Finally! All 3 systems are working. I knew it had to be something stupid. I'd forgotten to put the 'noapic' boot option in /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default. That's why it worked on one Wal-mart system (the master workstation) and not the other, PXE-booted system. So if you have a system whose keyboard and mouse lockup (freeze) as soon as it attempts to read from the mouse port, getting that stupid APIC out of the picture may be what you need to do.
You'll find similar patches out on the net, but here you go if you're trying to rebuild the 2.4.22-pxe or other 2.4-series kernel and you bomb out on a redefined __cmpxchg.
--- ./drivers/char/drm/drmP.h.orig 2004-10-13 03:54:30.000000000 +0000
+++ ./drivers/char/drm/drmP.h 2004-10-15 12:45:48.000000000 +0000
@@ -927,6 +927,7 @@
/* Missing cmpxchg implementation for i386 kernel, copied from old drmP.h -KK Mar 2003 */
+#if __missing_cmpxchg__ /* you'd think "#ifndef __cmpxchg" would work, but no */
static inline unsigned long __cmpxchg(volatile void *ptr, unsigned long old,
unsigned long new, int size
@@ -957,6 +958,7 @@
#define cmpxchg(ptr,o,n) \
((__typeof__(*(ptr)))__cmpxchg((ptr),(unsigned long)(o), \
+#endif /* undefined __cmpxchg */
#endif /* i386 */
#endif /* __KERNEL__ */
Goddamn. I'm so burned out between that lockup problem and the stress from that RAC job today. Think I'll have a good hit of that Orendain Blanco I bought the other day. About $11 a liter here, compared to $6.50 in Palomas, but still a good deal. Better than Cuervo any old day. See you in la-la land.
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