Debian Install error: "ran out of input data -- System Halted"

Brand new system with two new 160GB WD Hard Drives.

I try using a Debian 3.0 boot disk that I've used in class many times. At the boot prompt, here is what I get:

boot: bf24
Loading /install.............
Loading bf24..............
Uncompressing Linux...

ran out of input data

 -- System halted

This also happens when I try to boot without using the 2.4 kernel.

Just for kicks I tried to boot with a WinXP Pro disk, and during intial setup I get this:

File \i386\ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded.
The error code is 7

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit
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run memtest86+ ( for at least 5 passes if you don't get any immediate errors.
kryticalAuthor Commented:
I ran it 5 times so far. 256mb of RAM on the system (came with the mobo already installed from

Each time, it got a few random errors, until it got to 69-71%. All 5 tests stopped at 69-71% and would not continue. I got some screenshots of it that I will upload tomorrow sometime.

You thinking that perhaps bad RAM might be causing my issue?
Definitly bad RAM. Check if there is more than one stick of RAM in the box. If yes, remove all but one, then run the test again. Try the same stick in all slots. Test all sticks the same way. If the individuall Sticks look OK, try them all together again, making sure they are seated nicely in their slots, maybe one of the slots is bad. If all the above doesn't help, get other RAM which you know is good.
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kryticalAuthor Commented:

(Second picture says it all haha)

This system only has one stick of 256mb, so it looks like I might need to go get some new RAM. Kind of a bummer since I have no local source of cheap RAM around here. (Only places that sell "cheap" RAM at "Quality" RAM prices).

I will post an update when I am I able to replace the RAM module.
Try getting them online from crucial or kingston, then you at least also get quality, and there is quite some warranty on them. Maybe yours from newegg may also have warranty, you'd just have to get in touch with the RAM manufacturer, not newegg...
kryticalAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I don't believe I have any of the paperwork for the mobo+ram+cpu combo anymore. Ive been sitting on it for 3-4 months since I couldn't get XP to load earlier in the year.

I would order more online like I normally do, but thats when I don't mind waiting till the next weekend to finish up. If bad RAM is all that is hanging me up here, I figured while the weekend is still young to go get some more now. $32.50 for a 256mb stick isnt as bad as I was expecting from this location in town. I can get twice that for the price online (including shipping), but oh well.

(Im pretty much a "cheap ram" kinda guy when comes to most the systems in my network. With exception to the main box, then I pay for better ram. This will be the first time Ive had RAM issues like this so far though)

I should be able to test with this stick later today.
kryticalAuthor Commented:
Well bummer. I replaced my old stick, with the new one. Booted up with the Linux Boot disk, and got all the way to partion the disk (was very happy), and it locked up. Rebooted, and got the "ran out of input data" error again.

I ran the memtest86+ again, and it errors out at the same spot as the old stick did. I moved it to the other slot (this mobo only has two) and ran the test. Errors again at 70%. This last time it didnt lock up, rather it kept counting the errors. Once it got up to 1.1 million errors it stopped :P

It seems to get random errors anywhere, very few, BUT when it hits the 225+ range and up, its only errors after that. I can put a limit on it, like say Upper Limit of 50M and it tests fine, then reboots.

Seeing as how this time, compared to a few months ago, I have different: HDD, CDROM, PS, AGP, NIC, and now RAM... the only two items left are the Mobo and CPU.

Any other suggestions before I try buying another mobo+cpu combo?
No, none really.

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This could well be a motherboard problem rather than a memory issue. Before ditching the MB I'd suggest checking to see if there's a later version of the BIOS than what's currently installed (check with the MB vendor). Odd system problems have been known to be  resolved by BIOS updates...
kryticalAuthor Commented:
Installed the new mobo/processor (same exact model/brand/version as I had before) and it worked flawlessly. Haven't run the memtest on the ram, but Im not worried about it. Having extra ram is not a bad thing, just don't need it on this file server.

Thanks for the assistance anyways. Appears either the mobo or CPU was to blame. (I'm gonna officially blame the mobo of course, but it doesnt matter really)

Maybe when I feel like messing around with this more, I will try to see if I can get the mobo working. (wonder if I could send back the "broken" one and get a refund on the one I just bought right now, since its exactly the same board). Oh well.
Thanks. That depends on whether it is still under warranty or not. You'd probably have to contact the mainboard manufacturer though, as newegg itself doesn't give warranty as far as I know.
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