Installing FreeBSD is turning out to be a nightmare

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You were wrong on the internet.

So, fill people in properly, did you get that machine working? You weren't clear.
I've outlined my root cause analysis and results in my posts. Go demand your money back from elementary school because they failed to teach reading comprehension.
 

Crivens

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I've outlined my root cause analysis and results in my posts. Go demand your money back from elementary school because they failed to teach reading comprehension.
Yes, and you did a good investigation. Good job. I'm sorry you ran into one of the more notorious beings here. This happens from time to time.
 
Insomniac when you verify sha256 checksum on the DVD disk, did you use the same computer or it's another one? Your DVD may be read correctly on the DVD drive where it was recorded but it can fail on another DVD drive. You can try the following on the computer where you are trying to install it:

Boot the server via the DVD and select <Live CD> then:

cd /usr/freebsd-dist/
setenv DISTRIBUTIONS `ls *.txz`
bsdinstall checksum


This will perform the same sha256 on all distribution files *.txz inside /usr/freebsd-dist/ and compare they SHA256 checksum against the /usr/freebsd-dist/MANIFEST It's pretty much the same as you did with the sha256 but it's on the actual machine where you try to install it. You can use and your method ls ; cat MANIFEST ; sha256sum *.txz but try it from the LiveCD on the actual computer.

Note: The screen of bsdinstall checksum will NOT update the last entry to 100% as it's not intended to be run as standalone.
If you are interested to see what the checksum script does you can view it from /usr/libexec/bsdinstall/checksum

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Insomniac when you verify sha256 checksum on the DVD disk, did you use the same computer or it's another one? Your DVD may be read correctly on the DVD drive where it was recorded but it can fail on another DVD drive.

If you read post #15 I think you'll find that Insomniac did test the flaky DVD on the target machine, when he had Mint Linux installed and still had errors, but only with that particular DVD.

I thought that post explained very thoroughly that it was just that one bad DVD, even when later re-written with 13.1-dvd1 so I had responded to that, but if wrong I stand to be corrected.

Thanks for informing about bsdinstall checksum though. I don't recall seeing that happening when I installed 12.3-R from dvd1 (on USB), but maybe I misremember.

cheers, Ian
 
It would be very helpful for future readers of this discussion if you could explain what the cause and solution was, Insomniac.
After investigation it turned out my issue was this. I had a disc that would burn and verify to be correct on a system. Then trying to use it on another system it would fail. Where other discs of the same brand never failed before.

This disc works on the machine it was created on, but did not work on the target system. Unlike the same discs I had been using for years to do the same exact thing working on both the creating and target systems. Never had an issue with any of these discs, but this specific disc failed in a way I've never seen before. The machine writing the disc has no issues reading it. The target machine cannot read it for reasons unknown. Hope that clarifies the issue.

99.99% of FreeBSD users are never going to see this issue. It is specific to the hardware and discs I'm using. It is also an extremely rare issue, I've never seen this before in over 20 years of using optical media. It's a rare unicorn, don't worry about it.
 
FreeBSD-13.1-RELEASE iso size is very close to the max capacity of a single sided DVD. Maybe the older drive was unable to read past a limit... Glad you got it fixed anyway.
 
I'll add on to my last post a bit for people wanting a summary of the situation because it wasn't specific enough.

To say that the disc failed isn't correct. The disc works on the creating system, and also works on a third system I have. Had I used that one to install FreeBSD there never would have been a problem.

The problem is also not that the disc failed in the target system entirely. I could boot FreeBSD and follow along the install procedure until the point where it wanted to start copying/extracting data from archives.

The specific issue is an incompatibility between the disc used and the DVD drive reading it, where it will read some of it, but not all. Two hours before burning this disc I burned a Linux Mint iso to a same brand same type disc and it worked without problems.

Like I've stated, never seen this specific issue before in over 20 years of using optical media.

Key lessons learned:
1) There is nothing I could have done to prevent the issue before it happened. Verifying a disc after a write I've been doing for over 20 years, no different from how I verify backups after writing them. Didn't help one bit in this case.
2) Media used can have issues no matter how many times it's never been a problem in the past.
 

zirias@

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And for the OMG just use USB sticks LOL WTF crowd, your media will fail on you at some time in the future, it's only a matter of time.
Just for the records, you're obviously correct that any storage media will break some day, but the risk to just read incorrect data is substantially higher with optical media.
 
Just for the records, you're obviously correct that any storage media will break some day, but the risk to just read incorrect data is substantially higher with optical media.
What do you base that on? I'd love to see a study comparing failure modes between different media types, but never seen one. In the words of Miss Shirley Bassey: It's all just a little bit of history repeating.
 
Where other discs of the same brand never failed before.
The problem with writable CD/DVD has always been that in percentage terms a fairly large proportion of these products are delivered defective, even with the best brands.
Normally if you write more than twenty CD/DVD of the best brand that exists, there will always be at least one defective one.

Another problem is that the (re)writable CD/DVD deteriorates very quickly over the years.
I'm glad that this medium has become obsolete because, contrary to what some say, this was never a decent medium.
 
The problem with writable CD/DVD has always been that in percentage terms a fairly large proportion of these products are delivered defective, even with the best brands.
Normally if you write more than twenty CD/DVD of the best brand that exists, there will always be at least one defective one.

Another problem is that the rewritable CD/DVD deteriorates very quickly over the years.
I'm glad that this medium has become obsolete because, contrary to what some say, this was never a decent medium.
Strongly disgree, these discs have served me well for many years and lasted nearly a decade. This "deteriorates" I'm not seeing in actual use of the discs. A decade of use is more than you can get ouf ot most tech products these days, so don't be to quick to poo poo on getting actual value out of your devices. The alternatives are not pretty.
 
Strongly disgree, these discs have served me well for many years and lasted nearly a decade. This "deteriorates" I'm not seeing in actual use of the discs. A decade of use is more than you can get ouf ot most tech products these days, so don't be to quick to poo poo on getting actual value out of your devices. The alternatives are not pretty.
I used to always try to buy the best brands and had frequent problems on different burners and I used K3B with 4x speed because it would give the best results. What I also noticed with almost all types of CD / DVD that you frequently use, after 5 years the audio is no longer acceptable and has noticeably deteriorated. There are few people who are more careful with hardware than I am, so I think you may be using your DVDs very little.

Furthermore, there are also the following facts:
It is a well known fact that the CD-R’s and DVD-R’s that you burn at home won’t last forever (neither does factory made media, for that matter, but that’s another story).
Of the 420 discs, a total of about 20 discs had read errors or other major problems that stopped me from copying them. Many other discs were difficult to read, but made it through in the end.
More surprisingly though, four of the BASF discs had read errors. Given that I only had 10 of these in total, it’s not a good result.

There are also technical reasons that explain why many CD/DVD disc are delivered defective, and why all CD/DVD discs degrade very quickly with frequent use. There are many reasons why this is always the case for any CD/DVD.
I might spend $20 for a huge spindle of generic CDs and discard 10 percent due to recording problems. After figuring in my lost time in waiting for the recordings, it’s not much of a bargain. These errors are usually caused by manufacturing defects in the CDs, inferior scratch-resistant coating, or scratches from being stored against other discs on the spindle.
A "burned" CD can fail easily if you expose it to high temperature and/or very bright light. Sunlight inside a car is an example. This can make your CD/R unreadable very fast.
All optical discs have three key layers in common:

  • Coating layer that protects the reflective layer.
  • Shiny layer that reflects the laser.
  • Polycarbonate disc layer that stores the data.
Different types of optical discs contain different layers and the reflective layer is most susceptible to damage.
Standard compact discs typically have a reflective layer made from aluminum. When exposed to air, aluminum oxidizes, which naturally happens around the edges of the CD. However, degradation of the reflective layer is not the only cause of disc rot, the chemical or physical deterioration of data which results in information becoming unreadable.

These underlying causes of disc rot are manifold and can include any of the following:
Oxidation or corrosion of reflective layer.
Physical damage to disc surfaces or edges, such as scratches.
Galvanic reaction between layers and coatings.
Chemical reactions with contaminants.
Ultra-violet light damage.
Breaking down of disc materials, e.g. de-bonding of adhesives between layers.

There is also CD bronzing, which is caused by a fault in manufacturing. This manifests as a brown discoloration (or "mold") starting at the edge of the disc and working its way towards the middle.
There's some disagreement over what causes CD bronzing, but it's most likely to be either the lacquer used to coat discs or the silver (used instead of aluminum) reacting with the sulfur found in sleeves and accompanying booklets. This forms the brown silver sulfate.

You might not expect this, since CDs and DVDs are made to be spun around, but if you rotate one of them very quickly it will shatter, appearing to immediately become a bunch of chunks of sharp plastic.

Most CD/DVD drives were also not well developed, and had many problems and often failed quickly.


In terms of quality, the CD/DVD is an absolute low point. I've been using some SanDisk USBs as CD/DVD replacements for over 15 years, and I have to say I've had no problems with any USB stick in that time. For SSD you will also usually have much better lifespan than CD/DVD provided you have a minimum TBW of 150, which is what almost all SSDs offer. So in terms of lifespan and retention of data, that is a night and day difference.
 
Yes cd and dvd media do not last forever. Surprising nobody. Never made the argument they would last forever. They're useful in their use cases, even today. Good luck getting anyone to read that wall of text.
 
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