On Fri, 7 Sep 2012, markham breitbach wrote:

I am trying to partition a disk to be used as the primary boot disk for a 
FreeBSD 8.3
installation using gpart to install an MBR partition.

The system is an existing FreeBSD 5.2.1 system at a remote location (ie 
impossible to boot
from CD/netboot/etc), but has no data of value.  To do this I am copying /boot 
mfsroot.gz from an mfsbsd iso image to boot to an MFS live system so I can wipe 
the drive
and do a clean install of 8.3.  After booting to the MFS I do this:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad2 bs=1m count=1
gpart create -s mbr ad2
gpart add -b63 -t freebsd ad2
gpart create -s bsd ad2s1
gpart add -i1 -s 1g -t freebsd-ufs ad2s1
gpart add -i2 -s 1g -t freebsd-swap ad2s1
gpart add -i4 -s 2g -t freebsd-ufs ad2s1
gpart add -i5 -s 1g -t freebsd-ufs ad2s1
gpart add -i6 -t freebsd-ufs ad2s1
gpart set -a active -i 1 ad2
gpart bootcode -b /boot/mbr ad2
newfs /dev/ad2s1a
newfs -U /dev/ad2s1d
newfs -U /dev/ad2s1e
newfs -U /dev/ad2s1f

followed by a sysinstall and some configuration.  When I reboot I get a message 
that says
"Operating system not found" and the system hangs.

If I follow the same procedure but create a gpt partition it works swimmingly.  
I am OK
with using a gpt partition if needed, but for the sake of curiosity I would 
like to know
why I can't make the MBR partition partition work.  Am I missing something?

Need to install bootcode to the slice also:

# gpart bootcode -b /boot/boot ad2s1

Why are you skipping partition 3? For that matter, don't give partition numbers when adding, and gpart will just use the next available.

If GPT works, there is little reason to use MBR.
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