FreeBSD Installer not recognizing existing partition tables

Joel Maxuel j.maxuel at
Fri Jan 18 05:55:15 UTC 2019

Hi all,

Looking to set up FreeBSD as part of a dual-boot with Debian Stretch
(already installed).  The drives I will be using includes an SSD
(ada0/sda) for rootfs and an HDD (ada1/sdb) for swap and /home.

The system itself is an old Lenovo M92p, with UEFI turned off (BIOS set
to "Legacy" mode), and each disk is using the "msdos" partition scheme.
 Also, parts for the system changed over the years as I had started
with a 500GB HDD, to add a 60GB SSD later, to eventually replace both
all while keeping the original data (dd, gparted, clonezilla tricks).

When I ran the FreeBSD installer, everything went fine until I got to
partitioning - I chose the semi-manual option, and only ada0 & ada1
appeared - no existing partitions below.

dmesg revealed:

ada0 at ahcich0 bus 0 scbus0 target 0 lun 0
ada0: Command Queueing enabled
ada0: 262321MB (537234768 512 byte sectors)
ada1 at ahcich1 bus 0 scbus1 target 0 lun 0
ada1: Command Queueing enabled
ada1: 953869MB (1953525168 512 byte sectors)
ada1: quirks=0x1<4k>
GEOM_PART: integrity check failed (ada0, BSD)
GEOM_PART: integrity check failed (ada1, BSD)

diskinfo of ada0 / ada1:

sectorsize 512 / 512
mediasize in bytes 275064201216 / 1000204886016
mediasize in sectors 537234768 / 1953525168
stripesize 0 / 4096
stripeoffset 0 / 0
cylinders according to firmware 532971 / 1938021
heads according to firmware 16 / 16
sectors according to firmware 63 / 63
TRIM/UNMAP support Yes / No

The parted details (I had pre-made the partitions for FreeBSD):

~> sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print
Model: ATA Crucial_CT275MX3 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 537234768s
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start       End         Size        Type      File
system  Flags
 1      2048s       117229567s  117227520s  primary   ext4         boot
 2      117229568s  537233407s  420003840s  extended
 5      117231616s  419311615s  302080000s  logical   ext4
 6      419313664s  419315711s  2048s       logical   freebsd-ufs
 7      419317760s  537233407s  117915648s  logical

~> sudo parted /dev/sdb unit s print
Model: ATA WDC WD1003FZEX-0 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 1953525168s
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start        End          Size         Type      File
system     Flags
 1      2048s        78125055s    78123008s    primary   ext4
 2      78127102s    1953523711s  1875396610s  extended
 5      78127104s    97656831s    19529728s    logical   ext4
 6      97658880s    117188607s   19529728s    logical   ext4
 7      117190656s   128907263s   11716608s    logical   linux-swap(v1)
 8      128909312s   695232511s   566323200s   logical   ext4
 9      695234560s   1827696639s  1132462080s  logical   ext2
10      1827698688s  1945135103s  117436416s   logical   freebsd-ufs
11      1945137152s  1953523711s  8386560s     logical


`gpart show` returns nothing, and because the GEOM error automatically
assumes the partition tables are BSD when they are really MBR (msdos),
I don't believe the thread I found will be of assistance:

...nor would I want to really risk blowing everything away (even with
backups) for the possibility that my partition tables have gone weird
over the years.

AHCI is turned on in my BIOS, but I am wondering if due to my other
BIOS settings (noted above; IME disabled as well as it can be) if that
is making FreeBSD expect something different from the controller than
what is really happening.  I feel it is going to be something silly
such as a slightly different process for non-UEFI.

At any rate, the issue has been found with FreeBSD 11.2 and 12.0, but I
did not encounter this when I played with Dragonfly 5.4.1 and NetBSD
(had X issues there since I have a Nvidia GT630 that is not going to
play nice for my dual-monitor setup).

Let me know if you need any additional information - many thanks.

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