Strange RedHat 7.3 issues with A7N266-C
This is a really strange problem. I have two systems using this board that are very similar.
Asus A7N266-C rev 1.03 board - bios 1.001E (came with this board)
Athlon Xp 1900+ OC to 1680 MHz
512 MB PC 2100
GeForce 4 Ti 4200 video card
This was the first system I built. After installing Win2k, I used the freespace to install Redhat 7.3 (using GRUB and adding Win2k to the .conf file.) I then loaded the nForce chipset and nVidia graphics drivers, and changed the X11Config-4 file. This system works fine under Linux.
I ended up building a second system with:
Asus A7N266-C rev 1.03 board - bios 1.03 (came with this version)
Athlon XP 1900+ not OC
384 MB PC 2100
GeForce 2 MX 200 video card
I expected this system to work fine, but after installing RH 7.3 grub would fail to boot linux, reporting an error 28. I did some research and found nothing, but I did discover a workaround by using LILO and dumping the first 512 bytes of the linux partion and linking to them in the Win2k boot.ini file. Now Linux will boot on this system, but the fun doesn't end there. (Note that system one works fine with grub, the only real difference is the bios revision as far as I can tell. Bios 1.03 seems to have broken grub.) The next problem was that the system would COMPLETELY hang when APM was loaded as linux started. (System 1 loads it fine.) I stopped APM from loading and got Linux to start. I then installed the 3 nVidia drivers (one for chipset, 2 for graphics) and modified the config file. The system will always lock hard (only reset switch works) after typing startx. I just get a gray screen with a black X and then the system hangs. Note that system 1 works fine! I also get the same lockup just using the "nv" driver and before the nVidia drivers were ever installed. I'm thinking of flashing back system 2 to 1.001E bios, but I'm afraid that might break my Win2k install.
Just a quick rundown of what's above: System 1 works great, system 2, which differs realistically only in the bios revision has/had the following issues with RH 7.3: Grub reported error 28 and would not start linux. I worked around that one. The system would hang when starting the APM daemon. Typing startx will also hang the system. (For reference, system 2 is totally stable under Win2k SP2.)
As far as I can tell, bios 1.03 is the only real diffence between the systems that could be causing the problem! Have any of you seen this before???