replacing bootloader wipes disk?

Mark Moellering markmoellering at
Tue Nov 22 05:09:39 UTC 2016


I have an odd situation.  I am helping a small company out, after my
regular work hours, with their email server, which is on an older
version FreeBSD (8.X or possibly 9.0)  I got a call a few days ago,
saying the server wouldn't boot.  The server is at a hosting company
but I was able to connect over a software KVM.  They had a new 11.0
live disk to boot from, which I used to run fsck on each partition (it
is running the old UFS2 partitions) and clean all the drives.

When everything was finished and all drives were marked clean, I tried
to boot from hard drive, it came up with GRUB and was trying to boot
into linux , with the error "Can't find EXT3 Superblock". The error
made sense but I had no idea why it was using GRUB, so I said there
was something wrong with the bootloader.

The next day (today), I was forwarded an email saying they ran the
following commands to try and replace the bootloader.

fdisk -B -b /boot/boot0 /dev/ada0
and boot0cfg -B ada0

When I checked the drive this evening, it appeared to be completely
blank, except for a bootloader.  I am not good enough with fdisk to
tell but could these commands have erased the drive?  They don't look
like they would but fdisk is not something I use much...  Any help is
greatly appreciated

I am hoping they put in a new drive but since I don't work on this
machine until after hours, I am not talking to the tech's working on
it during the day.

Again, all help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Mark Moellering

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