Trouble installing FreeBSD4.0

John Toon j.a.toon at
Tue Aug 15 19:14:23 BST 2000

outgoing at wrote:

> I can boot from the FreeBSD CD-ROM, but when I try to create a disk
> slice I get the flags '=' and '>' - which supposedly mean 'this
> partition crosses the 1024 cylinder border' and 'the partition is
> aligned'... anyway, on with the installation - installation is fine, but
> FreeBSD won't boot from its bootman on startup.
> I've got a 22 Gb disk, the first partition is win98 with 6.5Gb [the os
> and all my programs], the second partition is FreeBSD with 4.5Gb and the
> other partitions are for work/play/installs and Win2k.

The 1024 cylinder limit is precisely your problem. Due to stupid
limitations in x86 architecture, you can't boot off a partition if it is
outside the first 1024 cylinders. 

Solution? You need to get a / partition for FreeBSD within 1024

I suggest you start the FreeBSD installation over again.

Here goes:

1. Delete your FreeBSD partition.
2. Move your Win98 partition down the disc, giving you around say 40 MB
free at the *start* of the hard disc - this is where you're going to put
the / partition. I suggest you use the excellent Partition Magic (for
Windows/DOS) to do this; there are free versions of this with various
Linux distros. Alternatively, you can use a program like fips, which is
on the FreeBSD disk IIRC, to do the job.
3. [Optional] Shift your Win2k installation down the disk so it is next
to the Win98 partition - you can then simply put the rest of your
FreeBSD partitions at the end of the disk. Doesn't really matter though.
4. Now, install FreeBSD again, but this time, when you get to the screen
to set up your paritions, make sure you add a / partition in the free
space you've made at the *start* of the disc. 
5. Set up your choice of bootloader; you should now be able to boot into
any 3 of the OSs, provided each has got its boot partition with the
first 1024 cylinders.

The only other solution is that there might be an option to use "Linear"
mapping in the FreeBSD bootloader on the disk, which might be able to
boot outside the 1024 cylinders. There is for the LILO Linux boot
loader, but since I haven't used FreeBSD for long yet, I don't know
whether such an option exists for FreeBSD.

Anyone know?


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