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FIXED!!: Help request!(FreeBSD) Just installed, won’t boot.

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Hi there I’ve a small confusion, well problem really. I’ve Installed FreeBSD 5.0-RELEASE (from the CD-ROM that comes with the book `FreeBSD Unleashed (second edition)` and The install seemed to go fine (each time, I’ve reinstalled I think 4 times now). However when I get done installing and try to do the initial boot all I get (after the boot menu, at which I press F5) I all I get is something like: “Stage 1” with a solid square block char and an `a`(I think) with a squiggle on top (squiggle looks like a 7, sorta..). That is all it does (perhaps I’m not letting it sit long enough?),… far as I can tell it hangs right there. I’m confused and would really appreciate comments/suggestions!
Boot process sorta looks like this: Boot Menu: F1: ???? ???? F5 Drive 1 (I press f5) Stage 1 SXX
(with the X’s being the odd chars) (This is from memory and I’m a touch tired; might have boggled it about a bit.) Thank you! Feral *edit: damn italics tag!* [edited by - FeralOfFiretop on August 10, 2003 11:39:46 AM] [edited by - FeralOfFiretop on August 11, 2003 6:02:01 PM]

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2 Drives (both maxtors)

  1. Drive 1 -- 30gig

    • Primary Drive (Primary master I think, ATA)

    • MBR has FreeBSD's boot loader

    • 30gig partition

      • Win2k

      • NTFS file system

      • don't want to touch this drive save for MBR

  2. Drive 2 -- 20gig

    • Slave (Primary slave, I think, ATA)

    • MBR -- blank, or default... NONE during Freebsd install anyway.

    • 10gig partition (first on drive)

      • FreeBSD

      • / -- 256meg (pretty sure)

      • /tmp -- 256meg

      • /var -- 256meg

      • /home -- 7gig

      • /swap -- 1.4gig (have 768megs ram)

    • 10gig partition (rest of drive)

      • Fat32 file system

      • Ment as a way of transfering files between FreeBSD and Win2k; also doubles as a handy backup space)

The FreeBSD partitions were made via the automatic option in the lable editor.

Once the initial boot hanged as described, I loaded up the cd and got sysinstall running.. I noticed that the mount points for the FreeBSD partitions on the FreeBSD slice were missing.; I've no idea if that is normal or not.)

Thank you for your help C-Junkie!

*edit: clarification*

[edited by - FeralOfFiretop on August 10, 2003 7:58:08 PM]

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I am not sure I understand what I just saw.

Popped in the (FreeBSD install) CD and got sysinstall running again and selected post install configuration.

The Label editor let me select between two disks 0 and 1. Now as I understand it I’ve FreeBSD installed on 1 (i.e. second hard drive, the 20gig one), however in the label editor there are NO mount points (“”) This vexes me. On a whim I went to disk 0 (presumably the 30gig with win2k) ... an I found my mount points! I am confused.

Both disk 1 and disk 2 seem to be showing the second hard disk.

Soo, looks like …. I don’t have a clue

Any and all help appreciated!

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sounds like somethings a bit messed up. Where are all the FreeBSD experts here, anyway?

As I recall, the FreeBSD bootloader is pretty simple. It searches the table for partitions marked bootable, checks their fs type, and guesses based on fs type what OS is there, and lets you jump to the bootloader present in the partition-level boot area (rather than the mbr)

So the ''???'' could be expected if it didn''t know NTFS. But the ''Disk 1'' is interesting. Any FreeBSD expert want to say if that''s referencing the partition on disk 1, or the disk 1 mbr itself?

If its the mbr, you could try having the cd install on the disk1 mbr also. see if that helps at all...

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As it happens I tried just that (placing the FreeBSD bootloader in disk 1''s MBR)... with no (visible) effects.

Hum, wonder if the boot loader is confused. Or, perhaps if FreeBSD isn''t compatable with my hardware someplace down the line. (Trying to figure out why the lable editor sees disk 1 twice... it didn''t do that at install time (i.e. seemed fine/proper).)


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I believe the mount points don''t show when you run it after install. At least I''ve never seen them. Just leave them be, they''ll still have their labels when you boot if you don''t change them.

Did you set your FreeBSD slice as bootable? You should see an "A" in your Flags when you go to your FDISK Partition Editor of your second disk (probably ad1 if you have Atapi IDE).


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Also, you might want more room on your root partition, or better yet, make a decent sized /usr partition. /usr will hold almost every application you install, including X, as well as all your ports, packages and distfiles.

I would probably go and split your home up a bit unless you really need 7Gs at home..(MP3s? MPEGs? *grin*).


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Aaaaah! I did NOT set my FreeBSD slice as bootable!! Indeed that is what it was, Golly that's silly easy!


:happy dance : (think snoopy)

So, I've got a working BSD system now! (woohoo!) X works (WindowMaker currently), mouse works (in X, though I still need to get the mouse wheel working)

One thing that nags at me thought is it seems a bit sluggish, slow disk access...

On a funny note, got loged in and typed `vi` ... Golly, it's actually VI! (I've never seen vi before, it's always been vim impersonating vi) Luckily I installed vim 6.1 when I installed bash, sudo and a few (small) other things. (= Fun fun fun!

Thank you both very much for your help and input!

I've layed my drive out like so:
ad1s2a / 256M UFS1
ad1s2b swap 1515M swap
ad1s2d /var 256M UFS1+S
ad1s2e /tmp 256M UFS1+S
ad1s2f /usr 4096M UFS1+S
ad1s2g /home 3859M UFS1+S
ad1s1 <none> 9299M dos
(= You know, I've no idea where /usr would have gone with the other layout,

Now, assuming I don't break something as I move in... (=

Thank you both again! (and anyone else who would have helped if they coulda )

[edited by - FeralOfFiretop on August 11, 2003 5:49:52 PM]

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No problem, it occurred to when I saw your drive layout.

usr would have been placed in / if you didn''t create it. The default is if the directory doesn''t on a mount point, you''ll get it under /. BSD is very strict to using /usr and /usr/local for applications, you''ll find everything gets installed there, so always plan it with some space.

What exactly do you feel is causing sluggish disk response? Is it an application you''re running?

You might want to see if there are any tuneable parameters or kernel patches for your disk controller. Usually a search for your controller type in dmesg will give you enough info for a google search.

You can use iostat to learn more about your disk usage.

''iostat -d -w 1'' will display disk stats at repeating 1 second intervals. You could also use ''systat -iostat'' which will display a console graphic to show you disk usages.

See how much MB/s you get while working with files.

BSDs used to smoke Windows and Linux for perfomance, now its marginal or maybe slightly behind Linux with defaults ( I think a fully tuned FreeBSD can run as a server faster than linux, but its nothing to make a complete decision over in most cases). To be honest, you have to have a high-availability, heavy-load application to even both with comparing performance on such low levels in my mind. Odds are your slow feel to disk performance is specific apps or perhaps (unlikely) a driver bug.

Bear in mind that FreeBSD 5.x is currently considered testing and you''ll find bugs.

You might want to patch up your ports collection, or maybe your "world". Though you might want to read up on all that before you dive in, especially if you just want to play around. I think they''re planning a stable version of 5.x branch (maybe 5.2) in the fall, I would just hang tight then upgrade when it comes out.

Best tip I can give is to use find in the ports collection before you install anything. Odds are someone already created a port. =)

I usually ''cd /usr/ports'' and then ''find . -name "". Then you can just head into that directory and ''make clean install''.

If you don''t want to compile, you can download packages from ftp.freebsd.org.

Let me know if you see any weird reboots with X. I got one at work, but I haven''t tried or wanted to pin it down yet. Only happens on these Dells we got for client machines.


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