Boot loader down and I'm lost

Jon Schneider jon at
Thu Jan 31 12:10:00 GMT 2002

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

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

How is it that despite loading through kern and mfsroot the 
emergency holographic shell is just a shell with absolutely no 
commands ?

The fixit floppy. Is it too much to ask that a single floppy boots with 
fixit type tools ? The README says to boot with kern first. And 
then put in fixit instead of mfsroot ? Incidentally the README still 
mentions the wd rather than ad device which I seem to remember 
was something I fought with at my last upgrade.

Contrast with OpenBSD. The install floppy's shell has everything 
you need to fix a machine, use the network, ftp stuff, fix the boot 
loader (which itself has just enough built in help).

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

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


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