Making a disk bootable...

Peter McGarvey fbsd-x at
Mon Jul 14 06:34:05 PDT 2003

* Ian Freislich <ianf at> [2003-07-14 13:58:39 BST]:
> Hi
> 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
> bootable?

And this may sound like a really stupid answer, but have you considered
using /stand/sysinstall?

> 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
> box)?
> Ian
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Peter McGarvey
Freelance FreeBSD Hacker
(will work for bandwidth)

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