problems upgrading O/S and hardware on HP XW4400 workstation.

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Thu Jul 14 22:59:31 UTC 2016

Have this HP XW4400 workstation, currently running FreeBSD 8.4 (Dual boot with
Windows XP-PRO).  Has 8 gigs ram, 3 SATA HDD (1.4TB, 160gb, 80gb), and a SATA 
DVD-RW (DL).  FreeBSD on the 1.4TB disk, WinXP on the 160G disk, twiddle the
boot device order in ROM BIOS to select which disk to boot from.

I am running a custom FreeBSD 8.4 kernel, with all the 'un-necessary' stuff
stripped out -- added the 'twa' driver to my previously 'happily running'
kernel when I put the 3ware card in -- with no drives attached to the card,
I do get the 'twa' device created.

Attempting to move up to FreeBSD 10.3, and add 3 more SATA disks  and 2 more
SATA DVD drives -- adding a 3ware 9650SE-12ML sata card for ll the extra

Running into all sorts of weird problems (It seems I have a talent for -that-)
first off, NEITHER FreeBSD/i386 8.4 on the disk, nor FreeBSD/amd 10.3 on 
distribution DVD (the proverbial 'DVD1') will boot fully if there are any 
hard disks attached to the 3ware controller.  Both _start_ to boot, and then 
die (I don't even get a crash-dump to dissect <whimper>).  FreeBSD 8 gives me 
the inital boot menu, and when I hit F1 for the primary boot partition, I get
one '-' on the screen, and then a total freeze-up.  power-cycle required.  The
FreeBSD 10.3 DVD gives me the 'BTX loader' chatter and starts listing the
"BIOS" devices.   lists the CD as 'cd0', and the floppy as 'disk0'. then it
totally freezes.  power-cycle required.  Without anything attached to the 
9650, 10.3 continues to announce the additional drives/slices as 'disk1'
through 'disk4' (the 1.4 TB drive -- ada0-- has 2 slices on it, both with 
BSD partition tables on each slice -- 'slice1' is 32gb, and has partitions 
a, b, d, e, f, g, and h on it.  'slice2' is 1.3tb+, and has partitions d and h
n it.)  

Booting from the 10.3 dvd with nothing on the 3ware card, I get /dev entries 
for 'ada0', 'ada0s1'i (but no 'inferior' partitions on it), 'ada0s2', 
'ada0s2d', and 'ada0s2h', 'ada1', and 'ada1s1' (the Windows drive, as 
expected), and 'ada2', 'ada2s1', 'ada2s2', 'ada2s3' which represent 2 FAT32 
partitions, and a 'Windows recovery' partition' on the 3rd (80-gig) drive.  
Apparently the 10.3 boot loader doesn't see the partition table on 'ada0s1'.
HoWEver, if I use the 'live CD' on DVD1, and run bsdlabel on ada0s1, _it_ 
shows me the "expected" partition info.

None of this makes any sense to me.

The 3ware controller _is_ 'known good'  -- booting Windows works just fine 
with the add-on driver for that 3ware card. And it sees all the disks attached
to the 9650 just fine.

Has anybody got any ideas, suggestions, etc. about whats going on, how to
diagnose/troubleshoot/fix, or a better place to ask these questions?  "Help"
says me, groveling.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list