On Thu, Feb 19, 2004 at 09:48:04PM -0500, Mike Newell wrote:
> On Wed, 18 Feb 2004, Tony Frank wrote:
> tfrank> While I cannot perhaps comment on your problem, you can try either pressing
> tfrank> 'pause' key or 'scrolllock' which might help depending on where the problems
> tfrank> are occuring.
> They don't work.  Fortunately I was able to:
>   1. Hook a null modem to the serial port and my laptop.
>   2. Run hyperterm on my laptop to view serial port data.
>   3. During the initial boot load hit ESC to get the "Boot:" promt,
>      then do "-h" to switch to serial console.
>   4. Capture the stuff on the serial console.
> What it does is repeatedly go through the BTX boot loader, saying
> something like (this is from memory):
>   BTX loader...
>   BIOS Drive A is disk 0
>   BIOS Drive C is disk 1
>   BIOS Drive D is disk 2
>   BTX loader...
>   BIOS Drive A is disk 3
>   BIOS Drive C is disk 4
>   BIOS Drive D is disk 5
>   BTX loader...
> and so on.  Eventually it runs out of drive numbers and starts saying
> "Can't figure out our boot device" a few times, then crashes with an
> assert error.  Looks like the loader is just looping until it runs out of
> heap.

That suggests that it may be confused somehow.
I saw the crash/assert type scenario if the boot blocks are not installed
Ie the MBR is updated with the bootmgr (F1 .. bit) but the 2nd/3rd stages
were corrupted somehow.
(In my case I accidentally overwrote the blocks with some experiementation)
You can reinstall boot blocks using bsdlabel (or disklabel on 4.9)
If you can boot from floppy/CD, get into fixit mode.
Then run:
bsdlabel -B da0s1 (assuming da0 is the disk you are trying to boot from)

> If I try to boot directly into the kernel the cursor changes from a
> blinking underscore to a solid block and the system just locks up.
> In no case is there an error message or any other indication that
> something is weird.

Have you tried 4.9-RELEASE on this system?

I understand that 5.2.1-RC2 ISO is also available which might be another option.


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