installation of 12.1R and 11.3R fails

David Christensen dpchrist at
Sat May 23 04:11:28 UTC 2020

On 2020-05-22 20:13, Donald Wilde wrote:
> Hello, good Beasties -
> It is my pleasure to be back!
> I am trying to re-establish a FreeBSD presence on my servers and I am
> having problems installing it on my development laptop.
> I'm using 12.1R, installed via the bootonly.iso DVD. This is a
> hardwired Dell generic i3 laptop, which has successfully been running
> Linux.

Dell service tag?

> The installation -- whole disk, AUTO, GPT, all options selected --
> downloads everything and appears to match all checksums and complete
> successfully but when I reboot, it goes immediately into the PXE boot,
> failing with no DHCP success. I've tried both Legacy and UEFI BIOS
> mode and it refuses to recognize the hard drive installation
> either way.
> I have tried both 11.3 and 12.1 releases, but have no joy. I have
> reviewed the errata and I don't see anything describing this major a
> problem. I didn't see anything in the booting sections of the
> Handbook, either. I did see one entry in a DuckDuckGo search that said
> I should use gpartd to associate my ada0 partition with boot0 but I
> cannot find that listing again.
> I thought I was using every automatic option possible, but I seem to
> have missed something.
> What am I missing? What can I try?

Download the memstick installer and burn it to a USB flash drive:


Zero fill or secure erase the target system drive.

Power up the laptop, enter CMOS setup, reset the settings to defaults, 
confirm, save if available (newer firmware saves automatically), exit, 
power off.

Power up, set the firmware to BIOS/ Legacy mode (or whatever you laptop 
calls it), save, and exit.  Power off.

Power up.  Enter CMOS setup again and verify all settings.  Power off.

Insert the FreeBSD installer USB flash drive.  Power up and press 
whatever key brings up the boot menu.  Boot the FreeBSD installer USB 
flash drive.

Install FreeBSD.  On the "Partitioning" screen, for item "Partition 
Scheme", choose "MBR (BIOS)".

The last step of the installer is to reboot.  Wait for the installer to 
shutdown and the firmware POST to begin.  Power off the laptop.  Remove 
the USB flash drive.

Power up.  The laptop should boot FreeBSD from the SSD/HDD.


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