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FreeBSD 8.0 has broken boot up.

Discussion in 'Installing and Upgrading FreeBSD' started by gvernold, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm relatively new to FreeBSD and have just tried to install the 32bit version on my machine. There was already a Windows XP installation on it.

    The installation procedure went fine and I selected to install the FreeBSD boot manager to the MBR. When I rebooted I got a single line flashing cursor and no boot manager after the bios check. I decided to reinstall the original Windows MBR so at least I could start checking what went wrong on the forums. Problem is, I still have just the flashing cursor. I can boot up to the Windows CD and use the repair faciltiy. I have tried fixmbr and fixboot but still just the flashing cursor.

    I have now tried to get a quick Ubuntu installation on to use Grub. Still, the flashing cursor. This machine was running perfectly until I installed FreeBSD. Now it appears I have no way of booting anything on this machine. A Linux system repair CD confirms the drive is okay, as did chkdsk under Windows.

    Does anybody have any idea what has gone wrong? This is the first time a distro seems to have broken a hard drive for me.
     
  2. scottmaccal

    scottmaccal New Member

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    Given the circumstances it seems unlikely that your hard drive is broken. Have you investigated further to determine just what is on the hard drive now? Partitions etc. Can it be mounted by other operating systems?
     
  3. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    I can see the FreeBSD slice with an Ubuntu 9.10 livecd and the Windows partition is still there too. When I use the Windows recovery mode it can see the Windows partition too. Gparted reports the FreeBSD slice as unknown, and I have tried installing a minimal Ubuntu and Debian install at the end of the drive, just to see if Grub would recover whatever was needed at the beginning of the drive. So far, just the flashing cursor which I never got before installing FreeBSD.

    I have noticed though that the cursor now appears briefly before the Ubuntu LiveCD starts up. It feels like FreeBSD changed something in the bios (though I know that isn't possible) and now it takes an age to boot from CD too. It's way too much of a coincidence that the PC should just break exactly at the same time as installing FreeBSD. I don't have another machine here to check the drive.
     
  4. SirDice

    SirDice Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Check if the correct slice (or windows partition) is marked Active.
     
  5. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    Okay I've tried shifting the active partitions, boot flags and whatever I can with Gparted live and still no luck I'm afraid.
     
  6. phoenix

    phoenix Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you can boot from an old Windows 9x or DOS boot disk, a simple fdisk /mbr will return things to "normal".

    If you can boot to a Windows NT/XP recovery console, you can run fixmbr to recover the default MBR.

    After that, you should be able to boot to Windows as per normal.
     
  7. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    This is the problem. I ran fixmbr first and I still cannot boot my PC. The machine was running fine immediately before I installed FreeBSD. The installation went without errors, I installed the FreeBSD boot manager and then nothing would boot up. Just this flashing cursor. I can run Linux installation disks I can install Windows XP but when I try to boot anything.... just the flashing cursor.
     
  8. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    Well I've had to wipe off the entire drive. Grub didn't correct anything, fixmbr didn't work. I had to format the drive in Gparted and create a brand new ms-dos partition table. Just for checking I reinstalled FreeBSD (minimal this time) and again installed the boot manager to the MBR. FreeBSD's boot manager obviously is a little more severe with what it is installing than linux or Windows because again, the distro didn't boot up and the only way to make the drive usable again is to create a new ms-dos partition table. Trying to install GRUB or re-install the Windows bootloader through fixboot or fixmbr didn't work.
     
  9. Beastie

    Beastie Active Member

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    Does this help (especially post #7)?
     
  10. gvernold

    gvernold New Member

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    Actually Beastie that did help, thank you. It wasn't exactly the same problem that had occured in your link but I repeated the installation and played around with the cylinder 'settings'. I did manage to get the machine booting again. This seems to me like a bug in the FreeBSD boot manager as, if I don't install it and set up Grub manually instead, Grub just works and can also be replaced via fixmbr - something that didn't work with the FreeBSD BM. Should I file this as a bug report, and if so where?
     
  11. SirDice

    SirDice Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The link is on the top of this page, under Support.

    http://www.freebsd.org/send-pr.html
     
  12. klnW

    klnW New Member

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    I observed analogous wrong work of Boot Manager from FreeBSD i386 8.0 RELEASE and from new FreeBSD i386 7.3 RELEASE. Too installer could not install 2 packages "linux_base-f10-10_2.tbz" and "xscreensaver-gnome-hacks-5.10.tbz" from "8.0-RELEASE-i386-dvd1.iso" - md5sum of this image is all right. And it seems, these 2 packages can not be installed from "8.0-RELEASE-amd64-dvd1.iso"-dvd. Sadly. Boot Manager from "PCBSD8.0-x86-DVD.iso"-dvd is working well.