Making a disk bootable...

Ian Freislich ianf at
Mon Jul 14 05:57:26 PDT 2003


This might sound like a really simple question, but what used to
work no longer does.  How do you partition, label and make a disk

I've used fdisk to create one slice (da0s1).  I then used bsdlabel
to make make the partitions a, b, e and f.  Then to put the boot
block on 'disklabel -B /dev/da0s1' - if I 'disklabel -B /dev/da0'
it trashes the label.  Then I copy all my filesystems off the IDE
drive I'm trying to rid myself of onto the SCSI disk.  When I tell
the BIOS to boot off SCSI, it complains 'Missing Operating System'.

So I try to dd the first 512 bytes of ad0 onto da0.  The BIOS now
doesn't complain about a missing operating system, it just hangs
and the label on da0 is trashed.

So, after about 7 cycles of fdisk, label, newfs, dump, restore,
boot SCSI die 'Missing Operating System', boot IDE I give up and
try to use sysinstall compiled on July 9 from sources of the same
thinking 'surely the installer must be able to make a disk bootable'.
It can't either.  BTW, it doesn't even make the filesystems when
you 'w'rite the changes in the label editor, even though it say's
it's makeing the filesystems.  So for the moment, I have to keep
the IDE disk just for the MBR and type '1:da(0,a)/boot/loader' which
is a bit inconvenient.

Does anyone have any suggestions short of putting the disks I want
labeled in a -STABLE box (which will be a major PITA since my -STABLE
box doesn't have SCSI and the controler is on-board on my -CURRENT


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