bsdlabel, now no boot

David Kelly dkelly at
Tue Mar 18 19:26:40 PDT 2008

On Mar 18, 2008, at 1:45 PM, David Kelly wrote:

> Cutting to the chase, my Windows-style partition table is sane (does  
> the FreeBSD "partition" need to be marked bootable?), and my BSD  
> slice table appears to be reasonable and sane. But the drive is not  
> bootable.
> "fdisk -B ad0" didn't hurt nor help. No error message.
> "fdisk -Bi ad0" didn't hurt nor help. No error message.
> "bsdlabel -B ad0s1" didn't hurt nor help. No error message.
> The only error messages have been in sysinstall running from the 6.1  
> minimal installation.
> Is probably a good time for me to wipe this drive and install 7.0,  
> but now that I have reached that conclusion and have nothing else to  
> loose I'd like to learn how to recover from this situation.

"nothing else to *lose*", silly me.

Having had a fresh attack at my broken system tonight I discovered the  
original PATA drive boots if I disable the SATA drives in BIOS. What  
appears to be happening is that no matter the BIOS is told to boot  
"IDE" (and doesn't have a SATA boot option) once the SATA drives have  
enough formatting to look bootable to BIOS, the BIOS boots the ad4  
SATA drive rather than the ad0 PIDE drive.  :-(

I was trying to geom stripe ad4 and ad6, not ad4s1 and ad6s1. Made my  
gstripe with ad4s1 and ad6s1 so that the boot MBR stays untouched.

System is now booting ad0 by starting at ad4 and hopping to ad6, then  
to ad0.

David Kelly N4HHE, dkelly at
Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.

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