Problems booting without attached PS/2 mouse

From: Rudolph Pienaar (
Date: Mon Feb 10 2003 - 17:27:23 EST

Hello all -

First off, I am not a kernel developer, however I have tried to make sure
(google searches, manufacturer phone calls, newsgroup searches) IMHO that my
problem is kernel related (or some combination of kernel/motherboard) before

My Problem: Linux (various kernels, distributions) seems to freeze while
booting on my hardware after displaying "Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting
the kernel" iff I do not have a PS/2 mouse plugged in. Plug the PS/2 mouse
in, and booting is no problem. Unplug the PS/2 mouse just as the bulk of
kernel boot messages display, no problem. But reboot without a PS/2 mouse,
and the system simply freezes after the above text message.

I am currently running a stock RedHat 8.0 release on a Shuttle XPC SK41G. The
CPU is an AMD Athlon XP 2400. Motherboard has a VIA KM266 chipset. I
discovered some mention of the same boot freezing problem while searching for
Shuttle XPC specific postings. I discovered recently that a co-worker
experiences the same problems with a stock RedHat 7.3 installation on his
Dual Xeon 2.5GHz box with a SuperMicron P4DC motherboard - boot freezes if
there is no PS/2 mouse.

The "no-boot without plugged in PS/2 mouse" is repeatable across Mandrake 9.0,
custom builds of the RedHat 8.0 2.4.18-14 kernel, as well as a stock 2.4.20
kernel on my Shuttle XPC box.

Given the different hardward configurations, different distributions, and
different kernels attempted -- all susceptible to this freezing problem led
me to believe that this might be a kernel problem.

Any useful suggestions would be much appreciated.


PS: If possible, please CC any responses to me personally.

Rudolph Pienaar, D.Eng / email:
MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
149 (2301) 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129 USA
(w) 617-241-9588x17

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