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Old 03-09-2005, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kernel Panic on installing FreeBSD 5.3 for i386.

Maybe someone here can help me out. I wanted to try out FreeBSD, so I have been trying to install 5.3 for i386 on a crappy P1 with 64MB RAM and a BIOS that is borked in that it can't boot from CD-ROM though it says it can.

What I have done:
1. Created the necessary boot floppy disks via fdimage.exe from MSDOS (3 disks: 1 boot and 2 kernel).
2. Booted from the first floppy and went through the process of swapping the disks as ordered by the loader until the FBSD run screen came up.
3. Started FreeBSD.

What happened:
After probing all (I think) the devices, I got a kernel panic. Here are some of the details of that (it looks serious):

Code:
Fatal trap 12: page fault while in kernel mode
fault virtual address = 0x0
fault code = supervisor read, page not present
instruction pointer = 0x8:0x0
stack pointer = 0x10:0xc1021d50
frame pointer = 0x10:0xc1021d60

(. . . and so on until . . .)

panic: page fault
Uptime: 1s
Cannot dump. No dump device defined.
In order to determine if my PC was screwed up royally or if BSD just wasn't playing nice with it, i tried to run <a href="http://www.toms.net/rb/">tomsrtbt-2.0.103 Linux</a>. I was successful---no panic. I'm still very new to *NIX (I have only a tiny bit of experience with ArchLinux). Can someone point me in the right direction here? What's the problem?

Last edited by phukraut; 03-09-2005 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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just wondering, did you check the md5 sums of the disks before/after burning?
for the 5.3 production they should be
from ftp://ftp11.us.freebsd.org/pub/FreeB...3/CHECKSUM.MD5
Quote:
MD5 (5.3-RELEASE-i386-bootonly.iso) = =370ae39bb34f0789c638b6ad50038a2
MD5 (5.3-RELEASE-i386-disc1.iso) = fbcbfdff31f27de396f257e0a37a78b8
MD5 (5.3-RELEASE-i386-disc2.iso) = 21874a5663022768336e4cc73d1dd30d
MD5 (5.3-RELEASE-i386-miniinst.iso) = 96124b2608ba481693e04d364d485e3c
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, the MD5 for disc1 checks out (that's all I'm using). Some more news is that I did manage to start up the install via booting from CD-ROM on another box, an AMD-K6, and had no problems all the way through. I'm wondering if there's a hardware conflict somewhere.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I might suggest downloading Knoppix or Debian net-install. Debian can run on almost anything, old hardware included. At least if it installs and seems to work properly, you will know it is probably FreeBSD just not playing friendly.

Knoppix would probably give you hardware errors on bootup if something hardware-wise is faulty.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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bendsley, do you know how to make bootdisks to load the Debian installer? I couldn't find rawwrite.exe on my Ubuntu disc for example. How about in Knoppix 3.7?

Last edited by phukraut; 03-10-2005 at 08:45 PM..
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a soft spot for FreeBSD/BSDi of old - fast, stable, fast - but you're probably correct that you have one or more pieces in that box that aren't supported. Some old things fell off with 5.x. Remove /disable everything but video and see if you get any further. After that, I'd be checking the support groups.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll try that cyrnel, I really want to try BSD out. By the way, I found rawwritewin <a href="http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/rawwrite.htm">here</a>. Useful little program. Now I just need to find the required images.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Which images?
<a href="http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/mirrors-ftp.html">Full Mirrors</a>

<a href="http://ftp7.us.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/5.3-RELEASE/floppies/">Floppies</a>
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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cyrnel, I meant the Debian images for floppy. I found them just now. This will be my last resort though.

Cheers.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You might also look into <a href="http://openbsd.org">openbsd</a> & <a href="http://netbsd.org">netbsd</a>. Both are 4.4BSD based and share lineage with FreeBSD. Each have their advantages. All are wildly stable assuming good hardware.

We ran our ISP on early BSDi and FreeBSD (from late '94). Wind River & linux flavors came later. Migrated through fbsd4 while I was involved. Of course, gui's, desktop apps, and unproven drivers will always take a box down but our uptimes went as long as we didn't need to tweak/build kernels or upgrade hardware. (longest was 500-odd days for an old nameserver - go Vixie - it became obsolete & was unplugged before it crashed.)
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phukraut
I have been trying to install 5.3 for i386 on a crappy P1 with 64MB RAM and a BIOS that is borked in that it can't boot from CD-ROM though it says it can.
I've encountered that too, when trying to install Linux on an older machine. Evidently older CD-ROM drives won't boot off CD-Rs, even though they seem to work fine with them otherwise. Swapping in a newer drive solved the problem for me. Give that a shot, maybe booting direct from CD will work better.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Many old systems need a boot floppy like phukraut described, either because of the drive or the BIOS. The thing is, you can pick up an old tank P3 or better system on craigslist for $50. It really isn't worth fighting the ancient systems just for the time they cost. I cried a little when I dumped my early-mid 90's Pentium servers & AMD boards, but try a buildworld on one and the knife cuts a little easier. Gack.
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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irseg, I never even considered that possibility. I have an old DVD-ROM sitting around. Maybe I'll make use of it. As for the hardware conflict, I have a feeling it's my SCSI card, though I haven't tested that yet. Too bad, because that's the only reason I even bother with this machine (I want to access my old scanner for which the Win driver is long gone, but SANE will run it). I could pick up a P3, buy a new card, or just buy a USB scanner, but somehow I have to meet this challenge---for no good reason!
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just an update. I got NetBSD 2.0 for i386 to install with no problems!
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