cracked out floppy install

Loren M. Lang lorenl at
Tue Feb 8 10:34:58 PST 2005

On Mon, Feb 07, 2005 at 10:52:53PM -0500, daniel wrote:
> On February 7, 2005 10:40 pm, Chris Hill wrote:
> > On Mon, 7 Feb 2005, daniel wrote:
> > > i've been trying to install freebsd-5.3RELEASE on this old computer on
> > > and off for days now.  i downloaded the floppies, watched the thing
> > > boot and each and every time, it'll get to the little beastie prompt
> > > where it counts down and is *supposed* to run sysinst but instead, it
> > > just reboots!
> >
> > That's just peculiar. Maybe you need more RAM? Couldn't hurt, anyway.
> > The 16M you cite below seems a bit meager.
> well the handbook says freebsd5 has a minimum requirement of 8mb, so 16 should 
> be fine.  but even if it weren't, you'd think there'd be some form of useful 
> error message instead of just rebooting.  it just makes no sense.
> > I've found that *many* - maybe even most - floppies are bad out of the
> > box. I buy the 25- or 50-pack, and churn through until I find two good
> > ones. Sometimes it takes a while.
> how can i tell what makes a good one then?  i just can't go through 50 disks 
> hoping to get one right.   i haven't received any errors, so i'm working 
> under the assumption that they work.

Do a diff:

diff /dev/fd0 myfloppy.img

If it doesn't complain then it's probably good.  Also, if you use
something like:

dd if=myfloppy.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k

to make the floppy image then you should get

1+0 records in
1+0 records out

with no errors if the floppies good.  I also have a not of trouble
finding good floppies to boot from.  Just keep trying over and over.  If
both dd and diff succeed then it's probably something else that's the
matter.  I think sometimes floppy drives can be slightly out of
adjustment of each other so one drive may have trouble reading the
contents of a floppy made on a different drive so I try to use the same
computer when I can to man the floppy and boot from it.

> > Other than the RAM, this should be fine as long as you don't plan on
> > storing much data. I'd use this machine as a home gateway/firewall/NAT
> > box.
> the plan at the moment is experimentation and maybe dns for one domain or 
> something.  i just need it to install first and guessing with 50 floppies 
> seems a bit nuts.
> -- 
> what the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying.
>   - nikita khrushchev
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Bluescreen leads to downtime.
Downtime leads to suffering.
NT is the path to the darkside.
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