FreeBSD 5.3 - Write failure on transfer

Lino Fusco lfusco at
Sat Jan 1 21:23:38 PST 2005


I am a newbie to this list and I hope I am posting to the correct list - 
apologies if I am off target.

I am installing FreeBSD 5.3 on a  hp netserver LC2000r. The box is a 
dual processor P3 with three scsi2 drives running in a raid1 
configuration with one hot spare.

We have six of these boxes. Three of them are running FreeBSD 4.8 or 4.9 
without a hitch.

I decided to install 5.3 from CD on a fourth box and I am having a problem.

I go through the install process. When it goes to write the file 
structure to the drives it does this in a around 1 second - this seems 
very fast. Then it starts copying from the CD and I quickly get the 
following error:

"Write failure on transfer! (wrote -1 bytes of 1425408 bytes)"

I click ok and the next error message is:

"unable to transfer the base distribution from acd0, do you want to try 
to retrieve it again?".

So this has started me troubleshooting the possible causes of the problem:

1) First stop was to suspect the freebsd iso I had burnt was suspect. So 
I re burnt the cd  and the problem persisted. I then suspected the ISO I 
had downloaded was corrupted. So I downloaded it again, burnt the cd but 
the problem still persisted.

2) I then suspected the second copy could have come from a cache and 
therefore may have the same problem as the first copy - so I checked the 
md5 signature but it lines up with the original from

3) I suspected the CD Rom drive - so I swapped it with one of our other 
Netserver boxes - problem still persisted.

4)I suspected a drive formatting problem - so I went back into the SCSI 
software, redid the raid drives and reformatted them - problem still 

5) I suspected another hardware problem - so I pulled out FreeBSD 4.9 to 
see if that would install - and it did install without any errors. That 
sort of discounts there being any hardware problems. It points to 
something specific to freebsd 5.3.

So this is where I have got to - FreeBSD 4.9 will install without errors 
but 5.3 will not install.

I suspect the problem has to do with the initial setting up of the file 
structure - 5.3 is doing this in about one second whereas 4.9 takes 
closer to a minute to do this.

Any thoughts or suggestion?


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