how to set up a dual boot system

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Feb 14 16:16:19 GMT 2005

> Does this mean I should start over, installing fbsd first and setting aside 
> a slice on the first disk (second slice say) for windows?

No, definitely not.

> If I do that, will windows be able to format that second slice, i.e. will 
> it see it as a partition?

No, that doesn't matter at all.

MS does not play friendly with any other system.
You have to install it first and then any other UNIX type system
or at least reinstall the MBR after installing MS - best to just
do MS first and then FreeBSD.

What happens is that MS will overwrite any boot information you 
install with FreeBSD or any third party booter (Grub, Gag, etc) 
and wipe it out.   Since the MS booter refuses to know anything
about any other system, you have to install it first, and then 
tell FreeBSD (or third party booter) to install over top of it.

You cannot get a Win-98 system to boot to FreeBSD or Linux or whatever.
It refuses to know anything except Win-98 no matter which order you do it.
You have to have the FreeBSD (or lilo, etc) in there last because it 
knows how to boot to everything.

So, make sure MS-98 or whatever is there and happy and then do the
FreeBSD install and tell it to put an MBR in the the first disk
as well as the others.   It will then work just fine (other than
maybe seeing some ??? in the boot menu - although MS-98 is old
enough and doesn't use NTFS so the FreeBSD MBR should know enough
to name it MSDOS).

Since you plan to put FreeBSD on a separate disk,  you don't have
to do anything about resizing any of the MS slice.


> Marty
> At 10:20 AM 2/14/2005, Jerry McAllister wrote:
> > >
> > > I must've goofed somehow. Left windows 98 on the primary master ide and
> > > installed fbsd 5.2 on the other two ide's; installation seemed to go well,
> > > and I installed the bootmgr on the first of the two ide's that fbsd is on.
> > > However when I reboot from the hard drive go right into windows.
> > >
> > > Where did I go wrong, and how do I fix it?
> >
> >The MBR has to be installed on the first disk found in the boot list
> >which will most likely be the one with Winxxx on it - your description
> >sounds like that and anyway MS doesn't like to be installed anywhere
> >else.   The MBR should also be on the other two disks, but definitely
> >must be on that first one.  Then you have to install a boot sector
> >on those two disks.    The MS MBR doesn't know how to boot anything
> >but an MS system.
> >
> >Basically, when the system boots, it starts with the BIOS.  The BIOS
> >looks at its list of boot devices according to how it is configured
> >and begins to check them in order.   It tries to boot from the first
> >device in its list that has an MBR.   That MBR is what then may look
> >at the other disks for a bootable slice.   The MS MBR doesn't know how
> >to recognize any other type of system or boot anything but MS stuff.
> >So, you have to make sure that the first device that the BIOS finds
> >with an MBR has a FreeBSD (or other intelligent) MBR that knows how
> >to boot anything.
> >
> >The FreeBSD MBR will boot any of the systems with a standard boot sequence,
> >but it is a little limited in its ability to label them.  It has labels for
> >a few, such as FreeBSD, MS-DOS, some LINUXen.   But it doesn't have names
> >for many others such as MS with an NTFS slice.   It will boot any of these
> >including the ones it doesn't have names for, but it just puts up ??? for
> >the name in the boot menu of ones it doesn't have names for.   That is not
> >really a problem, though it can be confusing on a machine if you have
> >one FreeBSD slice and three bootable slices with system that say ??? for
> >the name.   You have to remember which ??? is which...
> >
> >For that reasonable reason plus other prejudices many people install
> >a third part MBR/loader such as Grub.   But, it isn't essential to
> >get things to work.
> >
> >The second thing you did wrong is installing F-5.2.   If you want
> >then install 5.3 (or at least 5.2.1).  FreeBSD 5.2 was almost immediately
> >supplanted because of problems - probably not related to your current
> >situation, but you don't want it anyway.
> >
> >////jerry
> >
> > >
> > > Marty
> > >
> > >
> > > Marty Landman, Face 2 Interface Inc. 845-679-9387
> > > Search & Sort Easily:
> > > Web Installed Formmail:
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
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> > >
> Marty Landman, Face 2 Interface Inc. 845-679-9387
> Search & Sort Easily:
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