes, just
like you described it, and resetting from Linux gives a higher change of
provoking it. However, I also have once out of 20 power-up cycles as

What's really strange about that is the fact that sometimes, not even
power cycling will fix it - coreboot will always ever stop at the same
point (from what I've traced, exactly at the same instructions that you
pointed out). Powering off and waiting for ~10 minutes likely brings the
board back to life.

Connecting or disconnecting extern IDE44 drives does not appear to
affect the probability, though. One more thing that bring some awareness
is that the effect is harder to trigger when booting from an external
LPC flash emulator (in contrast to coreboot flashed to the internal

I urgently need to resolve that and would appreciate any more hints
about where to add more code for flushing caches and the like. I also
suspect the reset vector to not properly flush the hardware, but I'm
somewhat lost in this codebase I must admit, and Geode is also nothing
I'm terribly familiar with.


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