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

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Tue Jul 19 00:21:17 UTC 2016

> Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:23:50 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>
> Subject: problems upgrading O/S and hardware on HP XW4400 workstation.

Solved.  At least on this platform, if one lets the 3ware crd install it's own
BIOS (ostensablably to be able to boot off a drive attechted to the 9650)
The machine locks up.  Disabled the 3ware bios installation, and the system
boots, and can see all the disks.

> 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
> devices.
> 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.
> _______________________________________________
> freebsd-questions at mailing list
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-unsubscribe at"

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list