Dual Boot FreeBSD/Windows 2003 Server

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Sat Nov 22 18:53:12 PST 2008

On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 12:42:31AM +0000, bsdnub at comcast.net wrote:

> I am trying to setup a test server that will be able to boot either 
> FreeBSD to Windows Server 2003 R2.  I have tried to use the BSD Boot 
> manager and the Windows Boot manager.  In either case I have run into 
> problems.  When using the BSD boot manager, it will cause the Windows 
> server to crash at boot.  Windows manager will not boot to the BSD partition.
> I have googled it and have not found much other than 3rd party boot 
> manager.  Is there a best practices I could follow on this?  Has anyone 
> got this combination to work?

Yes, there is.   First, please break your lines at around 70 characters 
length.   It makes it much easier to read and to respond to.   If your
editor for Email won't do it for you (most will), then just hit RETURN/ENTER
when the line gets that long.

Secondly, this was discussed at length in the last couple of days.  Please
check the archives.

Third, I have never had a problem with doing this and have built a number
of dual boot machines with various versions of MS-Win and FreeBSD and 
always used the FreeBSD boot manager.

Some questions:

 How did you lay out the disk?  Is MS-Win in the first slice (primary 
 Are you retaining the original MS-Win install?  If so, what did you 
use to shrink it down to make room for FreeBSD?
 Did you make both a "primary partition"   You need to.
 How did you go about slicing and partitioning the FreeBSD slice.

 - MS-Win has to be the first non-hidden slice (primary partition)
 - MS-Win must be installed first and then FreeBSD or MS-Win will trash
   some things that FreeBSD sets up.   FreeBSD will not trash MS-Win, unless
   you tell it to write in the wrong place.
 - You want to write the FreeBSD MBR and have it mark the slice as bootable
   during the fdisk stage and then the boot sector during the bsdlabel stage.
 - Your root partition neess to be the first one on the slice.

For more than this, please do some searches in the archive.   I have written
extensively several times on this and so have some other people.


> Thanks for your help.
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