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PCI boot problems



On a previous project, we had numerous difficulties integrating our system 
onto a 20 slot (18 PCI, 1 PICMG CPU, 1 ISA) backplane.  In the end, we 
found that we had to go with a CPU card which had onboard AGP video, rather 
than using a PCI video card.

We are now working on a new generation of the hardware, and have a CPU card 
which has onboard video, but unfortunately PCI rather than AGP.  We are now 
seeing problems (BIOS freezing while part way through scanning the PCI bus, 
or even freezing running the CMOS setup utility) when we add the last of 
our cards into the system.  (Only certain cards in certain slots cause the 
problem but it is not just one type of card or just a particular 
bus.  Adding an additional DSP card does not cause the problem, so it 
doesn't seem to be a PCI resource limit.)

The system has:

1. 1 dual 1 GHz Pentium III CPU card with PCI IDE, video, USB etc. and 133 
MHz FSB
2. 5 PCI slave cards
3. 4 PCI DSP cards, each with a bridge.  Off the bridge is the DSP card's 
PCI controller and a PMC card.
4. 4 backplane bridges

If we replace the CPU card with a CPU that has a single Pentium III and 
onboard AGP video, everything works fine.

My questions:
1. Has anyone had similar problems?
2. Has anyone solved similar problems?
3. Any suggestions?

NOTE: I'm not on this mailing list and our hardware designer is away, so 
please  reply  to  me  directly  (and to the list if you wish).

Thanks,


Michael Gertsman
Square Peg Communications Inc.
tel: 613-271-0044 ext.222  fax: 613-271-3007
email: gertsman@squarepeg.ca