Boot loader down and I'm lost

John Murphy jfm at
Fri Feb 1 00:14:29 GMT 2002

"Jon Schneider" <jon at> wrote:

>For one reason or another I need to reinstate the boot loader. That=20
>is F2 just beeps or following the upgrade below says "read error"=20
>and reboots.

Sounds like the boot manager is working but there's nothing to boot.

>I've even done the 4.4 to 4.5 upgrade, using floppies and=20
>downloaded install iso hoping the boot loader would be sorted in=20
>the process but it wasn't.

I'm not surprised.

<Snipped contrasts with the amazing OpenBSD>

>Maybe FreeBSD has a forth driven all singing and dancing super=20
>duper configurable boot loader but it just looses me. It is just=20
>screaming to be dumped, to me anyway.

I had a lot of trouble with it circa 3.0.

>So despite more than a decade of various other unixes, rebuilding=20
>and swapping disks about, much playing with Sun hardware, I have=20
>to ask how to get a useful shell and how to fix my FreeBSD boot=20

I've been using the Ranish Partition Manager:
which will boot my default OS without intervention, or boot the
second (etc) partition on the first HD by pressing 2 during the
preselectable timeout, or press Tab to boot the next physical HD.
I have a copy of it on a bootable floppy with which I can adjust
its features.  Its interface looks a little like XTreeGold.

If you know on which drive/slice/partition FreeBSD resides and interupt
the boot process early (by pressing space) you may then type something
like 0:ad(2,a) to boot from the second partition of the first physical
(IDE) HD.  1:ad(1,a) to boot the first partition of the second HD etc.


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