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

Rich rl001 at
Tue Jul 20 21:59:05 UTC 2010

Any ideas anyone ? I'm stuck. Cannot install FreeBSD on my computer. Every other 
OS besides FreeBSD boots up and installs. What else can I check?

From: Thomas Mueller <mueller6727 at>
To: freebsd-questions at
Sent: Tue, July 20, 2010 12:42:09 AM
Subject: Re: system hangs on; "Probing devices, please wait (this can take a 
while)... "

I had this problem trying to install FreeBSD on my old computer: Cx486DX2 CPU at 
66 MHz; 20 MB RAM; 1.2 GB IDE hard drive; 2x Texel, now Plextor, CD-ROM on 
Trantor T130B SCSI (NCR5380 chip; no support in FreeBSD >= 3.0); Iomega Zip 250 
on same SCSI card.  That was in the days of FreeBSD 4.x.  No such problem on my 
newer computer with FreeBSD 7.x and now 8.0.  I wondered if this part had been 
revamped with FreeBSD 5.x.  

If you could boot a FreeBSD live file system, for which downloadable iso images 
are now available, you might be able to look at the sysinstall scripts, and 
after partitioning/disklabeling (bsdlabel), you might be able to newfs and make 
mount points, and untar the pieces (base.aa, base.ab, etc) onto the desired 
FreeBSD target slice.  I've wondered why FreeBSD installation sets (base, etc, 
games, comp, man and others) are broken into pieces of 1392 KB each as opposed 
to each installation set in a single .tgz or .tbz (base.tgz, etc.tgz, comp.tgz, 
and others: that's how NetBSD does it).  NetBSD installation CD also offers a 
utility shell (sh).  With floppy disks and floppy drives showing their age, I 
wouldn't be able to get enough good floppy disks together to install FreeBSD 
from floppies, and I believe others would have the same problem.

I never actually did this, so I can't be sure if I'd succeed: decidedly not 
user-friendly but might be interesting to try in a pinch.

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