Failed to Load Kernel

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Tue Jan 5 15:15:36 UTC 2010

Programmer In Training wrote:

Hello, P I T (Joseph?),

I'm rather astounded that no one has responded to your
email as of yet.  IANAE, but here goes:

<snipped the part about checksums, per your later post>

> The message I'm getting (wish I could just screen cap and put it up on
> the web):
> FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
> (root at, Sat Nov 21 14:05:36 UTC 2009)
> Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf
> /boot/kernel/kernel text=0x88d680
> readin failed

Could that be "readln"?  Been too long since I saw it.
The typo below makes me assume you're typing from the
view on the the monitor.  Bad news is, ev'ry time I've
seen this, it's because of bad media.  I've not seen it
for years, though, and then, it was always on floppy
installs, which, I think, are the posterboy for "bad media"
on Google or Wikipedia or summat.

> elf32_loadimage: read failed
> Unable to lad a kernel!
> /
> Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.
> Booting [/boot/kernel/kernel]...
> can't load 'kernel'
> As far as I can tell, the cd burned fine (I did the burn on a Toshiba
> notebook running Vista, was able to browse the folders just fine,
> everything looked in order).

I'm guessing there's some issue we're both unaware of.  Perhaps
someone with a better grok on the situation will post.

> Do I need to use the bootonly.iso as well? What am I missing here? I
> know my drive that I'm booting from is in perfect working order (DVD
> Super Multi-Format DVD+/-R(W), HP, less then a year old with no problems
> prior).

You could try the bootonly,iso, but the disc you are using does
the same thing, and more.  Bootonly is just the installer program,
and is intended to be used when you want to installer over the network,
like in the old floppy days.  Disc1 should have the installer and
all the necessary "chunks" to get a working environment without
a network connection.

> All the hardware up to this point appears to be detected just fine.

That's good to hear.  As I mentioned, hopefully someone else
will have a better clue on this, as I've not had the problem
for years.  I've also not burned a CD for FreeBSD on Windows
*ever*, so I'm thinking it could be related to that, somehow
or other, despite the fact that you can "see" everything.  But
then again, maybe I just don't trust Windows programs ;-)

Kevin Kinsey

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