install on usb hdd

Jost Menke cyberlab at
Mon Feb 12 15:39:19 UTC 2007

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Datum: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 16:14:20 +0100
Von: Zoran Kolic <zkolic at>
An: Andy Greenwood <greenwood.andy at>
CC: freebsd-stable at
Betreff: Re: install on usb hdd

> Huh! My bios sees usb flash stick pretty easily. This is 2.5 inch hdd
> of WD and simple enclosure with two usb connectors for data and power.
> I've heard that not all enclosures could boot, but no further reading
> on the net. Could be this new hdd gone dead before even installed. I
> load umass module and cannot see headers saying "WD etc".
> Does someone use 2.5 usb hdd to install at it at all? I'm stranded
> in this moment without clue. What data should bios get to add hdd to
> the boot list?
>                                     Zoran

Hi Zoran,

first of all, I think installation won't be possible with the menu-driven installer (sysinstall), so you'll have to do this manually (i.e. by using the scripts on the CD and creating rc.conf fstab and the like by hand).

So boot into "fixit" and check your dmesg. If the enclosure is supported by freebsd, the disk will probably show up as something like "/dev/da0". If it is not supported as a umass device, it will be named something like "/dev/ugen0". If you don't see anything, try to unplug and plug in the device and check your dmesg again. If nothing shows up at all (although the relevant kernel modules are loaded, check that first), it might really be broken.

Booting from the drive after installation is a different problem however, this depends solely on the Bios of your machine.

Jost Menke
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