Migrating FreeBsd installation to another hard drive

Chris Roos chris at seagul.co.uk
Wed Jul 6 16:11:01 GMT 2005


I've recently had the job of moving a FreeBsd installation to another 
hard drive.

After quite a lot of reading I got round to following this article[1] 
using a VMWare FreeBsd instance.  In brief the article uses dump and 
restore to move the data from one mounted partition to another in single 
user mode.  It also suggests that before you do this, you perform a 
minimum install on the destination disk to ensure that it boots fine.

First time round, I did the minimum install and then followed the steps 
(minus the MAKEDEV step as I'm running 5.3R) to backup the data to the 
destination.  This all worked fine.

Second time round, I didn't do a minimum install, rather I just set-up 
the slice and partitions on the destination using sysinstall, and then 
did the dump/restore.  On booting from the destination disk this time, 
nothing happened.  I reasoned that it was because I had no boot manager 
installed and so went ahead and used boot0cfg -B to install the FreeBsd 
boot manager.  The disk now boots; however, I would prefer to use the 
equivalent of the 'Standard - Install a standard MBR (no boot manager)' 
option from sysinstall as FreeBsd is the only OS on the disk and so I 
don't need the option of booting to it or anything else.  I'm guessing 
that I would use fdisk to do this but if so am not entirely sure how. 
In addition, is this safe to perform on a disk with data or would I need 
to go through the dump/restore process again?

One final question is whether the dump/restore process is the best 
approach in this instance?  I have read about using dd but am not 
entirely sure whether this would do what I need?

Thanks in advance for any help,


[1] http://bsdvault.net/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=121

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