booting a CD-ROM

Thomas Mueller mueller23 at
Tue Apr 3 09:54:04 UTC 2012

>       I have an old  FreeBSD  system that I haven't used for a long time and I have forgotten the passwords.  This machine has  FreeBSD-4.3  and  FreeBSD-4.7
> on it, and also  MS'  Windows98 .  I tried getting onto that system by booting with a  CD-ROM  which started going and gave me the following messages:
>             boot from  ATAPI  CD-ROM
>             CD Loader 1.2
>             Building the boot loader arguments
>             Relocating the loader and the BTX
>       The system then did not output for a liitle over 5 minutes and then typed:
>             Starting the
> and after this I waited for over 5 minutes but the system did not type anything else.  Then I tried  booting that  CD-ROM  on another system where it booted
> successfully and the program on it ( FreesBIE version 2) ran and I could communicate with it.  I suspect a problem with the  boot loader on the first system.
>      Where can I get a new boot loader for that system?    Since I want to get a modern  FreeBSD  (version 9.1 or higher), I expect that will include a new
> multi-system loader on it that I can use on the old system if I can load just that.  How can I load just the boot loader?  Also, what is the structure of the
> password  files (is this on the  web  with a per system-version note so if it has been changed over time, I can find those I need) on those systems, and how
> can I find and clear out the password for  root  so I can get in and set its password and then the other passwords?
>     Thanks in advance for your help.

You'll have to wait some months for FreeBSD >= 9.1.  Current release is 9.0.

I believe FreeBSD has a multisystem boot loader, BootEasy/boot0.  You can also look to GRUB: 

I believe this is also included in FreeBSD ports collection.

If you run Linux, you can install LILO, which is capable of booting FreeBSD.

I believe the password files, /etc/master.passwd, are encrypted, so you can't get the password directly from that.

You would run the command passwd as root.


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