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

Rich rl001 at
Wed Jul 21 15:45:51 UTC 2010

From: Dave <dave at>
To: Bruce Cran <bruce at>
Cc: freebsd-questions at
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 3:56:50 AM
Subject: Re: system hangs on; "Probing devices, please wait (this can take a 
while)... "

On 20 Jul 2010 at 23:46, Bruce Cran wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Jul 2010 14:59:04 -0700 (PDT)
> Rich <rl001 at> wrote:
> > 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?
> It looks like it's stopping/spinning at the section where it parses
> the slices/partitions. I don't know why it would be getting stuck
> there, though.

Maybe because there might be old RAID metadata from being in one of those stupid 
"fakeraids".  I had this problem last year and somehow (can't remember) wiped 
the drives and got it working. The system worked for about a year then crashed. 
I thought it a good time to move to 9.0 but now having the same problem again. I 
didn't put them back in the fakeraid. From what I understand FreeBSD can't be 
installed on those fakeraids. Maybe it has something to do with that.

> -- 
> Bruce Cran

Hi, I'm not a developer (of OS's at least) but from that DEBUG: 
list, it almost looks like it thinks it can see just about every 
hardware device it knows about, existing or not, and is trying to 
use them all.

I know someone mentioned memory tests, but I didn't see what results 
they came up with, or how much memory you have.  I do know however 
from my own frustrating experience in the past, that often some 
software will run just fine on bad memory, if the problems don't 
screw up the code or it's workspace.  Where as other software will 
crash badly, making you think the program is bad.   The same is 
sadly true of hard disk errors too!

Did you run a recent memtest86 (self boot CD) and let it do several 
"Full" passes (can take many many hours per pass if you have lots of 
ram!  And or a not so fast CPU) ?

Just idle musings.

Dave B.

No I didn't run a mem test since every other OS works perfectly fine. There's 
something in the FreeBSD code that is hanging. When it hangs it says "Probing 
devices (this may take a while)". What does "a while" mean? A few seconds? few 
hours? few days? That's a really dumb message IMHO.

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