I'm having trouble installing Arch Linux alongside Windows *whatever* on a Samsung 850 EVO SSD. I recognize this may be a better post for the Arch forums rather than reboot.pro, but quite frankly, I post on very few other forums anyway. And I believe this may be due to some anomaly with my hardware rather than with Arch itself.
I have 2 internal drives, the SSD, and a HDD in an optical caddy. Arch's /root partition will be on the SSD, with the /home and swap partitions on the HDD.
But I always get this error:
The most prominent things in this picture that stand out are "ATA bus error" (not sure what this means but I think it's related to one of my drives), and "failed command: write FPDMA queued". It always happens either after trying to format and mount my 2 partitions, or when using the "pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel" command to try to download the necessary system files and write them to disk. The install commmences normally up until then, because no info is written to disk until the partition creation/mounting/downloading begins. Arch is a CLI-only installer, no point-and-click GUI. I've installed it many times before on different machines, so I'm confident I'm following the installation guide correctly (and reading it along the way to be sure).
I've also checked the hash of my ISO to ensure integrity, try booting it as an emulated USB and disc from my Note 4 via DriveDroid app. Creating a physical USB gives the same results. And the same USB works fine for installing Arch on a friend's Toshiba laptop. So I think this eliminates the source ISO as the cause.
I can install other Linux variants like Kali or Mint. But I get errors in the kernel log when booting Kali, (the text that flys by when booting, not sure what it's called), which seems to say something about the SSd's EFI partition having an invalid/incorrect number of sectors (it's 512MB MB in size), with the message "not automatically fixing this". Kali boots fine otherwise, but that message is troubling. There are also other Arch alternatives, the most prominent probably being ArchBang, that have a GUI installer, which are based on Arch with minimal changes, and installing it would probably work (it did before). But this isn't considered "pure", and Archers view these other distros as taking shortcuts. While I don't necessarily agree or disagree with some hardcore Arch users, I would rather build from the ground up for the learning experience than install a similar distro that does some of the work for me.
It makes no difference whether I install in native UEFI, UEFI DUET, or BIOS/MBR mode, I always get these errors when installing Arch or booting Kali. So I don't think this is related to firmware booting mode or partitioning. Both disks are standard GPT with an EFI partition, with multiple other partitions containing different filesystems for other OSes, storing data/files, etc.
Any help would be appreciated!