FreeBSD 12.2 bootstrap hangs on install

Unixnut

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Hi all,

I am trying to install FreeBSD 12.2 AMD64, but each time I try, it hangs. The symptoms are exactly the same as the below which I found while searching:


However this is not a laptop, but a server motherboard, and there is no option to use IDE emulation on the SATA controller.

Any ideas why this is happening? I have tried booting both using a USB CDROM drive, and a USB stick with the same effect. I have also tried booting and installing other OSes via USB, and they all worked fine.

There is something specific about the FreeBSD bootloader causing this issue. The only thing in common is the use of USB for both the stick and CDROM, however I don't have the option of booting from another external device at the moment.
 

tingo

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You should inform more about the hardware.
Also:
- have you tried booting from other FreeBSD releases (11.4, 13.0-RC?)? Does it work?
- do you get anything relevant from a verbose boot?
 

Mjölnir

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Try disabling TPM/TPP in the BIOS, as well as all "non-standard" settings (intentionally unspecified).
 
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Unixnut

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Which server mainboard?
In hindsight that would have been an obvious thing to add. My apologies.

The motherboard is a MSI K9ND Speedster2 (P9661MS), with 2x Opteron 2423 HE and 32GB ECC RAM.

The board BIOS has been re-set to defaults, and it still didn't boot. I also tried FreeBSD 13-RC4 with the same issue (I have not tried 11 yet).

It does boot other USB images fine. I've tried a Linux USB installer, and now the memtest86 USB image, which I am using to just do a verification check of the RAM.
 

Argentum

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I am trying to install FreeBSD 12.2 AMD64, but each time I try, it hangs. The symptoms are exactly the same as the below which I found while searching:
...

However this is not a laptop, but a server motherboard, and there is no option to use IDE emulation on the SATA controller.

Any ideas why this is happening? I have tried booting both using a USB CDROM drive, and a USB stick with the same effect. I have also tried booting and installing other OSes via USB, and they all worked fine.
To be clear, what exactly hangs? You can not boot the installation stick? Is it EFI or legacy boot you are trying?

See if this disk boots on another machine and give us the full description what happens.
 
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Unixnut

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To be clear, what exactly hangs? You can not boot the installation stick? Is it EFI or legacy boot you are trying?

I see the same issue as in the linked topic on my first post. I cannot boot the install. It never reaches the boot loader menu. It hangs just before that, the '/' does not spin, and the keyboard is non-responsive. Only way out is a physical machine reset.

AFAIK this motherboard does not have UEFI, just a standard BIOS.

See if this disk boots on another machine and give us the full description what happens.
The USB stick boots fine on my desktop, and I've installed from this stick quite a few times before. What happens is everything as expected. Machine boots up, loads the bootloader, the spinner spins for a while, then the menu shows up, after which you can select installation method and carry on.
 

Mjölnir

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Totally forgotten: did you verify the checksum of the downloaded memstick image & the memstick itself (after beeing written)?
 

SirDice

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AFAIK this motherboard does not have UEFI, just a standard BIOS.
Looking at the manual, board is still using IDE, so it's quite old. I also gather from the manual it has NVidia RAID (NvRAID). Try completely disabling that. But your SATA ports might be attached to the NvRAID controller.

 
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Unixnut

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Totally forgotten: did you verify the checksum of the downloaded memstick image & the memstick itself (after beeing written)?
Yes, I verified the SHA sums.

Looking at the manual, board is still using IDE, so it's quite old. I also gather from the manual it has NVidia RAID (NvRAID). Try completely disabling that. But your SATA ports might be attached to the NvRAID controller.

Yes, it has IDE, but have never used it. It was always installed using USB, and has spent the last few years as a Linux machine with SATA disks only. This is the first attempt at running FreeBSD on the board, in order to build it into a file server (it has all 6 SATA ports filled with disks).

Is there an issue with the Nvidia SATA controller that I am unaware of? The RAID function is disabled, as I intend to use ZFS in JBOD mode, but if I need to disable the entire controller in order to boot the machine, then there may be some issues with said controller that would preclude using it for ZFS. In which case I may need to look at external SATA cards.

It has occurred to me to use an IDE cd-rom drive (I actually found one of those), but I can't find an IDE cable anywhere to connect it to. It has been a long time since I needed to use IDE for anything.
 
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Unixnut

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I could not reach the "verbose boot" option, because the boot loader menu never reached that stage. It hangs before you get the FreeBSD logo and the boot options.

Saying that, SirDice seems to have been correct about the Nvidia SATA controller. I disabled it fully in the Bios, and now FreeBSD boots from USB just fine.

Not really a fix, as now I don't have the use of any of the disks, but it does isolate the problem to the bootloader interaction with the SATA controller.
 

tingo

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Are you running the latest BIOS version on that mainboard? If not, try to upgrade. (Yes, I know this mainboard is old, but still)
 

Zirias

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Can you get to a prompt as described in boot(8)? Does putting a /boot.config with content -v on the root fs of the USB stick result in more output?
 
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