Dual booting FreeBSD and Windows XP - PROBLEM

John DeStefano deesto at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 1 07:09:31 PDT 2003

"James A. Coulter" <jacoulter at earthlink.net> wrote:
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John DeStefano" 
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: Dual booting FreeBSD and Windows XP

> >"Jud" wrote:
> >On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 17:55:25 -0400 (EDT), "Jerry McAllister"
> > said:
> >> >
> >> > Hello,
> >> >
> >> > I have a computer with Windows XP installed on it.
> >> > I want to dual boot it with FreeBSD.
> >> > My question is: does FreeBSD's boot loader support loading XP?
> >> > Because I've heard XP doesn't like it's MBR being overwritten. Is
> >this
> >> > true?
> >>
> >> I believe both statements are true.
> >> Anyway, you can boot XP with FreeBSD's MBR and that's the important
> >one.
> >>
> >> ////jerry
> >
> >I see most of the usual suspects have weighed in - may as well complete
> >the list. :-)
> >
> >Jerry's right and so's Adam. I happen to be using GAG right now,
> >because
> >it's pretty automagic and I have a slightly complicated setup.
> >
> >I'd recommend that even if you decide to use the FreeBSD bootloader or
> >GAG that you also have a look at the online FAQ and Google this list.
> >These resources as well as the man pages and the online Handbook will
> >stand you in good stead as you continue with FreeBSD.
> >
> >Jud
> And yet another vote for GAG, this time from a newbie! ;)
> I have a FreeBSD/Windows 98/Windows XP system, and although I
> once had it booting from a FBSD loader, GAG was so easy to install and
> configure that I've switched over. It works very well, and it's very easy
> use. Just copy the program to a floppy and boot with it. Use the setup
> menu to add your OS selections, add a descriptive name for each (and
> even a different icon to distinguish them!), install your choices to the
> hard drive from the menu, and off you go.
> ~John

GAG worked great on my Dell Inspirion 2650 FreeBSD - XP/setup, but when I
installed it on an old Gateway with Win98 - FreeBSD, it did something funky.

I get the GAG boot screen and regardless of whether I choose Win98 or
FreeBSD the system states it is starting Windows 98 and then, after
attempting to access the floppy drive, asks "Type the name of the Command
Interpreter (e.g., C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM)" and finishes with the A> prompt.

Entering C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM is not recoginized by the system (it repeats
the request for the command interpreter) and inserting a floppy with
COMMAND.COM results in the system freezing.

I tried booting from floppy, worked fine, but system will not recoginize the
c: drive.

Uninstalling GAG only removes the GAG start-up screen, system still asks for
the command interpreter.

Read the GAG instructions and FAQ - no luck.

Anyone had a problem like this? Any suggestions on how to restore my hard
drive without losing any data?



I'm no guru, but this could be as simple as re-installing GAG, removing all file systems from the menu, and starting from scratch to re-add your OS selections (which will take all of a minute's time).  This worked for me once when I had a problem booting; something had changed on the disk and GAG just needed to adjust to the change.  Give it a try.

Failing that... I don't know whether 98 has a 'repair install' option like XP does, but if so, that might be a solution.  Also might work to let BSD write its boot menu to the MBR.  Maybe someone else can chime in with more info.


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