HP e-pc and Linux

Eric Harvill_1
Occasional Advisor

HP e-pc and Linux

I installed both RH 7.0 and Mandrake 7.2 on an HP e-pc and both OSs only recognized 64MB RAM although the e-PC has 128MB. During the install process it only recognized 64MB, but I told the install the system had 128MB. The installs completed successfully, but the system would crash during the boot, presumably trying to access memory past the initial 64MB. I have a stable OS as long I don't tell the install the system has more than 64MB. Has anyone encountered similar problems with linux? W2K recognizes all of the RAM so I know it is not a hardware problem. Thanks...

Kodjo Agbenu
Honored Contributor

Re: HP e-pc and Linux

Hello Eric,

On some PCs, it happens that Linux cannot see all the memory installed.

Normally, you can force the operating system to use all the amount of memory installed, by passing options to the kernel.

Using Lilo (file /etc/lilo.conf) :


Using Loadlin (file c:\config.sys) :

c:\linux\loadlin c:\linux\vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro mem=128M

However, normally RedHat or Mandrake should have done this for you. If your system still crashes on boot after install, I see only 2 possibilities :

1. Hardware problem on RAM : even if W2K seems to detect it, make sure that all the 128M are actually used under W2K.
If possible, change the RAM and check whether it works or not.

2. BIOS Setup issue : on old PCs, there is an option that creates a "memory hole" for use by some ISA cards that need an amount of memory dedicated to them.
Check your setup, and make sure that this option - if it still exists - is disabled.

If none of these work, post a message indicating exactly at what point of the boot process the Linux kernel crashes, and type the 3 or 4 lines before that point.

Good Luck


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