Keith Kelly wrote:
OK, but if the auto mode uses the wrong C/H/S translation, this default
may be the source of your problem.  What happens when you switch from
using "auto" to explicitly using "LBA"?

I don't know. I've never had to change away from "Auto" to get any other OS to install or boot from any of my hard drives, though, so I really doubt that is the problem. I'm quite confident the problem must lie with FreeBSD itself, in the form of a bug or a lack of hardware support. Although my integrated IDE controller and all other basic hardware is on the FreeBSD supported hardware list.

No, the problem doesn't lie with FreeBSD. The problem is in the long line of kept compatibilities since the first Intel-PC. There is no need for an addressing mode besides LBA if you are using current hardware (And this current being a long time). The problem first came when the hard drives hit the first CHS barrier: The manufacturing companies chose different formulas to converted the real CHS to the BIOS CHS values. So until the get used to a common formula or the Linear Block Adressing you couldnt even swap harddrives from one system to another of another IDE board manufacturer. SCSI got more luck on this platform since most manufactures used the adaptec formula and NCR had its own, but could detect if an adaptec formula was used. Back to your systems problem. The BIOS assumes you a different alignment on the harddrive than the system.

ONLY if you choose ONE addressing mode you get predictable results and that should be LBA, since it is used in modern ATA-commands. Other addressing modes should only be used for older drives which cant use LBA. I hope there will be a time when the CHS conversions get dropped from BIOS, but I doubt that. Choosing one mode enforces the correct conversion on each system.

I definitely do not have hardware issues, because Linux, Windows XP,
2000, BeOS, and SkyOS have all worked fine at various points, and
Windows XP
continues to work fine :-)

Lucky you. Haven't been so lucky, but LBA solved it.


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