Post install requires manual root fs mount

I'm attempting to install FreeBSD 7.1-RC1 (AMD64). The install completes fine, however when attempting to boot I am presented with the "[font="Courier New"]Manual root filesystem specification[/font]" and [font="Courier New"]mountroot>[/font] prompt. I am able to specify the filesystem and partition slice to mount root. From there I am able to mount the partition slice [font="Courier New"]/etc[/font] resides on and mount the remainder with "[font="Courier New"]mount -a[/font]" with no errors.

Here are the specs of my hardware config:
  • Asus M3A78-EM motherboard (AMD 780G northbridge, AMD SB700 southbridge)
  • Sempron 2GHZ CPU
  • 4GB RAM (2x2GB dual channel config)
  • Seagate 40GB IDE (PATA) HDD (set as Master on IDE channel)
  • Magicspin IDE (PATA) DVD-ROM (set as Slave on same IDE channel that the HDD occupies)

These are the troubleshooting steps I have taken:
  • Disabled IEEE 1394 Firewire (caused installer to hang when enabled)
  • Disabled USB in BIOS
  • Disabled ACPI 2.0 support in BIOS
  • Disabled ACPI APIC support in BIOS
  • Selected Disable ACPI in FreeBSD boot menu
  • Selected Safe Mode in FreeBSD boot menu
  • Reinstalled with Standard Bootloader
  • Reinstalled with FreeBSD Bootloader
  • Moved HDD from onboard controller to a PCI Promise FastTrack 100 IDE controller, attempted to change settings in fstab to correct values, and also reinstalled 7.1-RC1 (AMD64)
  • Checked output for "[font="Courier New"]bsdlabel ad0s1[/font]" and made sure it was correct
  • Checked output for "[font="Courier New"]boot0cfg -v ad0[/font]" and found that [font="Courier New"]nopacket[/font] was set. Ran "[font="Courier New"]boot0cfg -o packet ad0[/font]" to correct with no change.
  • Installed 7.1-RC1 (AMD64) on a 40GB Western Digital IDE HDD
  • Did a FTP install of 7.1-RC1 (i386) with same results on the WD drive
  • Removed IDE HDD and installed on a 80GB Seagate SATA drive

Hopefully someone has an idea for me.
So I'm an idiot. For some reason I got it in my head that /etc needed its own slice. Obviously it doesn't and shouldn't ever. I feel like such a n00b.

I'd edit my original post so it doesn't show up in the search results of searches for the numerous possible terms it has, but I've past my 2 hour edit window. I'm more than ok with this thread getting deleted if the mods choose to do so.