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Fixing ‘Probing for devices to install to failed’ Error During Ubuntu Server Installation

Ubuntu 12

The installation of Ubuntu Server is generally a straightforward process. However, like any software installation, it can occasionally run into problems. One such issue is the error message “Probing for devices to install to failed”. This error can be frustrating, but there are several potential solutions to try. In this article, we will explore these solutions in detail.

Understanding the Error

The error “Probing for devices to install to failed” typically occurs during the installation process when the installer is unable to detect the appropriate hardware to install Ubuntu Server. This could be due to a variety of reasons, including compatibility issues, hardware configuration problems, or issues with the installer itself.

Solution 1: Use a Different Version of Ubuntu Server

One of the simplest solutions to this error is to try using a different version of Ubuntu Server. The ‘live’ server version, for example, has fewer capabilities than the standard installer. If you’re using the ‘live’ version, consider switching to the standard installer. You can download different versions of Ubuntu 18.04.3 server from the official Ubuntu website’s alternative downloads section.

Solution 2: Follow the Installation Tutorial

The official Ubuntu tutorials provide step-by-step instructions for installing Ubuntu Server. Following these tutorials can help ensure a successful installation. The tutorial for installing Ubuntu Server 18.04.3 can be found on the Ubuntu website.

Solution 3: Use the Net Installer (mini.iso)

If the standard installer is still causing problems, you might want to try the net installer, also known as the mini.iso. This installer is smaller in size and can be downloaded from the Ubuntu archive. The net installer may be a better option for certain hardware configurations.

Solution 4: Check Hardware Compatibility

In some cases, the error may be caused by compatibility issues with specific hardware components. It is recommended to check the compatibility of your hardware with Ubuntu Server. Booting a desktop ‘live’ release of Ubuntu can provide insights into any potential issues.

Solution 5: Remove or Disable Certain Hardware Components

Some users have resolved the issue by removing or disabling specific hardware components. For example, removing NVMe disks or disabling JMicron SATA controllers in the BIOS has helped in some cases.

Reporting a Bug

If the issue persists after trying the above solutions, it is recommended to report a bug on Launchpad. When reporting a bug, include the contents of the /var/log/installer directory. This will provide the Ubuntu developers with valuable information to help diagnose and fix the problem.

Conclusion

While the “Probing for devices to install to failed” error can be frustrating, there are several potential solutions to try. Whether it’s using a different version of Ubuntu Server, following the official installation tutorial, using the net installer, checking hardware compatibility, or removing or disabling certain hardware components, one of these solutions is likely to resolve the issue. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to report a bug on Launchpad. The Ubuntu community is very active and helpful, and you’re likely to receive assistance in resolving the issue.

How do I know if my hardware is compatible with Ubuntu Server?

You can check the compatibility of your hardware by booting a desktop ‘live’ release of Ubuntu. This will allow you to test if your hardware components are recognized and function properly.

Where can I find the installation logs to include when reporting a bug?

The installation logs can be found in the /var/log/installer directory. When reporting a bug on Launchpad, make sure to include the contents of this directory to provide valuable information to the Ubuntu developers.

Can I use the net installer (mini.iso) for all hardware configurations?

The net installer, or mini.iso, is generally a good option for most hardware configurations. However, it is recommended to try the standard installer first and only resort to the net installer if you encounter issues.

How do I disable specific hardware components in the BIOS?

The process of disabling specific hardware components in the BIOS can vary depending on the motherboard manufacturer. Generally, you can access the BIOS settings by pressing a specific key (e.g., F2 or Delete) during the boot process. Once in the BIOS, navigate to the relevant settings (e.g., SATA controllers) and disable or remove the hardware components as needed.

Can I use a different version of Ubuntu Server to fix this error?

Yes, using a different version of Ubuntu Server can sometimes resolve the error. You can try switching to the standard installer if you’re using the ‘live’ server version. Different versions of Ubuntu 18.04.3 server can be downloaded from the official Ubuntu website’s alternative downloads section.

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