FreeBSD 5.4 install problem. Newbee needs help.

Glenn Dawson glenn at
Wed Aug 10 02:17:18 GMT 2005

At 06:11 PM 8/9/2005, William Manley wrote:
>I am a new FreeBSD user and I have an installation that has gone bad. My 
>problems started when I enabled XDM for a graphical logon into Gnome. When 
>I logged in as root the system just looped back to the logon screen. I 
>then assumed I had configured my .xinitrc file wrong so I booted the 
>install cdrom into Fixit mode and tried to mount the root filesystem on 
>the hardisk which the operating system would not let me do. The following 
>are the commands I typed with the output.
>mount /dev/ad0s1a /mnt
>operation not permitted

That may be because the filesystem is not marked as clean.  Try using fsck 
to verify it's consistency.  If that works, you should be able to mount it.

>disklabel -r ad0
>no valid label found

If you're using slices (which it looks like you are from the dev name 
above) you should do bsdlabel /dev/ad0s1 to see the partitions in that slice.

Output from bsdlabel will look something like this assuming you used the 
defailts when you installed:

test54# bsdlabel /dev/ad0s1
# /dev/ad0s1:
8 partitions:
#        size   offset    fstype   [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
   a:   524288        0    4.2BSD     2048 16384 32776
   b:  2042752   524288      swap
   c: 390716802        0    unused        0     0         # "raw" part, 
don't edit
   d:   524288  2567040    4.2BSD     2048 16384 32776
   e:   524288  3091328    4.2BSD     2048 16384 32776
   f: 387101186  3615616    4.2BSD     2048 16384 28552

a should be your root partition.
d would be /var.
e is /tmp.
and f would be /usr.
assuming you used the defaults.

>ls did show something.
>ls /dev/ad0*
>/dev/ad0 /dev/ad0sla /dev/ad0s1c /dev/ad0s1e
>/dev/ad0s1 /dev/ad0s1b /dev/ad0s1d /dev/ad0s1f
>fdisk /dev/ad0
>working on /dev/ad0
>figures below won't work with bios for partitions not in cyl 1. Parameters 
>to be used for bios calculations are:
>cylinders= 77504 heads= 16 sectors/track= 63 (1008 blks/cyl)
>media sector size is 512
>Warning: bios sector numbering starts with sector 1
>Information from DOS boot block is:
>The data for partition 1 is:
>sys id 165 (0xa5), (FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
>start 63, size 78124032 (38146 meg) flag 80 active
>beg: cly0/ head1/ sector 1
>end: cyl 1023/ head 254/ sector 63
>Does the warning tell me that my bios is not set up properly for FreeBSD 
>to work with the hardisk setup.

That warning is always there.  It's just a reminder that sectors are 
numbered 1-63 not 0-62.

>  The handbook says to set up your bios to select hardisk's naturally. 
> Before starting the install I looked at the bios and was not sure what to 
> configure. Should I go to the basic page and set the hardisk as 
> uninstalled? Any help in getting back into my system will be appreciated. 
> If I have to reinstall I'll do it.

Most BIOS will auto detect the hard drive just fine.  If you stick with the 
defaults you should be fine.


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