That Drive Geometry Bug

nospam at nospam at
Mon Dec 26 17:45:47 PST 2005

I am trying to back up the drive I have been using (which is now full)
onto a 60GB Seagate IDE drive - ST360020A. After a bunch of failures at
configuring the disk, I did some searching on the web and found some info
on the "drive geometry bug".

I followed the directions I found there - essentially, go into my BIOS at
boot time, write down the drive geometry that the BIOS thinks I have and
then plug those numbers into FreeBSD fdisk at the beginning of

What happened:
1. FreeBSD complained that the drive geometry it was seeing was wrong, and
was using its own best guess: 7297/255/63.
2. I hit "G" and edited the C/H/S to that which the BIOS reported:
3. I hit Enter; the installer said `Nope, you're wrong! I'm going to use
my best guess instead!'

No matter how many times I try to enter the info, it changes it back to
whatever it thinks is more correct.

I tried switching the head and sector info (trying 28733/255/16). but no joy.

Is there a way to coax the installer into cooperating?

Thanks -
-- paz.

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