Booting FreeBSD-5.3 from NTLDR

Mark Ovens marko at
Wed Feb 2 08:05:57 PST 2005

Rakhesh Sasidharan wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 01:48:47 -0800, Loren M. Lang <lorenl at> wrote:
>> Unless BootPart specifically know about how the freebsd boot loaders
>> work and how to reconize them, I doubt that it's modifying those
>> parameters.  Now the last 66 bytes of the MBR stores the partition table
>> of the hard drive, it's possible that BootPart might try to modify that
>> as it's not part of the boot loader, but the boot loader uses that
>> information.
> Possible. I even checked BootPart's site and forums, but didn't find
> any mention that it is "FreeBSD-aware" etc. All they talk about is
> Windows and DOS and Linux. I had a good mind to sign up on the forums
> and ask the author -- but wasn't too keen on signing up and so left
> it.
> I know it modifies the bootsector some way, coz when I boot using the
> extracted file I get a message (and a second's pause) saying that this
> bootsector was extracted using BootPart blah blah ...

I don't know about BootPart, but the FreeBSD boot manager replaces the 
MBR on _both_ disks and allows booting from either.

The limitation is in NTLDR because it's M$ so is only designed for 
booting M$ OSes and the BOOTSECT file method is designed for booting DOS 
and non-NT class Windows which could only boot from the first partition 
on the first drive anyway therefore there is no need for NTLDR to 
support booting from the second, third, etc. disk using a BOOTSECT file.


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