Trying to recover data from FreeBSD 4.11 system

Tim Daneliuk tundra at
Thu Feb 14 20:46:26 UTC 2008

Joe Demeny wrote:
> On Thursday 14 February 2008 12:04:11 pm you wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 01:08:35AM -0500, Joe Demeny wrote:
>> [...]
>> Use fdisk to find out how it sees the drive.  Do     fdisk ad1
>> and check out what it says.   Especially look to see what slices
>> that fdisk thinks it has.   Maybe there is only an  s1  active
>> with anything in it.  That would be easiest and very common.
>> Then use bsdlabel to look at what partitions are defined in any
>> of the slices.     do ad1s1  (for slice 1,  ad1d2  as well
>> if there is a slice 2 being used, etc)
>> From root, do  bsdlabel ad1d1     and see what partitions are defines.
>> Remember that partition 'c' is not a real partition, but a label to
>> define the whole slice to the system (it will have a type of 'unused')
>> and that in most cases partition 'b' is used for swap (and will have
>> a type of 'swap'), though it does not have to be swap.
>> The other partitions; a, d, e, f, g, h, could be real partitions with
>> something on them.   Almost certainly the 'a' partition will be root
>> on a bootable slice.
> It turns out that I mixed up my drives. I found the boot drive - it could not 
> boot with my old custom kernel (unknown processor class...). I fell back on 
> kernel.GENERIC, which booted - to a point. It seems to bog down when it tries 
> to recognize the keyboard.
> I guess at this point my choices are:
> 1) build a new 4.x kernel on the new hardware
> 2) find a working old computer and try my boot drive.
> Thank you all for your help...

Another possible path:  Boot Freesbie or PC-BSD from CD-ROM and mount your
old drives from there.  It might take running an fsck to clean up the old 
filesystems (depending on whether or not you clobbered them while trying to
get this all to work).  'Just a thought - I take no responsibility if you
hose your data though :)

Tim Daneliuk     tundra at
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