Freebsd won't boot

Paul Richards paul at
Sat Aug 25 12:43:31 BST 2001

--On Friday, August 24, 2001 19:01:14 +0100 Peter James
<p_f_james at> wrote:

> I loaded and installed Freebsd and got it running.  When I came to log
> out I used the exit command to exit as user, and then for want of being
> able to  find any other command just switched the computer off.  At this
> point I was at the login? process.  When I tried to boot-up this morning
> I get the following error messages, repeated time and time again:- Phase1
> check blocks and sizes
> Phase 2 check pathnames
> Phase 3 check connectivity
> Phase4 check reference counts
> Phase 5 check cylinder groups
> This process seems to just run and run, with no end.  What do I do from
> here?  Any help or advice greatly appreciated. Peter F James
> please reply to: pfjames at 

You will see each of the those phases happen for each filesystem you have.
Typically 4 or 5. If you have a big disk then one of the filesystems will
be 	large and will take a long time to be checked.

Reboot the machine and leave it alone for a while. The program printing
those messages is called fsck (file system check) and is like DOS's
scandisk  (but more thorough). If it can clean up the filesystems then it
will do so automatically and eventually it will boot up to a login prompt
as normal. If it fails to fix the problems then it will drop down to a
single user login prompt.

If that is what is happening then you'll have to come back and ask for more
help because that's a more complex problem. If this is a box you've just
installed and you don't have a lot of Unix experience then reinstalling
might be the best option in that case.

The correct way to shutdown a machine is "shutdown -h now". Run `man
shutdown` for more information on the various options.

Note to others:

`reboot` and `halt` are not the correct commands to run unless you are in
single user mode. Shutdown brings the system down single user first and
does some administrative cleanup, such as running application shutdown
scripts and saving entropy so you don't have to wait for suitable entropy
to accrue on startup. If you just reboot or halt then those things don't

Paul Richards
FreeBSD Services Ltd

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