Boot from Firewire (VIA Fire II)

Kevin Roettger flymac at
Tue Jan 19 09:43:28 UTC 2010


I am trying to boot from a Firewire drive using FreeBSD 8.0 on a i386 system. My motherboard is an Asus A7V8X-X and Firewire ports are provided using a VIA Fire II (VT6306) PCI card.

The card works once FreeBSD is booted from internal IDE drive for example (seen as fwohci0) but I cannot boot from it. I've tried pretty much all boot possibilities in the BIOS and no luck (it doesn't even find the drive).

My question is: is it possible to "bootstrap" from another source (USB stick, floppy...), load a small kernel with Firewire support to see the drive and then switch kernels to "boot again" from that FW drive? Of course It would be nice to not need the USB stick for anything once switched to the FW drive (but not mandatory).

Actually, FreeBSD is already installed on this machine but using internal IDE, I'd like to remove all drives from inside the computer case and use only an external drive enclosure. Ideally I would like to keep the same drive and not reinstall (of course I assume fstab changes are needed).

Many thanks for your help!


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