Boot and MBR.

Mark Weisman mark at
Thu Feb 26 18:23:28 PST 2004

Just out of curiosity what is the order in creating a dual boot system?
Which operating system do you put on first? I see that having WinXP
setup in partitions is not a good idea, yet I'm not aware of how to load
the system in just a slice? I would appreciate any and all help in
trying to get this thing online. I need my workstation back as soon as
possible. Thanks.

Res Ipsa Loquitor,
Mark-Nathaniel Weisman
Site Master

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Weisman 
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 4:59 PM
To: Jerry McAllister
Cc: questions at
Subject: RE: Boot and MBR.

You are right, I have them setup originally under WinXP as partitions,
then added FreeBSD to the second partition where it calls it a slice.
Divided up the slice into the required folders. I have tested, and it is
not cosmetic, in that when I select that menu item, the computer goes to
the next row and stays indefinitely. I can put WinXP back on the
computer if I have to, however, wouldn't that put the WinXP MBR on the
box? I've gone in under fdisk and set the slice bootable, however
nothing. I'm not sure how to install it now to just that slice. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.

Res Ipsa Loquitor,
Mark-Nathaniel Weisman
Site Master

-----Original Message-----
From: Jerry McAllister [mailto:jerrymc at] 
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 1:27 PM
To: Mark Weisman
Cc: questions at
Subject: Re: Boot and MBR.

> I've got my primary drive divided in two partitions, one partition had

> WindowsXP and the other has FreeBSD 5.1-Release on it. I had WindowsXP

> installed and working until I put FreeBSD on the second partition and
> had it take control of the MBR. I know that the other partition is 
> still bootable if I can get a pointer to it, currently the boot menu 
> shows it
> as:
>   F!: ??
>   F2: FreeBSD
> How can I get that first menu choice to look at the installation on
> first partition as bootable? Making the machine a dual boot between
> two system?

The fact that it displays ?? is only a cosmetic problem.
Have you tried selecting F1 to see if it will boot the XP slice?   
Mine does.

Also, a side issue, in FreeBSD land, what you have is a disk
with tw0 'slices' as apposed to partitions.   Probably you have
your FreeBSD slice divided up in to several 'partitions'.   MS calls
the primary divisions of a disk partitions, but in BSD UNIX land they
are called slices.

> The second question I have, is can I put the command startx into my
> rc.conf file to have it boot directly into the x-server? Any help on 
> these two would be awesome. Thanks.

I have not been successfule with that sort of thing.   Anyway, I 
don't think just putting it in rc.conf would do the trick because 
that just sets a bunch of variables in there.  Then the stuff is
actually run from rc (and some other places I think) using those 
variable values set in /etc/defaults/rc.conf and /etc/rc.conf..

I think you might not want your startx to fire off until after
you log in anyway.    That would mean putting it in .login (if 
you have a csh or tcsh shell)  and that is what didn't work
for me, though I didn't try many variations.

But, someone else better weigh in on this.


> Res Ipsa Loquitor,
> Mark-Nathaniel Weisman
> Site Master
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