[PC-BSD Testing] PCBSD 9.1-RC2-x64 installs failed

Ian Robinson fitchkendall at gmail.com
Thu Oct 11 12:50:13 PDT 2012


Testing on HP xw9400 dual AMD64 Opteron (dual processors, each with two
cores), 8Gb Ram, nVidia GeForce GT220, SATA disk controller & drives,
wireless keyboard and mouse,.

1.  9.1-RC2-x64-USB-Full
The USB version would not boot into the boot loader.

2.  9.1-RC2-x64-DVD-Full
The DVD version booted into the PCBSD Welcome Screen.  Regardless of the
available options, including the choice to boot into the emergency console,
the system rebooted within a few seconds.

3.  9.1-RC2-x86-DVD-Full
Tried options (1) Default and (2) ACPI, and experienced system reboot
within a few seconds.
Tried option (3) Safe Mode and was able to install.

In Safe Mode Install, I noticed that once in the graphical installer, you
can bring up an Xterm terminal window (Alt-F2) but it does not accept
commands.   Also, you cannot jump to the console (Ctrl-Alt-F2).

I suspect the underlying problem is the USB devices.  I had a USB wireless
ethernet adapter and a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse.  I removed
the wireless USB adapter to no effect.  I suspect the USB wireless keyboard
& mouse are causing the problem.

4.  Additional problems (x86)

(A)   During the startup process, the “press any key for details” does not
function until well into startup.

(B).  Although dmesg reported all three SATA drives during the boot
process, Dolphin would not show the third drive (ada2) in Dolphin

( C). dmesg reported a problem with nVidia, and there was no “nvidia”
choice in the list of drivers.  I tried to install nvidia meta-package
through the PCBSD Control Panel, and that failed, possibly because there
was no wireless internet connection at the time.  The “nv” driver worked
well and allowed a 1920x1080 resolution choice.

5.  General comments –

A.  This is a very nice release.  Operates fast.

B.  I was almost thrown by some of the installation section screens.  While
the selection of windows managers has a “tricked-out” if not
“sophisticated” graphical look, I feel it would be better to apply the KISS
(keep it simple) principle and let the user see a list of the choices and
put an “x” in the box or “fill-in-the-dot” to make the choice.

C.  I had a similar experience with the first screen of the
“which-disk-for-installation” routine.  It seems too easy to make a mistake
when you have a pre-existing Windows installation, which would result in
overwriting that slice.  That did not occur with me because of my previous
experience with PCBSD installations, and it soon resolved with the look at
the 2nd screen.  Although I know the PCBSD Manual makes adequate warnings
to overwriting an existing partition or slice at pp. 20+ and pp. 53-56, new
users might not see the manual until after insallation (and it’s sad but
true that we all get in a hurry that we don’t read the manual first).  It
would be wise to have the Installer identify what’s on the partitions early
and have a warning box that says “WARNING – Installing to the selected disk
or slice or partition will overwrite the contents.  You will loose
everything on it if you continue.  Do you want to continue, Y/N?”

Ian Robinson
Salem, Ohio
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