I'm trying to get my first FreeBSD (4.8-RELEASE) installation working, and
I am having trouble getting a system which boots, primarily due to what
appear to be disk geometry issues (but this is a complete newbie guess).

The hardware:
  Gigabyte GA-6BXC motherboard 
  (BIOS V.F4c <http://tw.giga-byte.com/motherboard/support/bios/BIOS_GA-6BXC.htm>)
  Celeron 366
  448 MB RAM
  Seagate ST380011A 80GB HDD
  Mitsumi CD-ROM FX320S
  Delta CD-Writer
  No FDD
  AcerLAN ALN-325 10/100 PCI Ethernet Adapter (Realtek 8139 chipset)
  Creative Soundblaster SB16 CT2960 ISA sound card
  Diamond Viper 330 AGP
  HP 4033B monitor

My first attempt at installing FreeBSD (using the bootable CDROM images
for 4.8-RELEASE) was rewarded with "Missing Operating System" on next
boot.  FreeBSD guesses the geometry as being 155061/16/63, which it
then discards as incorrect (the first time through the install I accepted
its assumed geometry of 9729/255/63).

The BIOS CMOS is configured to "Auto" detect the drives on boot, if I
change it to "User" it defaults to 38307/16/255 - but sysinstall/fdisk
rejects this geometry outright.

Next, I created a NTFS partition on the drive with an XP install CD,
and then booted from the FreeBSD install CDs with -v, and got the
following output:

BIOS Geometries:
  0:03fe0f3f 0..1022=1023 cylinders, 0..15=16 heads, 1..63=63 sectors
  0 accounted for
Device configuration finished


Creating DISK ad0
ar: FreeBSD check1 failed
ad0: <ST380011A/3.06> ATA-6 disk at ata0-master
ad0: 76319MB (156301488 sectors), 155061 C, 16H, 63S, 512B
ad0: piomode=4 dmamode=2 udmamode=5 cblid=1
ata1-master: piomode=4 dmamode=2 udmamode=4 dmaflag=1
ata1-master: success setting PIO4 on generic chip

So I tried installing with 1023/16/63.  Still the "Missing Operating
System" error.

Out of other ideas, I resorted to "Dangerous Dedicated", which at least
gave a different error:

No /boot/loader

>> FreeBSD/i386 BOOT
Default: 0:ad(0,a)/kernel
No /kernel

A bit of googling suggested 0:ad(0,c)/kernel as an alternative boot
command, but it had no greater success for my case.

So other suggestions would be appreciated!

As my plan is to use the machine as a dedicated server, "Dangeously
Dedicated" is not an issue for me, as long this won't be a problem
for future FreeBSD releases...?

It's also worth noting that I upgraded the BIOS to v.F4c as the
system would not boot with the ST380011A connected (BIOS hung trying to
display the drive size).  Interestingly the release notes state
"Support 75GB HDD", rather than 75GB+...  Particularly since
the FreeBSD sysinstall partitioning/slice tool reports the drive size
as 76319MB (less than 75GB), even though it is meant to be an 80GB

BTW, when installing/configuring XFree86 I selected "nv RIVA 128" as
my video card, as this seemed the closest to the Viper 330 (given I
understand it uses the Riva 128 chipset).  Is this the right selection?
If I try and run the graphical X-windows configuration tool it fails, so I
set the above through the curses interface...

Fare thee well,

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