system hangs on; "Probing devices, please wait (this can take a while)... "

Bruce Cran bruce at
Tue Jul 20 06:09:33 UTC 2010

On Mon, 19 Jul 2010 16:17:06 -0700
Chuck Swiger <cswiger at> wrote:

> There's not quite enough information here to identify your
> motherboard, but you should make sure there aren't any BIOS upgrades
> available for it, as those might help resolve this level of issue.
> Check your BIOS config for the disks carefully, and try adjusting the
> options you have.  In particular, try choosing LBA mode rather than
> auto or CHS, and try to toggle through "ACPI (or SATA mode)" vs. "IDE
> (or PATA compatibility)" vs. "enhanced (often meaning some form of
> BIOS RAID is enabled)" and see whether any of them work.
> If that doesn't do the trick, you could wander through your BIOS
> menus, and disable all of the non-essential stuff like parallel &
> serial ports, second NIC, or anything else which is not needed, and
> see whether that does any good...but that's getting into stuff which
> is less likely to make a difference.

The code that's being run does the following:

1. Finds all network interfaces.
2. Finds all CDROM, floppy, disk and network devices that might be
needed for installation.
3. Finds all partitions on the disks to register.

I'd guess it's hanging on a syscall somewhere, but there really isn't
much debugging output in usr.sbin/sysinstall/devices.c to know where,
unless the kernel has printed some errors to the debug console.

Bruce Cran

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