Problem booting WinXP from second drive

Jud judmarc at
Mon Feb 2 19:42:11 PST 2004

On Sun, 1 Feb 2004 13:36:27 -0800, Relayer <relayer at> wrote:

> I have a machine with FreeBSD 4.2 running on one drive.  I wanted to try  
> dual booting and mucking about with wine, so I decided to install WinXP  
> as well.  To avoid messing up my primary drive, I thought I would be  
> able to accomplish the process in the following way:
> 1.  disconnect primary drive
> 2.  connect second drive (so it looks like the only one in the PC) and  
> install WinXP on it
> 3.  verify that WinXP boots off this drive
> 4.  install FreeBSD boot loader on this drive
> 5.  verify that WinXP boots using FreeBSD boot loader
> All works as expected to this point.
> Then I hook up the primary drive again and reboot.  I see the following  
> at boot time:
> F1: FreeBSD
> F2: FreeBSD
> F5: Drive 1
> I hit F5.  Then I see
> F1: DOS
> F5: Drive 0
> When I hit F1, I expect WinXP to boot.  But nothing happens.  The  
> machine just sits there.  I have scanned a lot of material in the  
> Handbook and on google today and yesterday, but I cannot figure out what  
> I did wrong.  Does anybody have any ideas that don't involve using grub  
> or gag or something else?

The sleight-of-hand with the drives is unnecessary.  :)  Let Windows stay  
on the first drive where it wants to be.  FreeBSD is happy on the second  
drive.  The FreeBSD boot loader must be installed on *both* drives.

The loader will call your XP drive "???" if it's formatted using NTFS.  It  
will boot XP just fine, it's just that there are several OSs that have  
filesystems resembling NTFS (e.g., OS/2 and QNX), and the FreeBSD  
bootloader doesn't have the extra space used by fancier bootloaders to  
store multiple user-selectable names.


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