how to set up a dual boot system

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Feb 14 00:17:24 GMT 2005

On Sun, Feb 13, 2005 at 06:37:39PM -0500, Marty Landman wrote:
> At 06:08 PM 2/13/2005, Roland Smith wrote:
> >On Sun, Feb 13, 2005 at 05:40:13PM -0500, Marty Landman wrote:
> >> I have a box with 3 ide's
> >>
> >> primary master - 4 gb, win 98 currently installed @ 150 mb in size

That would be ad0,

> >> primary slave - 4 gb, empty


> >> secondary slave - 6 gb, empty

and ad3. See §2.5 of the Handbook.

> >You can install FreeBSD on any harddisk. If you want dual-boot, you'll
> >need to install a boot manager.
> Ok, I understand how to do that much but wasn't sure it could work that way.
> >Usually it's best to install Windows first, because it will overwrite
> >the master boot record anyway.
> Cool, I guessed right (eventually).
> >If you want to install FreeBSD on the first drive, you have to make room
> >for it.
> Need some enlightenment here.
> >I think the standard for Windows is to take the entire disk
> The entire partition afaik. Therefore right now in fbsd terms I have
> ads0 - 4 gb
> ads1 - 4 gb
> ads2 - 6 gb

I don't think this is correct. See above.

You probably have ad0, ad1 and ad3. Those are the disks.

All disks can be devided into paritions, which FreeBSD calls slices.

Say that ad0 has only one partition. In that case you wouls see two
devices in /dev: ad0 and ad0s1. The first denotes the disk, the second a
partition on the disk, which you can mount as a filesystem.

> and to go right into the fbsd install would have to give all of ads0 to 
> windows, which I don't want to do.
> Now, I could reformat the first ide with windows' fdisk... say I did this 
> and created two partitions of .5 & 3.5 gb respectively. They'd be windows 
> partitions so that wouldn't necessarily work, or would it? Doing this I'd 
> have to reinstall windows after.

You can leave the 3.5 GB unused during Windows installation.

> In that case, would fbsd see
> ads0 - .5 gb
> ads1 - 3.5 gb
> ads2 - 4 gb
> ads3 - 6 gb

No. FreeBSD's fdisk would see ad0s1 (your windows partition) and either
a lot of free space or ad0s2. In the first case you could use the free
space to create one or several FreeBSD clices, in the second case you
could delete the second partition or change its type.

> >so you'd have to shrink the windows partition or repartition the disk and 
> >reinstall windows on a
> >new partition. There are free tools like parted available to resize FAT 
> >partitions.
> Roland, are you saying that if I were to install fbsd now on
> ads1 - 4 gb
> ads2 - 6 gb
> then I could later on install parted and use it to shrink ads0 and allocate 
> the overage to fbsd? If so, that sounds like my best option.

The best way is to prepare the disk space _before_ installing FreeBSD,
e.g. by running parted from a bootable CD. BTW, 

If you're going to muck around with partitions, 

   *be sure to backup all your important data*.

> Thanks,

Hope this helps,

R.F. Smith                           /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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