I’ve found a number of references to the obscure error on the web:

Failure trying to run: chroot /target mount -t proc proc /proc

After careful diagnosis, I have come to the conclusion that this error has three causes (at least for me):

  1. A bad CD drive. [replace it]
  2. Bad CD-media or a badly written CD. [slow down the write, or change media]
  3. CD drive incorrectly connected (Cable Select, Master, Slave: incorrectly set) [check that cable and setting match, and that you have at least 1 Master connected, with the drive either set to CS or Master on a proper cable]

I hope posting this helps other people, as this problem took quite a while to diagnose, and much hair-pulling was involved. In my case, it was a “gradually” degrading CD drive (1), although I’ve also experienced (2).

Background:

This error occurs during “Installing base system” for Ubuntu 8.04 (and 7.xx) for both Ubuntu desktop and server versions. Subsequent media tests will likely fail. Other errors CAN occur, but for some reason the installer spits out this one with some frequency.

Call to action:

Can the Ubuntu team (and other teams) make this error more descriptive? Why does a hardware or read error cause such an obscure error?