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After Update to SLE10 SP2/SP3, an NMI is received on servers with ServerEngines "Pilot 2" graphics adapter

This document (7000420) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3

Hardware:
Intel based server with ServerEngines "Pilot 2" graphics adapter, for example: Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGY RX/TX200S4, RX/TX300S4

Situation

After installation of (or update to) SLES10 SP2/SP3, an NMI is received. This can have several visible consequences:

1. System Global Error LED blinks red (on PRIMERGY systems)
2. System Event Log entry "BIOS fatal NMI" (on PRIMERGY systems)
3. Error message in /var/log/messages:
Uhhuh. NMI received. Dazed and confused, but trying to continue
You probably have a hardware problem with your RAM chips

In certain situations, a system freeze may occur later.

Resolution

For SLES 10 SP2: After installation/update to SP2, immediately update the kernel again to version 2.6.16.60-0.23 or higher, and add the kernel boot parameter "aerdriver.off=1" in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

The aerdriver kernel parameter is only available after installing the update kernel. The original SP2 kernel will not recognize the option.

For SLES 10 SP3: Similar to the solution mentioned above, add the kernel boot parameter "aerdriver.off=1" in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

Additional Information

Background

Depending on the selected video mode (text or graphics), different memory pages of the VGA Video RAM (0xa0000 - 0xbffff) are active. Accesses to inactive pages of the Video RAM can cause a PCI-Express Error on the Pilot 2 graphics adapter. These errors are non-fatal and used not to be reported in earlier SLES10 releases.

SLES10 SP2 is the first Linux Enterprise distribution that introduces the "PCI Express Advanced Error Reporting" (AER) feature. This causes the PCI-Express error from the VGA chip to be reported to the chip set, and ultimately causes the NMI.

The resolution above disables AER, reverting back to the behavior of SLES10 SP1.

Change Log

2012-Aug-27 - Sascha Wehnert - Changed title from SLE SP2/SP3 to SLE10 SP2/SP3 to have a better distinction from SLE11
2012-Aug-23 - Franz Hassels - Added SLES 10 SP3

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7000420
  • Creation Date:19-MAY-08
  • Modified Date:27-AUG-12
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time Extension
      SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
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