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5.3. Troubleshooting the Install Process

5.3.1. Boot Configuration

If you have problems and the kernel hangs during the boot process, doesn't recognize peripherals you actually have, or drives are not recognized properly, the first thing to check is the boot parameters, as discussed in Section 5.2, “Boot Parameters”.

If you are booting with your own kernel instead of the one supplied with the installer, be sure that CONFIG_DEVFS is set in your kernel. The installer requires CONFIG_DEVFS.

Often, problems can be solved by removing add-ons and peripherals, and then trying booting again.

If you have a large amount of memory installed in your machine, more than 512M, and the installer hangs when booting the kernel, you may need to include a boot argument to limit the amount of memory the kernel sees, such as mem=512m.

5.3.2. Interpreting the Kernel Startup Messages

During the boot sequence, you may see many messages in the form can't find something , or something not present, can't initialize something , or even this driver release depends on something . Most of these messages are harmless. You see them because the kernel for the installation system is built to run on computers with many different peripheral devices. Obviously, no one computer will have every possible peripheral device, so the operating system may emit a few complaints while it looks for peripherals you don't own. You may also see the system pause for a while. This happens when it is waiting for a device to respond, and that device is not present on your system. If you find the time it takes to boot the system unacceptably long, you can create a custom kernel later (see Section 8.4, “Compiling a New Kernel”).

5.3.3. Bug Reporter

If you get through the initial boot phase but cannot complete the install, the bug reporter menu choice may be helpful. It copies system error logs and configuration information to a user-supplied floppy. This information may provide clues as to what went wrong and how to fix it. If you are submitting a bug report you may want to attach this information to the bug report.

Other pertinent installation messages may be found in /var/log/ during the installation, and /var/log/debian-installer/ after the computer has been booted into the installed system.

5.3.4. Submitting Installation Reports

If you still have problems, please submit an installation report. We also encourage installation reports to be sent even if the installation is successful, so that we can get as much information as possible on the largest number of hardware configurations. Please use this template when filling out installation reports, and send the report to .

Package: installation-reports

Debian-installer-version: <Fill in date and from where you got the image>
uname -a: <The result of running uname -a on a shell prompt>
Date: <Date and time of the install>
Method: <How did you install?  What did you boot off?  If network
      install, from where?  Proxied?>

Machine: <Description of machine (eg, IBM Thinkpad R32)>
Root Device: <IDE?  SCSI?  Name of device?>
Root Size/partition table: <Feel free to paste the full partition
      table, with notes on which partitions are mounted where.>
Output of lspci and lspci -n:

Base System Installation Checklist:
[O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it

Initial boot worked:    [ ]
Configure network HW:   [ ]
Config network:         [ ]
Detect CD:              [ ]
Load installer modules: [ ]
Detect hard drives:     [ ]
Partition hard drives:  [ ]
Create file systems:    [ ]
Mount partitions:       [ ]
Install base system:    [ ]
Install boot loader:    [ ]
Reboot:                 [ ]


<Description of the install, in prose, and any thoughts, comments
      and ideas you had during the initial install.>

In the bug report, describe what the problem is, including the last visible kernel messages in the event of a kernel hang. Describe the steps that you did which brought the system into the problem state.