Changing the booter options

John Ralph john.ralph at
Thu Apr 11 14:02:07 BST 2002

Hi Tim,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Wiser" <timw at>
To: <freebsd-users at>
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 8:31 AM
Subject: Changing the booter options

> Hi,
> At present, when my system boots up I get the following menu:
>     F1  ???
>     F2  FreeBSD
> Is it possible to change the F1 label to be "Windows XP", as that's my
> primary OS at the moment.
> --
> Tim Wiser, IT Support Specialist
> timw at
> "Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?"
> ------ FreeBSD UK Users' Group  -  Mailing List ------

Many people have asked this question in the past and their doesn't seem to
be a simple way to acheive what you are looking to do.  I found it easier to
use the Windows XP bootloader over the bsd one, it takes a little work but
works very well and looks nice too!

You'll need a floppy that has some free space and is MSDOS formatted. Mount
the floppy;

# mount_msdos /dev/fd0c /mnt

Copy /boot/boot1 to the floppy.

# cp /boot/boot1 /mnt/free.bsd

Now unmount the floppy and restart your computer.

# umount /mnt; shutdown -r now

It seems likely that FreeBSD is the active partition.  To remedy this, use
/stand/sysinstall and under "Configure" use fdisk. Highlight your Windows XP
partition and press "S". There should be an "A" in the right most column.
Make sure to hit "W" and now just "Q", otherwise your changes will not take
effect. Now reboot. Once you're in Windows XP, copy "free.bsd" to c:\ and
then create a boot.ini file (unlike Windows NT/2000, XP does not have a
boot.ini file by default) also in the c:\ directory as follows;

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)WINNT="Windows XP" /fastdetect
c:\free.bsd="FreeBSD 4.5-RELEASE"

Thats all there is too it!

Best Regards,

John Ralph
john.ralph at
Supporting Opensource in Schools!

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