Unable to create the partition. Too big?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Fri Nov 19 09:12:34 PST 2004

David E. Meier wrote:
> Yep, that did work. I did not delete the swap partition before. After
> deleting all of the partitions I was able to create the table as intended.
> However, I've installed FreeBSD in a similar way a couple of times before
> and never seen this happen. Does anyone know the reason for it? Dave.

The root partition is somewhat special, in that the BIOS needs to pass control 
of the system to a file (the bootloader, and then the kernel) it loads from 
there.  Once FreeBSD is started, it has a more reasonable view of the world 
and is not subject to limitations sometimes found in old BIOSes.

In particular, there used to be a requirement that the boot partition fit 
within the first 1024 cylinders of the boot drive, which obviously dates back 
to C/H/S geometries rather than the modern LBA view that reasonable software 
like FreeBSD would prefer to use.  sysinstall has some understanding of these 
limitations, but the resulting error messages tend to be imprecise.

While this explanation does not exactly match your description of what 
happened (as I'd expect the creation of / to fail, not /usr), well, it doesn't 
surprise me that putting a large swap partition first before / doesn't always 
work.  :-)  Put / first and you'll probably have better luck.


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