FreeBSD 6.1 setup doesn't see my HDD

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Nov 27 09:22:29 PST 2006

On Mon, Nov 27, 2006 at 06:58:32PM +0200, Dima wrote:

> > On Mon, Nov 27, 2006 at 01:10:16PM +0200, Dima wrote:
> > Usually, with FreeBSD, you just ignore those geometry messages.
> > This should be especially true if you plan to use the whole disk
> > for FreeBSD.    The geometry that is reported is "virtual" and does
> > not really mean anything for you.    Don't try to do anything to the
> > BIOS settings for it either.    Just take the [fdisk] option that says
> > to create one large slice comprising the whole disk for FreeBSD and it
> > should overwrite everything nicely.
> >
> > If this doesn't work then it will be necessary to know more about
> > just what kind of disk you are trying to use.
> I've tried to create one large slice too. All goes fine until Commit. When
> install tries to write on disk it shows:
> ERROR: Unable to write data to disk ad0!

Hmmm.   I am presuming you are booted from an install CD.
The times I have seen this message are when I tried to fdisk a
drive that had stuff currently mounted and/or was the disk I
was booted to.

> By the way there are some error messages regarding this on Ctrl+Alt+F2
> (during install), but they say nothing to me:
> ad0: WARNING - READ_DMA UDMA ICRC error (retrying request) LBA=0
> ad0: WARNING - READ_DMA UDMA ICRC error (retrying request) LBA=0
> LBA=0
> They're repeated 4 times.

I don't remember seeing anything like those when I had the afore-mentioned 
problem.  That looks like something is connected wrong or being addressed 
wrong.  It isn't a geometry issue, I don't think. 

> My HDD is Master on first IDE-channel, CD-ROM - Secondary on the same
> channel.

Can you find the dmesg information for both the disk and the CD reader
during the boot?   Are they producing device identifiers and specs that 
look correct?
Those lines will start with 'adnn:' and 'acdnn:' where nn is a number,
probably '0' (you hope).


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