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Bug#552067: Install process "forgets" the CD if left alone for long time

On Friday 23 October 2009, Alex Andryushkin wrote:
> If install goes quickly, then it appears to be OK. However, if there is
> large file system is being created (e.g. took 1/2 hour to create
> encrypted one),
> or I just leave install unattended for some time, then install process
> "forgets" that CD is in the drive.
> Error message can be "cannot figure out how to install base system" or

That error is from the base-installer stage of the installation when 
debootstrap is called.

> "please insert the disk labeled" - asking for the very same disk that is
> IN THE CDdrive at the moment.

That error is from a later stage of the installation (any stage after 

> One more detail is that CDdrive is external, connected via USB.

I cannot really see what could be going wrong here. The installer itself 
does nothing if it's left alone for a long time, so it must be something 
from to do with the kernel, or maybe how the USB device behaves if left 
unused for a longer period.

The most likely explanation looks to me that the system (temporarily?) 
loses connection with the device and has some problem identifying it again 
when you resume the installation and the connection to the device is 

The fact that the problem occurs at 2 totally different stages of the 
installation (or rather: 2 stages that use the device in rather different 
ways) supports the theory that this is not really a problem in the 
installer itself, but in the kernel.

> When I got those messages, I switched consoles and made sure that
> /cdrom/ is still readable and mounted properly.

How exactly did you check that? It could be that you were merely seeing 
information that was buffered and that there was no actual access to the 
device. The only way to really test this is by trying to read the contents 
of a file that has not been accessed before.

Do you happen to have the /var/log/syslog from a failed installation? If 
not, could you reproduce the problem and send the syslog (gzipped!)?

I very much doubt I will be able to reproduce this myself, especially since 
I don't have a USB CD drive. That means that to solve this we will 
definitely need your help as you can reproduce it.


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