Hi Jerry, Thank you for the swift and very thorough response. If I understand you correctly, then I should only create 1 slice of the entire disk (seeing as FreeBSD will be the only OS) using fdisk and then partition the slice using bsdlabels from sysinstall? Previously I was aiming for 5 slices, each of which had a single partition as described below.
>From your explanation I take it that "slices" are what Windows refers to as "Primary Partitions"? If that's the case then I understand the behaviour I experienced. Is it possible to make a slice non-bootable? And would there be any benefits (less fragmentation, faster access time etc.) in using slices rather than partitions to layout the harddrive or should slices only be used to represent a physical harddrive? Appreciate the clarification Cheers Jona On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 8:55 PM, Jerry McAllister <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 08:03:58PM +0100, Jonatan Evald Buus wrote: > > > Greetings, > > I tried to install FreeBSD 7.0 on an old server earlier today and ran in > to > > a number of issues related to slicing and labeling the disk using fdisk. > > The drive in the machine is a 40GB Seagate Barracude (ST34001A) installed > as > > a Secondary Master on the IDE bus using LBA. > > The BIOS reports that the drive has 16 sectors pr block, but little else. > > > > When accessing fdisk during install, fdisk complains that the disk > geometry > > is invalid and sets it to the default geometry for 40GB: > > Cylinders: 4865 > > Heads: 255 > > Sectors: 63 > > I've tried with the following configuration based on what was reported by > > the BIOS: > > Cylinders: 19150 > > Heads: 255 > > Sectors: 16 > > Looking in the manual: > > http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/manuals/ata/cuda7200pm.pdf, Seagate > is > > specifying the following logical characteristic: > > Cylinders: 16383 > > Read / Write heads: 16 > > Sectors pr track: 63 > > Which of these settings should be the correct one for the fdisk geometry? > > Let the system set it and just go with what it does. > Geometry is virtual nowdays. Except in some unusual situations > (on IDE) Cylinders, heads and sectors most often do not mean what > they used to. The system drivers have it all figured out. The > important thing for you is the total number of blocks/sectors. > > If that doesn't work, you will have to do some diagnosis, but in > about 10 out of 9 times, accepting how FreeBSD sets it is correct > and works. > > > > Additionally I encountered problems during installation if splitting the > > disk into more than 4 slices. This would cause the following error to be > > thrown during prior to the install files being copied (when sysinstall > was > > executing the newfs commands): > > You cannot have more than 4 slices. > The system limits you to 4 slices, identified by numbers 1..4 > > Once you divide in to slices, each can be further divided in to > up to 8 partitions, although it is really 7 because partition 'c' has > special meaning and is not really available to be a real partition. > Partitions are identified with alpha letters a..h - with 'c' being > used to identify the whole slice. > > You use fdisk to create the slices (and write the MBR and set > the bootable flag). > > Then you use bsdlabel (formerly called disklabel) to create the > partitions within a slice (plus write the slice boot block. > > Typically, you want to make partition 'a' be the root (/) filesystem > and 'b' be swap space on a bootable system slice. Some things assume > these designations. > > Then you newfs partitions a, d, e, f, g, h or as many as you use. > But don't touch c and don't newfs b if it is to be swap. > > ////jerry > > > "Error mounting /mnt/dev/X on /mnt/usr. No such file or directory" > > Using only 4 slices seems to have solved this error, however I'd like the > > disk layout to use 5 slices as follows: > > / = 512MB > > swap = 2048MB (the machine has 1024MB RAM) > > /tmp = 512MB > > /var = 2048MB > > /usr = whatever remains > > I noticed that when having 5 slices, the last slice (/usr) would be named > X > > rather than ad2s5 as I'd expect (the drive was detected as ad2). > > Is this behaviour related to the error in any way? > > Also, is the above disk layout good for a server intended to run both a > web > > server (Apache) and a database server (PostGreSQL) ? > > > > Finally after installation (using only 4 slices) the system will only > boot > > if the FreeBSD boot manager is used. > > That is probably because you have created what is referred to in the > documentation as a "dangerously dedicated" disk. You can make it > work that way. FreeBSD can handle it. But other systems will not > play nicely with it. > > > This in turn causes a 4 menu options, all of them named "FreeBSD" to > appear > > during startup despite only the / slice having been set as bootable in > fdisk > > which appears to be indicated by an "A" in the flag column. > > Again, because you tried to do it the wrong way. You created 4 FreeBSD > slices, probably each with an MBR and so the BIOS and the first MBR think > they are all bootable. > > > > Selecting the first menu item by pressing F1 will make the system boot as > > expected. > > It seems rather silly though to use a boot manager when FreeBSD is the > only > > operating system that is installed (and ever will be installed) on the > > machine. > > You can put in the other non-boot manager block during installation > if you want and it will only boot FreeBSD. But, something is needed. > I forget what they call it in the sysinstall screen, but you might just > as well put in the FreeBSD boot manager (MBR). > > > If the FreeBSD boot manager is not used however and only the MBR is set > > during installation, the system will fail at startup with error "Invalid > > Partition Table". > > Is this because the harddrive is installed as the Secondary Master on the > > IDE bus? > > No, it is because you did not create any partition table (with bsdlabel). > > ////jerry > > > > > Appreciate any input on this > > > > Cheers > > Jona > > _______________________________________________ > > firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list > > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to " > [EMAIL PROTECTED]" > -- JONATAN EVALD BUUS Executive Vice President Open Systems and Telecommunications Mobile US +1 (305) 331-5242 Mobile DK +45 2888 2861 Telephone +1 (305) 777-0392 Fax. +1 (305) 777-0449 [EMAIL PROTECTED] www.cellpointmobile.com CellPoint Mobile Inc. 4000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard Suite 470 Coral Gables, FL 33146 USA 'Mobilizing the Enterprise' _______________________________________________ email@example.com mailing list http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[EMAIL PROTECTED]"