Questions on first-time installation
jerrymc at msu.edu
Tue Nov 7 20:42:17 UTC 2006
On Tue, Nov 07, 2006 at 10:33:30AM -0500, Bob Schwartz wrote:
> First, to all who answered...many thanks! I can see I found the right
Sorry for top posting, but I think, given the conditions you specify,
probably the best thing for you to do is buy another drive - and
replace one of the others to experiment with FreeBSD for a while.
I would suggest replacing whatever one comes up first in the boot
order, but that is not absolutely necessary. If you put it on a
drive farther down in the boot order, you would need to install a
FreeBSD aware MBR (probably the FreeBSD MBR) on the first drive in
the boot order as well as on the disk where you install FreeBSD.
That is no problem except it doesn't quite meet your conditions.
Otherwise, that SCSI drive might be a good candidate for swapping
out, since it is being used for backups and not the actual production
If you do not replace a drive to do the install, you will have to
shrink one of the MS-Win primary partitions to make room for FreeBSD.
There are freeware utilities that can do that if MS-Win is on a FAT
or FAT32 slice (primary partition). But they will not work on an NTFS
type partition. You would have to buy a commercial one. I have
successfully used Partition Magic on NTFS partitions to make room
for a FreeBSD slice. ---- Note the use of primary partition and slice
here. MS calls it partition, but FreeBSD UNIX calls it a slice and
then provides for subdivisions of slices that it calls partitions.
I don't know about shrinking a partition on a raid. I have never tried
that. It might be a disaster or it might work just fine. But, I
would be inclined to make that my last choice.
> >>You're on the right list, but it helps to use a subject line.<<
> Noted and done.
> >>You should not install on that machine, then. Its not uncommon for first
> time users to hose other installations. Based on your "under no
> circumstances" statement, you need to ask yourself two questions:
> 1) Do I have a complete and reliable backup of my Windows stuff?<<
> >>2) Can I afford the time to restore from backup if I do something wrong?<<
> >>1) Recruit a trusted friend who has done this before to help.<<
> Don't have one where I am...indeed, don't have one who knows what I need to
> learn on this topic.
> >>2) Don't use that machine for your first install.<<
> Other than my laptop it is the only one I have...and I have spent so much
> downtime on problems with large and complex windows installs that I have
> decided it is "cheaper" to get started on getting away from it than to do
> something else.
> That said, I do sufficient volunteer work myself combined with my normal
> "activity nightmarish" life<g>, that I also don't have months to get this
> But, at risk of appearing arrogant, I'll offer that I am a fast learner.
> If I can find someone who might, at my expense if necessary, spend a little
> time with me either on-line or on the phone, so I can get past the install
> process of properly IDing what bsd reports about my drives..so I know I am
> on the right drive and not destroying something, that would be wonderful.
> >>The BSD boot manager _will_ displace any other boot manager, although it
> works just as well in every instance I've done it.<<
> That was my guess....and I don't care if it replaces it as long as I still
> have the functionality
> >>There's a lot of detail missing here. Have you gone through the handbook
> section on installation?<<
> Sorry and "yes".
> >>If that doesn't help with your questions, you're going to have to provide
> more information. You say you have 3 - 73G drives and a 146G drive, but you
> don't describe how they are laid out. <<
> Indeed, your're right....two of the three 73 gigs are on a new SAS raid 1
> array and the third is by itself, non-raid.
> The scsi drive is on a separate scsi card by itself and I have been using it
> for backups of backups.
> >>What do you think you should see, and what do you actually see?<<
> Because this new SAS raid (new to me; I'm an old hand at conventional SCSI)
> involves some kind of virtual disk, at least as it is desribed in the DELL
> docs and bios...and I have just gotten this 690 workstation and don't know
> the ins and outs of SAS vs. conventional SCSI...I am not sure that what I
> see in the screen print when I attempt to install is even giving me an
> option to install on the scsi drive only.
> Finally, I will go thru the install again today or tonight and write down
> what I see...as I could not print it from the screen itself...but in no way
> did it give me the listing of drives that even the install process did
> earlier in the process itself..where it showed me four drives.
> If I can just figure out what drive I am supposedly seeing, that would get
> me to the next steps.
> Also, your (or someone else's) suggestion that I disconnect the others for
> the moment is a good one...and I guess that that would do, except that I
> would not end up with a boot manager when I hook the others back up
> Also, what, if anything, would that do to any of the data on the other
> drives after the fact?
> Whatever the result of this thread, I appreciate everyone's time...thank
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