Boot loop in FreeBSD 5.2-RELEASE after install

Mike Newell mnewell at
Thu Feb 19 18:48:06 PST 2004

On Wed, 18 Feb 2004, Tony Frank wrote:

tfrank> Hi there,
tfrank> > Can anyone help?  Is there any way to slow the bootup process so I can at
tfrank> > least read the errors?
tfrank> While I cannot perhaps comment on your problem, you can try either pressing
tfrank> 'pause' key or 'scrolllock' which might help depending on where the problems
tfrank> are occuring.

They don't work.  Fortunately I was able to:

  1. Hook a null modem to the serial port and my laptop.
  2. Run hyperterm on my laptop to view serial port data.
  3. During the initial boot load hit ESC to get the "Boot:" promt,
     then do "-h" to switch to serial console.
  4. Capture the stuff on the serial console.

What it does is repeatedly go through the BTX boot loader, saying
something like (this is from memory):

  BTX loader...
  BIOS Drive A is disk 0
  BIOS Drive C is disk 1
  BIOS Drive D is disk 2

  BTX loader...
  BIOS Drive A is disk 3
  BIOS Drive C is disk 4
  BIOS Drive D is disk 5

  BTX loader...

and so on.  Eventually it runs out of drive numbers and starts saying
"Can't figure out our boot device" a few times, then crashes with an
assert error.  Looks like the loader is just looping until it runs out of

If I try to boot directly into the kernel the cursor changes from a
blinking underscore to a solid block and the system just locks up.

In no case is there an error message or any other indication that
something is weird.

tfrank> Do you get past the "F1 FreeBSD" part to the loader?
tfrank> ie do you see a "-" appear on screen?

Yes.  This happens after the "F1 FreeBSD" prompt.

tfrank> Can you perhaps try a serial console?
tfrank> If you can get into the boot loader you should be able to set com1 as
tfrank> your console.

Did it.  Didn't help...  :-(



More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list