FreeBSD slices and the Boot Manager

Peter Andreev andreev.peter at
Sun Jul 28 05:59:09 UTC 2013

Why wouldn't you simply update your 8.1 to 8.4?

2013/7/27 Conny Andersson <ataraxi at>

> Hi,
> I have a workstation with two factory installed hard disks. The first
> disk, ada0, is occupied by a Windows 7 Pro OS (mainly kept for the three
> year warranty of the workstation as Dell techs mostly speak the Microsoft
> language).
> Instead I have configured the BIOS to boot from the MBR on the second disk
> as I most of the time (99%) use FreeBSD. The MBR on ada1 was installed with
> sysinstall's option "Install the FreeBSD Boot Manager", when I installed
> the FreeBSD 8.3-RELEASE.
> (The latest BIOS version 2.4.0 for Dell T1500 does not support
> The second disk ada1, now has three FreeBSD slices:
> 1) ada1s1 with FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE
> 2) ada1s2 with FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE
> 3) ada1s3 with FreeBSD 8.3-RELEASE
> I want to install the new FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE on ada1s1 by overwriting the
> now existing two first slices. This means that ada1s3, must become ada1s2
> instead. Is this possible to do?
> A very important question is if sysinstall's option "Install the FreeBSD
> Boot Manager" detects that I have a FreeBSD 8.3 and detect it as slice 2 on
> disk 1? So it becomes a boot option when I am rebooting? (Maybe the slice
> may come up as ad6s2, because AHCI in FreeBSD 8.4 isn't enabled at the time
> of the install.)
> If the answer to these questions is yes, then the next two questions arise.
> Can I mount ada1s2a (FreeBSD 8.3) from the newly installed FreeBSD 8.4 and
> edit my FreeBSD's 8.3-R /etc/fstab according to the new disk layout, and
> occasionally run FreeBSD 8.3 without problems? Or do I have to do more to
> get it to work?
> The idea behind this kind of 'reverse' disk layout of mine is to have
> FreeBSD 8.4 as my new default OS. And have FreeBSD 8.3 untouched for
> configuring FreeBSD 8.4 and booting into it when ever needed. If I can do
> this as described above, I will have plenty of space on the disk for the
> future and a new FreeBSD release.
> Thanks for your interest in my questions,
> Conny Andersson
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
>   Conny Andersson
> <ataraxi at>
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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Is there any problem Exterminatus cannot solve? I have not found one yet.

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