ML370 (G1), boot options

Richard Mahlerwein mahlerrd at
Mon Jul 28 19:47:50 UTC 2008

Hi, all.  I've searched the archives as best I can, and also consulted the Great Oracle of Google, but seem to be getting nowhere in a little project I'm doing.

I know it's not always good form to include more than one problem in a post, so I apologize in advance, but since answering one of the three questions may mean the other two no longer need an answer, I feel it's appropriate in this case.

I recently retrieved a ML370 G1 off the to-be-recycled heap here at work.  It'll replace my aging 550 MHz PIII single-processor PC I've had pressed into "server" duty for ages.  The ML370 is in fine physical order and is a Dual PIII 866 with a Smart Array 3200 in it, 2x 36 GB drives and 4x 18 GB.  I have downloaded and used a SmartStart 5.5 CD to verify all seems well and to reconfigure the RAID to my needs.

Issue 1: During my first attempt at installing FreeBSD 7.0, I found I couldn't boot from the CD.  No problem, I thought, I'll just create the floppies and do a net install from there - I was sure it was just a Old CD Drive + Burnt CD = no booting. I created boot.flp and kern.flp figuring if I needed more floppies out of the set I'll keep overwriting those two.  (I'm slowly running out of good floppies!)   I wasn't paying that close of attention, but I realized about mid-way through the install the system never asked me for the kernel floppy.  I was a bit puzzled, but figured maybe the boot floppy saw the CD and passed control to it...

Q1: Does anyone know what likely happened there?  I *DID* at least start the boot from the floppy, I remember seeing that little piece, but afterwards, it was magic...  Will the boot floppy hand off to the CD if/when it sees it?

Issue 2: The install went fine, the only real issue is in the obnoxiously loud and bothersome fan noise.  Options don't seem to be in the BIOS (?!?) but I found the FreeBSD Tools for ProLiant page ( and thought "Perfect!"  I noticed it had images for 4.x, 5.x and 6.2.  No 7.0...  Since I had 7.0 already installed, I tried winging it and and installing the various pieces for 6.2 and doing ldconfig and installing compat layers and whatnot, but I couldn't quite get it working.  

Q2: Does anyone have some reasonably easy to follow docs on making at least hpasm work on 7.0?  I've seen a few vague references to it working after an upgrade from 6.x to 7, but docs are surprisingly sparse AFAICT.

Issue 3: So I thought to install 6.3, which I guess will very likely work using the 6.2 build of hpasm.  I changed my boot disk to a 6.3 one, stuck it in the floppy drive and booted, but the system happily and without question booted from the hard drives.  Tonight I hope to find time to do a 6.3 CD + a 6.3 boot floppy and see if I can get it up that way, but I'd love to find out what may be going on with this.  I don't think that will work, because I think it was only booting from CD/Floppy *after* the hard drive boot failed.  I don't really want to delete the arrays so it will fail back over to floppy booting, but at this point I'd try it if there's no easy way.  But, I'm *positive* there's an easier way... 

Q3: How do you change the boot order to include the floppy disk?  

I would appreciate any help someone can give or pointers to other information for me to try proceeding on my own.

Many thanks,

I tried winging it and doing the 7.0 and addressing issues as they came up (which involved a few hoops with compat_6x, _5x and ldconfig, I think), but I never quite got it going.  I'm thinking about starting over with 6.3, which I believe I will have a much, much greater chance to get working.

7.0 was a bear to get on it, but only because it wouldn't recognize my burnt CD as bootable.  I realize now that I never got to kern.flp, though - boot.flp was all it took.  I don't know if that's because magically my unbootable CD became bootable, or if the bootable floppy figured out there was a CD there and used it.

So I decided reinstalling from 6.3 wouldn't be an issue, except I 

Rich Mahlerwein

mahlerrd at

Mobile: 715-891-7420

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