installation of 12.1R and 11.3R fails

David Christensen dpchrist at
Sat May 23 20:04:52 UTC 2020

On 2020-05-22 21:43, Donald Wilde wrote:
> Service tag 5K8W162
> I will try using MBR instead of GPT, as you suggest. I did that once
> the first time and no joy. Other than that and using the USB instead
> of DVD, the only other delta in your procedure is zeroing the disk and
> ensuring that all settings in BIOS are set to default.
> Do I need to erase my USB key and only put the key-version ISO on it?
> Why would that be superior to using a DVD, other than the waste of
> plastic?
> The only other possible problem I can see is that I simply named the
> machine, and did not create a meaningless FQDN (in my NAT).
> Thank you for your answer, and I WILCO.

On 2020-05-22 22:20, Clay Daniels wrote:
 > I would second all of David's suggestions, but would like to also 
 > using GParted to clear & write a new partition table, be it MBR or GPT.
 > GParted lets you take control of the drive. It's Gnome Partition Editor &
 > free:

On 2020-05-22 23:03, Manish Jain wrote:
 > I think we are using a nuclear missile to kill a mosquito !
 > The FreeBSD installer can do everything needed by itself.
 > 1) Boot from the FreeBSD CD/DVD
 > 2) Choose Install
 > 3) At the disk setup page, choose Manual
 > 4) Remove all existing partitions. When done that, press 'd' again (for
 > delete) with ada0 selected. That will delete the partition table itself.
 > 5) Press 'c' (for create) to create a new MBR (DOS) partition table.
 > 6) Create partitions as needed and install.
 > That should be it.

On 2020-05-23 02:01, D'Arcy Cain wrote:
 > [Zeroing the disk] is exactly what I found when going from Linux to 
FreeBSD.  Just run
 > dd(1) with input file /dev/zero on the raw disk before starting your
 > installation.  You have to completely wipe out the Linux boot blocks.

On 2020-05-23 08:06, Donald Wilde wrote:
 > The MBR boot after wiping the disk was successful. YAY, Beasties! TYVM
 > for all the advice. :D
 > Taking your thought to heart, D'Arcy, I'm going to try again with GPT
 > now that Linux is gone, gone, gone! :D

I'm glad the BIOS/ MBR install worked.  :-)

That looks like a decent daily driver laptop, especially if you maxed 
out the RAM and installed a good SSD:

My 2007 Inspiron E1505 gave me many years of service (with repairs and 
upgrades).  It still works.

I zero my USB flash drives before burning them with an installer image 
out of sheer OCD, but it should not be required.  (I wrote a Perl script 
to only write zeros to dirty blocks, to conserve write cycles.)

Most every x86 computer made in the last 30 years will have a USB port. 
Many newer computers, especially portable computers, do not have optical 

It is easy to make changes to an installer on a USB flash drive, and you 
don't have to burn a disc for every edit-compile-test cycle.  I hacked 
my FreeBSD USB installer to slice and partition system disks the way I 
like them.

I have boogered installs many ways, including the hostname, FQDN, 
network name, and/or network settings.  The FreeBSD installer offers you 
a root shell into the installed image near the end.  If you know what 
file(s) to edit, you can fix those mistakes.  Alternatively, some 
installers let you re-run specific steps.  TIMTOWDI.

I image my system disks regularly.  Zero-filling them before an install 
saves image storage space.  Partition editors within installers 
typically do not zero-fill.  (I need to figure out how to zero unused 
blocks beneath GELI and ZFS prior to imaging; does anyone know how?)


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