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Installing PC-BSD is usually an easy process that "just works". However, sometimes you will run into a problem. This section will look at solutions to the most common installation problems.
Network Installation Fails
When installing over the network, the PC-BSD installer will try to configure any Ethernet interfaces using DHCP. Occasionally it will fail to get an IP address and will be unable to connect to the FTP mirror to get the files needed by the installer. You will know this is the case when the mirror list shown in Figure 4.2b remains greyed out.
You can manually retry getting an IP address from the terminal. To access a terminal, right-click an area on the desktop outside of the installation window and select xterm from the menu. Type ifconfig in the terminal to find out the FreeBSD names for your interfaces. You are looking for an Ethernet entry that shows a status of active. In the example shown in Figure 3.13a, the interface em0 is active but does not have an IP address.
Figure 3.13a: Using ifconfig to Determine IP Address
Once you know the name of the interface, use it with the dhclient command as seen in Example 3.13a.
Example 3.13a: Using dhclient to Obtain an IP Address
dhclient em0 DHCPREQUEST on em0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 DHCPACK from 192.168.2.1 bound to 192.168.2.10 -- renewal in 43200 seconds.
If you can obtain an IP address, you should be able to select a mirror to install from and continue with the installation.
The PC-BSD installer creates a log which keeps a record of all the steps that completed as well as any errors. Should the installation fail, you can access this log to see what went wrong. To access a terminal, right-click an area on the desktop outside of the installation window and select xterm from the menu. You can read the log with this command:
If you can't figure out how to fix the error or believe that you have discovered an installation bug, send this log to the Support mailing list. When an installation error occurs, the PC-BSD installer will ask if you would like to generate an error report. If you click Yes, a pop-up message will ask if you would like to save the error log to a USB stick. Type y and insert a FAT formatted USB thumb drive to copy the log.
System Doesn't Boot
If the installer doesn't make it to the installer boot screen, seen in Figure 3.13b, try unplugging as many devices as possible, such as webcams, scanners, printers, USB mice and keyboards. If this solves the problem, plug in one piece of hardware at a time, then reboot. This will help you pinpoint which device is causing the problem.
Figure 3.13b PC-BSD Welcome Screen
If your computer freezes after the installation boot menu (while probing hardware) and unplugging extra devices did not fix the problem, it is possible that the installation media is corrupt. If the MD5 on the file you downloaded is correct, try reburning the file at a lower speed.
If the system freezes after the PC-BSD boot screen loads and you suspect that the video card is causing the system to freeze, review your system's BIOS settings. If there is a setting for video memory, set it to its highest value. Also check to see if the BIOS is set to prefer built-in graphics or a non-existent graphics card. On some systems this is determined by the order of the devices listed; in this case, make sure that the preferred device is listed first. If you cannot see your BIOS settings you may need to move a jumper or remove a battery to make it revert to the default of built-in graphics; check your manual or contact your manufacturer for details.
If that change did not help, try rebooting and selecting option "7. Escape to loader prompt" from the boot menu. This will open the boot loader prompt where you can type the following commands:
unload disable-module vesa set module_path=/boot/kernel;/boot/modules;CONSOLE boot
That will disable the vesa splash screen and boot the system to an emergency console. From there you can try vesa mode, or drop to a shell and modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf to change your display settings.
A not uncommon cause for problems is the LBA (Logical Block Addressing) setting in the BIOS. If your PC is not booting up before or after installation, check your BIOS and turn LBA off (don't leave it on automatic).
If the SATA settings in your BIOS are set to "compatibility" mode, try changing this setting to "AHCI".