Recovery? recent "make world" rendered system unusable (64 bit change)

Chris Shenton chris at
Tue Nov 18 21:44:00 PST 2003

Barney Wolff <barney at> writes:

> Re-install/upgrade from a cd.  Upgrade should leave your files alone.

Thanks, Barney -- that's what I did and it saved my butt.

A few folks suggested either LiveCD images or "fixit" functionality.
I was kinda dead in the water and didn't think I could download a
LiveCD and burn it from another system.  I played with the floppy
"fixit" functionality a bit but didn't see a way to preserve /etc and

So I used a 5.1-RELEASE CD I had and used the UPGRADE option which
promised to save my /etc stuff.  I specified my old mount points
(fortunately, I was able to read /etc/fstab from the boot "OK" prompt
and make paper notes!).  I then tried -- twice -- to install the
"minimal" system from the CD and both times it kernel panic'd with a
page fault (in process bufdaemon, last time).

For grins, I again specified my mounts (only /, /var, /tmp, /usr; I
didn't bother with /home and /usr/local), and told it to install via
FTP. Surprisingly, this worked -- no panic.

It appears to have installed a working kernel, /bin, /usr/bin, and
friends and now I'm running again.  I'm now doing a "make build world"
and then will do a "make kernel KERNCONF=MyKernelDefinitionFileName",
then finally a "make installworld" per the UPGRADING guide.

I've never used the Upgrade option to FreeBSD and I've been using it
heavily since 2.2.x.  It's a good thing.

Many thanks to everyone who replied.

I promise I'll scan UPGRADING before doing a "make *world" next time!

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