FreeBSD 10.3/11.0-RELEASE (amd64) IMG/ISO not USB bootable

mf313131

New Member


Messages: 3

Hi!

I've been using FreeBSD 9 on a fairly old computer based on Intel® DG45FC motherboard, with a Celeron 64bit CPU. After 3 years lying there gathering dust, I've decided to repurpose it and run the latest release.

So far, I've been unsuccessful at booting FreeBSD 10.3/11.0-RELEASE (AMD64). I've tried two different USB sticks, which I tested them with other distributions (Alpine Linux), to make sure that the machine was actually able to boot off of a USB stick. It worked both with legacy BIOS mode and UEFI.

Nevertheless, none of the following was successful:
  • dd-ing the memstick.img (tried the memstick-mini.img, too) file straight onto the USB drive
  • installing syslinux or GRUB2 on the USB stick, and use it to boot the memstick.img or the dvd1 or disk1.iso images. For the ISO files, I've tried TrueOS/PC-BSD GRUB2 menu entries, to make sure that the bootloader was correctly informed about the kernel and modules' locations on disk. I've also tried chainloading, but was not successful.
When dd-ing the 11.0 memstick(-mini).img files straight onto the USB drive, the resulting device is recognized as "not bootable" by the BIOS. Same using UEFI mode. With 10.3 (BIOS only), it starts booting, but it immediately freezes, leaving only a "|\" symbol on the top-left corner.

Does anyone have any suggestion on how to debug this better? I'm practically stuck: It never occurred anything like this before on this machine.

Thanks!
 
OP
OP
M

mf313131

New Member


Messages: 3

Can you tell us the exact command you used when dding?
Quoting the handbook, and adapting the flavor to the fact that I'm using Mac OS X:

Code:
$ sudo dd if=FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img of=/dev/disk1 bs=1m conv=sync
 

tobiam

Member

Reaction score: 22
Messages: 87

I'd try another computer (if you can't, try other USB sticks) and maybe another USB stick. I frequently stumble across bad hardware, when ding these kinds of things.

If you wanna make sure it's hardware related you can try dding another OS.

Also, you don't have the stick mounted, right? And you are sure that you don't accidentally dd to a partition, rather than the raw disk device?
 
OP
OP
M

mf313131

New Member


Messages: 3

I'd try another computer (if you can't, try other USB sticks) and maybe another USB stick. I frequently stumble across bad hardware, when ding these kinds of things.

If you wanna make sure it's hardware related you can try dding another OS.

Also, you don't have the stick mounted, right? And you are sure that you don't accidentally dd to a partition, rather than the raw disk device?
Yes, I did dd-ed on the whole raw disk device.

I tested:
  • other USB sticks (with FreeBSD) on the same computer: none booted
  • other OSs (Alpine Linux) on the same USB sticks on the same computer: all booted
  • the same USB sticks (with FreeBSD) on other computers (MacBook Pro): all booted
There seem to be something odd with that hardware that is not considered by FreeBSD 10 and 11's bootloader.
 

Chris_H

Daemon

Reaction score: 194
Messages: 1,076

It's likely got buggered after so many format/re-format/partition dd...
SO
OK sadly they don't show a make usb-image cheatsheet on the download FreeBSD page, as they used to.
Here's a quick rundown on what I'd do if I were you. :)
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=2m count=0
Make DAMN sure that the USB stick/drive you're working with, IS /dev/da0 before doing that. Or you can say goodbye to whatever media you had plugged in as that (USB) device number.

After that, you should be able to proceed as recommended on the install doc ie;
dd if=FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1M conv=sync
Again, assuming that the USB stick is the first device (0).
I think the "magic" is to wipe/blank the stick beforehand. Which is what the first command I listed does.

Good luck!

--Chris

P.S. If you still can't get it to work. I can show you how to make an emulated CD/DVD that is sure to work on anything back to around 1985. :)
 
Top