Cannot install latest stable 4.2.1

Hello everyone,

I’m unable to install Qubes R4.2.1 on my computer. Previously, I faced similar issues with the release candidate versions. Now, the problem has escalated.

Here’s what happens:

  1. Choosing “Install Qubes R4.2.1” causes a reboot before the installer even launches.
  2. Using Troubleshooting or Verbose Install results in a reboot after displaying a gray screen with a mouse cursor.
  3. Installing with the latest kernel allows me to reach the language selection screen, but clicking any option like Continue, Help, or Keyboard causes the installer to freeze and reboot.

Does anyone have a solution?

My hardware:

  • Gigabyte B650 X GAMING AX motherboard
  • Ryzen 7700x CPU
  • 1 TB Kingston NVMe Gen4 SSD
  • 64 GB DDR5 RAM
  • Intel Arc Graphics Card

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Did you test the media before install? Was it successful?

What kind of test ? I used Elena batcher and at the end the content of usb drive was checked against iso file. I didn’t performed any other test.

There is default “Test media and install Qubes OS” GRUB menu entry when you boot Qubes OS installer.
It’s checking the media before running the installer.
Is this test successful?

I’ll confirm tomorrow if I’ve tried all options, as I’m not home today.

I selected the default option during installation, and the system rebooted within a few seconds. However, just before rebooting, a red line flashed on the screen. I couldn’t read it as the screen disappeared very quickly, but I captured it on video and it definitely indicates a problem.

The message displayed was:
‘Media check is complete, the result is: FAIL
[FAILED] Failed to start checkisomd5@dev-sdc.service’

I found a similar issue reported on the Qubes OS forum that has been unresolved for the last 15 hours:

Could this issue be related to the ISO file? I have successfully created several USB drives with other operating systems and have never encountered a problem with the media created from an ISO image.

How did you write the ISO to your media?
Did you verify the ISO to make sure that it’s not corrupted?

You can also re-verify installation media after writing:

1 Like

Before I used balena etcher, but now I used dd command from installation guide to make sure that everything is done in the right way. Error is exactly the same.

I did the verification based on provided link:

dd if=/dev/sdc bs=1M count=$(stat -c %s Qubes-R4.2.1-x86_64.iso) iflag=count_bytes | sha256sum

6321+1 records in
6321+1 records out
6628073472 bytes (6,6 GB, 6,2 GiB) copied, 40,8071 s, 162 MB/s
50171bccf865fba80c44731ece953cad26ee9844c6cab9fb508efb1cd3a0633d  -

But if i calculate sha256sum directly on iso file I’m getting right value. Maybe something was written to usb drive during installation process ?

sha256sum Qubes-R4.2.1-x86_64.iso
a942911a3a4975831324a064f70b34c6965c4e9f6c95afbc531f04d55f947376  Qubes-R4.2.1-x86_64.iso

It shouldn’t write anything there. Maybe you’ve booted in Windows with this USB connected?
Try to flash the ISO again using dd and re-verify after writing.

Well - with this windows it might be the case. Anyway I did it again:

sudo dd if=Qubes-R4.2.1-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdc status=progress bs=1048576 conv=fsync                                                                                           1 ✘  4s  
5867831296 bytes (5,9 GB, 5,5 GiB) copied, 3 s, 2,0 GB/s6628073472 bytes (6,6 GB, 6,2 GiB) copied, 3,38905 s, 2,0 GB/s

6321+1 records in
6321+1 records out
6628073472 bytes (6,6 GB, 6,2 GiB) copied, 333,124 s, 19,9 MB/s

And verification:

sudo dd if=/dev/sdc bs=1M count=$(stat -c %s Qubes-R4.2.1-x86_64.iso) iflag=count_bytes | sha256sum                                                    ✔  5m 33s  

6321+1 records in
6321+1 records out
6628073472 bytes (6,6 GB, 6,2 GiB) copied, 41,0074 s, 162 MB/s
a942911a3a4975831324a064f70b34c6965c4e9f6c95afbc531f04d55f947376  -

Now media is for sure fine.

Try to boot installer with dom0_max_vcpus=1 dom0_vcpus_pin=1 Xen options like this:

The system is functioning somewhat better now—the check is completed correctly, and the installer launches as expected. However, the issue persists: the system freezes and reboots after a few clicks, regardless of where I am in the installation process. Sometimes it hangs during disk selection, and other times it freezes at different stages.

Additionally, an error message is consistently visible:
[FAILED] Failed to start lvm2-pvscan@8:1 service

I am also sharing a video to show exactly what happens:

Do you have the freeze and reboot if you don’t click on anything in the language selection screen?
If it only freeze after clicking anywhere on language selection screen then you can click and then switch to another TTY to check the logs before the freeze happens, maybe there will be some relevant messages.
You can switch to log TTY using Ctrl+Alt+F4.
Or you can switch to anaconda TTY using Ctrl+Alt+F1 and there you can check the log by pressing Ctrl+b and then press 3 (you can also check 4, 5, 6).
You can return to GUI installer using Ctrl+Alt+F6.

I booted the installer with the settings dom0_max_vcpus=1 dom0_vcpus_pin=1, but the problem persists. The logs don’t show anything unusual, and there’s no consistent timing for the freezes and reboots. Sometimes, I can progress further in the installation process. For instance, with the latest kernel, the installer remains responsive for a much longer period. I was able to enter user settings, select a disk, and set a passphrase for encryption. However, the system still freezes and reboots before I can confirm these settings by clicking ‘OK’.

Couple of screens from logs:

Did you try to enter the installer and then switch to log TTY and wait for the freeze to happen there?
If yes then was there any output there when it froze or you didn’t see any change?

When I use the TTY, everything works normally like presented on the screen. However, when the system freezes, I am unable to switch to any other interface like logs etc. The installer stops responding, and then, after approximately 2-3 seconds, the system reboots.

Try to disable SMT in BIOS if you have it enabled.

You can also try to add x2apic=false Xen option along with dom0_max_vcpus=1 dom0_vcpus_pin=1, though it should be fixed by this:

But you still can give it a try.

I disabled SMT in BIOS and there is no change.
If I use additionally dom0_max_vcpus=1 dom0_vcpus_pin=1 x2apic=false installer is rebooting much faster. I can see only gray background with mouse cursor which is already frozen and after 3 seconds again - reboot.

I don’t have any more ideas what else can you try. There seems to be a problem with hardware compatibility but I don’t know how to find out which hardware part is causing it except for swapping out parts one-by-one with knowingly working ones.