Installing FreeBSD -- urgent hard drive issue

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Mon Jun 20 17:42:38 GMT 2005

## Redirected to freebsd-questions, since this is a more appropriate
## mailing list for this sort of discussion.

On 2005-06-20 10:24, Benjamin Sher <delphi123 at> wrote:
> Dear friends:
> I'm trying to install FreeBSD 5.4. The install CD that I created in
> Nero is fine. I also printed out all the info I could on my system. I
> have two primary hard drives, each 40G in capacity: The first one has
> Windows XP on it. The second disk is completely blank.

FreeBSD doesn't use letters for naming disk partitions.  It uses a sort
of hierarchical naming scheme, starting with the raw disks themselves,
which are called:

	ad0		Primary master
	ad1		Primary slave
	ad2		Secondary master
	ad3		Secondary slave

You currently have Windows installed on what FreeBSD calls "ad0".  Thus,
you should be _VERY_ careful while installing FreeBSD not to change
anything on the "ad0" disk.

You can partition, slice and assign space of "ad1" to your FreeBSD
installation, in (more or less) any way you want.

> I would like to install FreeBSD on this second disk and to use it
> entirely. When I booted up to the Install screen I saw the option of
> choosing ado or ad1. I did read about this earlier on the FreeBSD home
> page. I chose ad1and then saw the Fdisk screen. I don't need to Fdisk
> anything. I just want to use the second primary hard drive.

"ad1" is your primary slave drive.  You have done fine so far.

> I am very much afraid that I might do something wrong and wipe out my
> Windows installation. So, I chickened out and decided to ask for
> further guidance from the list.

I would recommend a good backup of your Windows installation first.

Then you have no need to be afraid that you'll mess the Windows setup,
because even if you do it won't matter at all.  You'll just restore
everything from your backup.

> Could you please advise me on what precisely I should do at this
> critical moment?

Read the installation chapter of the Handbook.  Very very carefully.

Then save a good backup of your Windows machine offline, away from the
installation machine.

Finally, install FreeBSD, tweak it, hack it, play around as much as you
want with it.

If you have any questions you have while installing FreeBSD, or after
the installation is done, please feel free to ask by posting at this
mailing list that is dedicated to general FreeBSD questions:

		<< freebsd-questions at >>

Have fun with your FreeBSD installation,

- Giorgos

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