confused new customer

norseman norseman at
Thu Jun 16 17:31:57 GMT 2005

 To: FreeBSD et al

	     I don't think this qualifies as a bug, but...

     Yesterday (well... now it's last week) I received a copy of FreeBSD 
5.4 in a 4-CD box along with the the usual invoice.  The surprise was  I 
hadn't  ordered it in many a year. All the  information in  the  invoice 
was correct and up to date. I don't know how this happened but IT IS OK, 
at  least this time!  Tell you what - I'll keep the FreeBSD 5.4  CD  set 
and you keep the money my credit card company will send you. That should 
make us both very happy. :)

     Obviously  the  above  paragraph  means I am  a  true  novice  with 
FreeBSD. As such I have run into a snag. I've been using Slackware since 
its first CD came out. I have a disk partitioned as follows:

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 7296 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1             1       255   2048256    6  FAT16
/dev/hda2   *       256      1275   8193150    c  Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda3          1276      7296  48363682+  85  Linux extended
/dev/hda5          1276      1403   1028128+  82  Linux swap
/dev/hda6          1404      2168   6144831   83  Linux native
/dev/hda7          2169      3698  12289693+  83  Linux native
/dev/hda8          3699      7296  28900903+  83  Linux native

Command (m for help):

     The  idea  was to use /dev/hda7 for FreeBSD, but FreeBSD  seems  to 
have  a  problem with this disk. It will not acknowledge  /dev/hda3  and 

     I  looked into the Doc section of FreeBSD's website and  found  the 
pertinent parts rather out of date. (No offense meant - the cry for help 
with  the Docs/man is right there on the home page.)  This does  present 
the problem of what to do next.  Slackware's fdisk has been quite  happy 
dealing  with all the formats below. At least all I've had  occasion  to 
use.  (some are: DOS 1,4,6; Win 7,b,c,f; CP/M 52; Linux 82,83,85.) Yes - 
some need modules to work, but at least the fdisk provides the clues  as 
to which. One gets used to something and forgets the whole world is  not 
the  same. The initial assumption was that FreeBSD had the  same  tables 

 0  Empty           1b  Hidden Win95 FA 64  Novell Netware  bb  Boot Wizard hid
 1  FAT12           1c  Hidden Win95 FA 65  Novell Netware  c1  DRDOS/sec (FAT-
 2  XENIX root      1e  Hidden Win95 FA 70  DiskSecure Mult c4  DRDOS/sec (FAT-
 3  XENIX usr       24  NEC DOS         75  PC/IX           c6  DRDOS/sec (FAT-
 4  FAT16 <32M      39  Plan 9          80  Old Minix       c7  Syrinx
 5  Extended        3c  PartitionMagic  81  Minix / old Lin da  Non-FS data
 6  FAT16           40  Venix 80286     82  Linux swap      db  CP/M / CTOS / .
 7  HPFS/NTFS       41  PPC PReP Boot   83  Linux native    de  Dell Utility
 8  AIX             42  SFS             84  OS/2 hidden C:  df  BootIt
 9  AIX bootable    4d  QNX4.x          85  Linux extended  e1  DOS access
 a  OS/2 Boot Manag 4e  QNX4.x 2nd part 86  NTFS volume set e3  DOS R/O
 b  Win95 FAT32     4f  QNX4.x 3rd part 87  NTFS volume set e4  SpeedStor
 c  Win95 FAT32 (LB 50  OnTrack DM      8e  Linux LVM       eb  BeOS fs
 e  Win95 FAT16 (LB 51  OnTrack DM6 Aux 93  Amoeba          ee  EFI GPT
 f  Win95 Ext'd (LB 52  CP/M            94  Amoeba BBT      ef  EFI (FAT-12/16/
10  OPUS            53  OnTrack DM6 Aux 9f  BSD/OS          f1  SpeedStor
11  Hidden FAT12    54  OnTrackDM6      a0  IBM Thinkpad hi f4  SpeedStor
12  Compaq diagnost 55  EZ-Drive        a5  BSD/386         f2  DOS secondary
14  Hidden FAT16 <3 56  Golden Bow      a6  OpenBSD         fd  Linux raid auto
16  Hidden FAT16    5c  Priam Edisk     a7  NeXTSTEP        fe  LANstep
17  Hidden HPFS/NTF 61  SpeedStor       b7  BSDI fs         ff  BBT
18  AST SmartSleep  63  GNU HURD or Sys b8  BSDI swap

Command (m for help):

     OK  -  First:  any suggestions on adding FreeBSD  to  the  existing 
system (which is a laptop)?

     Second:  In  reading  the  helps  on the  website  I  find  my  own 
experiences differ in the style of having a disk share it's space  among 
multiple OSs. My procedure for creating the above layout was as follows:

  Mandatory: MSDOS 1st & <=2Gig; Windows 2nd; Linux/UNIX 3rd
  Mandatory: Boot flag left with Windows after LILO is run.

 Boot CD
 Use fdisk to setup the partitions I want and set the partition IDs
   (6 for DOS; 83 for Linux, etc.)
   Set boot flag on MSDOS partition
 Put in a floppy and boot MSDOS; format C: /u/s
   copy over boot floppy contents if special drivers were used. 
   correct drive letters in AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. 
   remove floppy
 Reboot and validate all is working (except for my typos it always does)
 Once drive is up I (may) restore contents from backup media
 Put the Win-95/98 CD in and run it's install from MSDOS
 Boot CD and move bootable flag to Win Partition and reboot,
 Booting the bootable Win-whatever CD (I'm running WIN-XP PRO)
   install windows in win partition while telling it to ignore all disk
   zones that are not MSDOS or WIN-whatever
 Reboot numerous times (MicroSoft mandatory)
 Remove CD and reboot once more and check it's working (always is)
 Insert Slackware Disk#2 and boot it and login as root
 Format as swap the swap section and as Linux the Linux sections
 Mount partition and copy the live section from CD to partition that
   will be base (/) and correct the /etc/fstab to reflect disk layout,
   correct /etc/lilo.conf to desired flags and boot order
 Reboot with CD still in
 Use the manual boot method (shown on screen) to boot the harddrive,
          and login as root
 Remove CD and run LILO
 Reboot Linux from BIOS/LILO (ie. boot from harddrive) and login as root
 Finish configuring Linux (PATH, HOME, groups, passwords, network, X11,
          etc..  I just copy in the backups I had made and tweak.)
 Reboot and check things out
 (Fix whatever you forgot last time and restart at line above)
 Restore the Win-whatever you had on backup (overload), same for MSDOS 
   if you haven't already.
 Boot each OS in turn and verify all is OK.
   (Always is.) Now to "update" Linux to the extra programs you use.
 Install/recompile'n'install all those extra goodies you use.
 You are up'n'running!  Usually takes me 1 to 4 hours most of which is
   disk format time plus overload plus recompile/reinstall time.

(NOTE:                        As of 2004:
       The Linux crowd is starting to give Gates  a GOOD name!  Linux is
       becomming  problamatic. Some  of your "goodies"  may not coimpile 
       any more or may now be broken. It can take several weeks to check 
       all the toys for correctness and to dry the crying towel.
       (All those lost goodies! DOSEMU,WINE,ENLIGHTENMENT to name some.)
       New downloads may or may not work. They may be work differently.
     SO - I tried that approach with FreeBSD  and hit a blank wall.  The 
ads  on the jewel case insert note a "live" system.  Best I've  seen  so 
far is a type of duplicate of the SUN MicroSystem embedded Forth.  Which 
isn't  an actual "live" system, just a smart BIOS. (No one is  going  to 
network a GIS software package nor even X11R? with just the Forth  and a 
blank disk.)  Again, I'm new to FreeBSD. With Slackware (up thru 7.1)  I 
don't even need a hard drive present. Just boot the CD and run  ifconfig 
correctly to get on the net and startx brings up the GUI. Still makes  a 
great rescue disk. Especially for busted MicroSoft drives.

     I  guess I've made an assumption that if FreeBSD was  installed  on 
another disk and moved to the partition noted above it might work.   The 
problem being the setup currently shipping on disk #1  was thought to be
like Slack's. Again - me forgetting that the world is not all the same.

     I'm  not ready to reconfigure my current drive. Work load does  not 
permit it at this time. Documentation states FreeBSD recognizes  PCMCIA, 
but apparently not from it's "live" system? If there is a way to  enable 
PCMCIA  disk support from the booted CD I would like know. I have  extra 
laptop  drives  and would love to see the FreeBSD install in  action.  I 
also  have USB drives available. But so far DISK#1  doesn't  acknowledge 
them  either. I saw an old doc that states FreeBSD must be on a  primary 
partition  to be used. Since Slackware no longer has  this  restriction, 
nor the 1024 cylinders thing, is it fair to assume FreeBSD is likewise?

Well... I've rambled enough.  Any help in merging a working FreeBSD onto 
the above disk layout (in /dev/hda7) will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Steve Turner
norseman at

(at work with a minimum of 6 keyboards for me plus trouble shooting 
  others, my outgoing Email is probably not a returnable address.
 Please send to the norseman address.

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