Can't find kernel, finds slices but no files on them

Fritiof Hedman mail at
Wed Sep 19 22:22:21 UTC 2012

On 19 September 2012 23:37, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Sep 2012 23:28:30 +0200, Fritiof Hedman wrote:
>> Hi list!
>> I must warn you, I'm quite new to FreeBSD (I'm mostly using Linux
>> otherwise). I have inherited an old (yes, very old) BSD 4.7 machine on
>> my work that I need to clone. I've setuped an identical copy of the
>> slices on the target machine, ran dump the source machine and restore
>> on the target machine, edited /etc/fstab to match the filesystems. I'm
>> also running the GENERIC-kernel, I've done this using the FreeSBIE
>> live CD.
> What procedure did you use to clone? There basically is
> the "one" way, using dump + restore on partitions (not
> slices!), or dd on either partitions, slices, or the
> whole disk.

I maybe not so sure about the nomenclature that is used in FreeBSD.
However, I dumped /  on the source machine, and restored on /mnt/tmp
on the source machine.

>> However, when I boot I get to BTX loader (so I guess boot0 and boot2
>> is correct), that can't load kernel nor kernel.old. see attached
>> img1.png .
> Images cannot be attached to list messages. :-(

Oh, I see. It essentilally says something like:

BTX loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.01
Console: internal video/keyboard
BIOS drive A: is disk0
BIOS drive C: is disk1
BIOS 638kB/1046464kB available memory

FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 0.8
(root at, Wed Oct 9 12:33:26 GMT 2002)
Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.
Booting [kernel]
can't load 'kernel'
can't load 'kernel.old'

Type '?' for a list of commands, 'help' for more detailed help.
ok ls
open '/' failed: no such file or directory

>> I can't ls, as the loader says there is no such file or
>> directory (also seen in img1.png).
> You can use "echo *" in the loader stage, if I remember
> correctly. Enter "?" for a list of the available loader
> commands (or was it "help"?).
echo * just prints a pretty asterisk :)

>> lsdev gives a correct answer, all slices are there with their correct
>> size. echo $currdev returns disk1s1a as it should (see attached
>> img2.png).
> Good, so the copy you've created seems to be okay.
>> Mounting the disks works, and their content is correct, with all file
>> params set.
>> Any ideas how to get this target machine to boot?
> Maybe you just missed to prepare the "boot attributes" of the
> new disk properly?
> I suggest having a look at those documents:
> Disk Setup On FreeBSD
> Backup Options For FreeBSD
> dump(8)/restore(8)
> I'm almost sure that you will need to re-initialize something
> within the boot chain (guess without further diagnostics)...

It was more or less that way I did id,  the difference were that I
mounted /usr under /, and not unmount each partition every time. I'm
rerunning as the first document says that I should do (ie unmount the
partition that I've just dumped and restored). I've  justed tested to
do as described in the document, with the very same result.

Yeah, that's my guess as well. Maybe I should do the minimal install
of the FreeBSD image first, boot into  a live mode and then restore
everything upon the disks? That would keep any boot flags on the disks
right. But the thing that is annoying is that the loader can't browse
the content of the disk. I guess that's the main issue here.


> --
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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