Dell blade Re: a fun project

Dieter freebsd at
Sun Mar 30 14:06:59 PDT 2008

> > If you solve this, be sure to let us know.
> You make funnee, he he. ME? Let's just say that this'll be my first foray
> into the boot process.

Okay, let me rephrase that.  If you find a solution (perhaps suggested
by someone else), let us know.  You're the one with access to the
hardware, so you're the only one who can test proposed solutions,
and thus the only one who will know if it works.

Yeah, I'm having lots of "fun" trying to get 7.0 to boot on my Tyan board,
which boots 6.2 fine.  Learning lots of stuff about FreeBSD's boot process.

> Capital learning experience. :)))

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted."

> > > I was able to get the i386 ISO to complete the probe and move on to the
> > > FreeBSD sysinstall menu, but wasn't able to complete the install due to
> > the
> > > fact that there are no ATAPI CDROM ports on the blade and it couldn't
> > use
> > > the USB CD as a source.
> >
> > IIRC you can get a sh prompt from the sysinstall menu.
> > Then you can fdisk, newfs, and mount a hard drive, and if it will let you
> > mount the CD, you can do something like
> >
> >        export DESTDIR=/mnt
> >        cd /cdrom/7.0-RELEASE
> >        for foo in base doc catpages dict games info manpages proflibs
> > ports lib32
> >        do
> >                cd ${foo}
> >                ./
> >                cd ..
> >        done
> >        cd kernels
> >        ./ generic  # or whichever kernel you think will run best
> > on your box
> >        sync
> This is good data. Thanks for the details, Dieter. If I can get to the
> prompt, I can now avoid the USB CD issue, though I may have to make a CD
> with a kernel that has cam enabled, which I believe is not  in the GENERIC.
> (?) The BTX loader did identify the USB CD as cd0, so maybe I'm okay without
> atapicam.

I recently learned that you don't have to build a new kernel to get atapicam.
Try "kldload atapicam".  I need atapicam to write DVDs, but it might read CDs
without?  Seems like it would have to be able to read the CD to install from
the CD.

I'm not sure what you'll be able to get to from the sysinstall shell.
If it has mounted the cdrom, (which seems likely) you may be able to get
to the 7.0-RELEASE directory.

> > There is also the build a hard disk on another machine, then move it
> > to the target machine method.
> I don't think I have access to a more normal system that utilizes these
> drives. They're removable 2.5" SAS6 drives. However, it may indeed be that
> one of our earlier Magnum (2S Opteron) blades will work and I can build a
> drive on one of them, as you suggest. Worth a try.

IIRC you can plug a SATA drive into a SAS controller?

If it will boot from a USB CD, maybe it will boot from a USB hard drive?

Not everything that should work does work.  I once tried dd-ing an iso image
to a hard drive, but the firmware will not boot an iso from a hard drive,
only from a cd drive.

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