Using a hard drive without partitions

Nikolas Britton nikolas.britton at
Sat Jul 30 17:58:26 GMT 2005

On 7/30/05, Gary W. Swearingen <garys at> wrote:
> Nikolas Britton <nikolas.britton at> writes:
> > Drive:
> >   Dangerously dedicated
> >   /dev/da0s1
> >   newfs -O2 -U
> I think you're using "dangerously dedicated" wrongly. A DD disk is one
> which has no standard partition table in the MBR; the "disklabel"
> sectors (16) start at sector 0 (or with your no-secondary-partitions-
> either method, your filesystem would start there (newfs /dev/da0)).

But in FreeBSD your disk needs a slice otherwise it's not compatable
with fdisk / bsdlabel / growfs... I think.

> You've got a standard partition table with the s1 entry in use, which
> is not "dangerous".  The FAQ has an entry on DD disks.

But it is "dangerous" because it starts at sector 0. I've read that
FAQ as well as greg's book, Lucas's book, unix power tools, the man
pages, handbook, etc. I will reread them again.

> I can't say much about your main question; I've never heard of doing
> it.  It sounds less "dangerous" than putting a FS in a file, like
> we do with ISO filesystems all the time.

Yea that's the problem ;-)..... I've never heard of doing it like that
too but it does work.

I'm going to be working on this server today and I'll post some of the
details of fdisk, bsdlabel, etc. to see if I can help clarify things.


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