If your soon-to-be-FreeBSD machine lacks both a CD drive and a floppy, doesnâ€™t have the power cables or physical space to install a CD drive, cannot boot off a USB device for whatever reason, and you donâ€™t yet have the knowledge to set up a PXE nstaller (this is a lot of â€œifs,â€ but a whole slew of older small rackmount servers fit this description), donâ€™t despair. You can get a CD drive on your computer for the install.
The safest thing to do is remove your hard drive and install it on a system with a removable-media drive. Unlike some other operating systems, FreeBSD will let you install on one machine and run on another. If thatâ€™s not an option, hereâ€™s a trick Iâ€™ve used more than once. (It might electrocute the hardware or yourself, and will certainly invalidate your warranty. The author is not responsible for barbecued hardware or system administrators!)
Find an old computer running any operating system with an IDE CD drive. Put the old machine next to your FreeBSD box, unplug it, and open the case. Open the case of your FreeBSD machine. On the old computer, detach the CD driveâ€™s IDE cable at the controller end. Leave the power attached to the CD drive. Attach the dangling IDE cable from the old machine to an open port on your FreeBSD systemâ€™s IDE controller. Turn on the old computer; the CD will power up even though itâ€™s not attached to the old computerâ€™s IDE controller. Now turn on the new computer, and it will pick up the CD as an attached device.
After the install, put everything back just the way you found it, and nobody will ever know.
extract from Book Absoulute FreeBSD 2nd Edition page 46 .
First, I would like to say "Thank you" as all you guys are so helpful. I ask the same question in other forum and get no reply. Thanks again.
Actually, my case quite is stupid and complicated. Here is my situation:
I've got an old notebook computer (10-year-old).
The CD-ROM doesn't work.
Floppy drive and USB are OK.
No built-in ethernet.
PCMCIA slot plus 3M PCMCIA network card works well in Win98 NOW.
I've check the hardware list. The 3M card is workable in FreeBSD 7.
No UNIX machines around ==> cannot format the USB drive to UFS.
Change this OLD Win98 notebook computer to FreeBSD 7 file/web server.
I installed on a 2,5" HDD with a 2,5" to 3,5" adapter several times. That's no big problem.
You only need to change fstab after the installation finished if you leave your PC's hard drives in the PC while installing. Then probably the 2,5" HDD is ad1 and not ad0 which it will be in your notebook.
BTW I bet you can't boot from USB on a 10 year old notebook, so the adapter seems to be the only chance to install FreeBSD on the notebook.
Run UNetbootin and let it download automatically the FreBSD image and install it on your USB key.
Then if you can boot on your key, you can install FreeBSD by FTP, or from the key itself as explained here (2.13.4 Installing from an MS-DOSÂ® Partition). If I remember correctly I had to replace â€œe: \binâ€ by â€œe: \baseâ€ and so on (without the space character).