FDisk won't detect or accept correct disk geometry from BIOS
jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu
Thu Jan 22 12:44:10 PST 2004
> Please see this page:
> This is exactly the problem I am having now whenever I try to install either
> FreeBSD 4.9 or 5.1. Clearly, a lot of other users out there are having this
> problem too. FDisk absolutely refuses to accept the correct geometry values
> (the ones my BIOS tells me it is using to address the disk), instead
> insisting on using some values that are not even close to correct. Then
> after installation completes and I try to boot, I get a "missing operating
> system" message, which is no surprise given that the disk was addressed by
> the installer using the wrong geometry settings.
Of about 100 to 110 FreeBSD systems we have up and going, I have never
had the fdisk reported geometry match the BIOS reported information
but I have never had a system fail to install and boot by just ignoring
the whole issue and letting it (sysinstall, fdisk, etc) do its own thing
as long as I didn't try to tinker with the geometry. This has been with
both SCSI and IDE disks, but mostly SCSI and almost entirely on mainstream
hardware such as what comes with Dell, Compaq, etc, not homebuilts.
The FreeBSD versions have been most of 3.xx through most of 4.xx. I
haven't tried any 5.xx yet but the person in the box (cubicle) next to
me has 5.1 going and sees the same thing.
There have been lots of things written about this. I don't know which
ones apply in your case. But, the geometries on recent disks and
recent versions of software (recent = in the last 6 or 7 years) are
all "virtual" as far as I can see. So, just try letting it fly
and without trying to tinker or reconcile what appears to be a conflict.
> Why the hell doesn't FDisk properly read the geometry settings from the BIOS
> in the first place (so that don't have to look them up and enter them myself
> during install), and why the hell doesn't it accept the correct values when
> I enter them? Isn't there *ANY* way to force it to accept the values I give
> I have a hard time imagining how this could be considered "low priority" or
> "not important" by the developers of the system. This is clearly a major
> defect in either documentation (if this is user error, a LOT of users are
> having the problem, so documentation must be deficient), or a major defect
> in the code.
> DISCLAIMER: I don't know if you folks are like the Linux community, but
> don't tell me to "find the bug and fix it yourself", or to "quit whining".
> It's perfectly reasonable for a user of a piece of software to expect it to
> work right. I'm not a developer, and shouldn't have to be. That's why
> *other* people are developers, so that I don't have to be.
> - Keith F. Kelly
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