Jerry McAllister wrote:

If you select F5 (maybe F6 or more,  I should try that some time) it
will instead cause the MBR from that second (maybe third, etc) disk to be loaded and passes control to it.
F5 moves to the next disk. From that next disk F5 moves on to the next disk again and so forth until there are no more disks and then it moves you back to the first disk. No F6 or greater.

F5 will only successfully move on if there is a FreeBSD MBR (*) on the next disk. If there is not such an MBR, the F5 option is displayed but will not work (maybe beep?) and after a while you will timeout and boot whatever default you have.

Bad idea to lose the MBR from a disk in the middle of a chain, but easy to put back booting from CD1.

So as the OP had:

F1: FreeBSD
F5: Disk 2 (Windows)

but had not put FreeBSD MBR on that second disk, F5 did nothing and then the F1 default kicked in and booted FreeBSD. Had the MBR been on that second disk it would have started to boot windows and then likely rebooted because the disk was no longer in the same position in the chain as it had been when Windows was installed.

I don't believe it is necessary for Windows to always be the first disk, just that the disk has to stay in the same position as it was in when Windows was installed, which is usually the first disk! (Never tested that though).


(*) Actually I have no idea what would happen if you stuck some other booter like grub or gag on a later disk. But blank (new) disk or Windows MBR will not move on.

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