won't boot after 8.0-RELEASE upgrade

Ivo Karabojkov ivo at kit-bg.com
Wed Dec 9 08:07:57 UTC 2009

As I guessed, I am using standard, not DD mode. Despite of this I was unable
to boot, and even more: FreeBSD 8.0 sysinstall did not find any partitions
neither on the (g)mirror, hardware RAID I described above or any individual
disks part of the RAID. I had to use FreeBSD 7.2 livefs to copy my data
after I formatted one of the disks with new 8.0 sysinstall.
I think this makes our problem totally unexplained.
As an example I'll show you my "unable to boot system with gmirror" fstab:

# Device                Mountpoint      FStype  Options         Dump   
/dev/mirror/gm0s1b              none            swap    sw              0      
/dev/mirror/gm0s1a              /               ufs     rw              1      
/dev/mirror/gm0s1d              /usr            ufs     rw              2      
/dev/mirror/gm0s1e              /var            ufs     rw,acls         2      
/dev/acd0               /cdrom          cd9660  ro,noauto       0       0

Something I've noticed: when formatting an entire disk with sysinstall prior
7.0 its partition looks like this:

Offset       Size(ST)        End     Name  PType       Desc  Subtype   

         0         63         62        -     12     unused        0
        63  781417602  781417664    ad4s1      8    freebsd      165
 781417665       2990  781420654        -     12     unused        0

When formatted with later versions of sysinstall it looks like this:

Offset       Size(ST)        End     Name  PType       Desc  Subtype   

         0         63         62        -     12     unused        0
        63  625142385  625142447    ad4s1      8    freebsd      165

I notice that the free part at the end is missing. My "hardware" raid,
described above in this thread, stores its metadata in the beginning of the
disk. Writes in the first sectors result in mirror break and the error I
wrote already. I know all of this because I did a lot of tests to help all
of you to find our problem out.

I have to say that my problems occured with system initially installed with
FreeBSD 5 or 6. One system with single drive installed with 7.2 (second
example) upgraded with no problems.

I hope my tests will help to find out what happens wit our older
"disklabelled" systems.

Polytropon wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Dec 2009 14:09:16 -0800 (PST), Ivo Karabojkov <ivo at kit-bg.com>
> wrote:
>> So I'd like to know how
>> to distinguish mode of my current filesystems - is it standard or
>> dangerously dedicated?
> If you've first created a slice on the disk, and then
> partitions inside the slice, it's standard mode, e. g.
> 	ad0   a    b       d       e       f       g
> 	{  [  (/)  (swap)  (/tmp)  (/var)  (/usr)  (/home)  ]  }
> 	   s1
> If you've omitted the slice, and created the partitions
> on the disk device itself, it's dangerosly dedicated mode, e. g.
> 	ad0
> 	{  (/)  (swap)  (/tmp)  (/var)  (/usr)  (/home)  }
> 	   a    b       d       e       f       g
> You can tell by the existence of ad0s1[adefg] vs. ad0[adefg]
> in /dev, or by trying to print the disks's slice table.
> -- 
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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