Message: 2
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 11:58:25 -0700
From: "White, Sean" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: problem installing 4.10, boot hangs after PLIP0

Help! (please...)
I am having a problem getting FreeBSD 4.10 installed on my machine.
Strangely, I have two almost identical boxes, and the problem exhibits
itself on one but not the other. Any help as to why this is happening
would be greatly appreciated. I have googled, searched list archives and
poured over the handbook multiple times, and the only error report I can
find that comes close (link below) does not seem to have been
So can anyone tell me what might be going on here, or what I might try
next to troubleshoot it? Any help or pointers would be appreciated. If
other logs or hardware info is required just ask, I will be glad to
provide. This hardware is all relatively old (I mean old as in
well-supported, not old as in crusty), so I wouldnt think there should
be issues with unsupported, bleeding-edge craziness. And the fact that
two nearly identical hardware configs are sporting different behavior
would seem to indicate an actual hardware failure on the part of the one
that doesnt work, but as I said, this box doesnt seem to have any
problems booting other OS's, so I am confused.

Identical hardware isn't necessarily identical firmware. You might try checking to see if a BIOS update is available. It sounds like a good candidate for addressing your symptoms.

Other thoughts in no particular order, and not necessarily good ones:

I don't know how well 4.10 deals with such things, but perhaps the BIOS is reporting a different disk geometry than what FreeBSD thinks it is seeing, and confusing things. FBSD should complain about this reasonably gracefully, but it's been a while since I've run in to that problem, so I'm not going to promise that it will.

You probably need the BIOS to be using LBA mode to address the disk, regardless of what it thinks is a good idea.

If all else fails, I would physically remove the 3Com card and try again. No particular reason why, but their cards have often been a source of pain to me. Physically removing (or turning off in the BIOS if not removable) everything not needed for a basic install (everything except video, hard drive, and CD-ROM) would be a good test.

Make a pair of install floppies, disable (physically unplug) the CD, and put the network card or a modem back in. Try to do a floppy/FTP install instead of a CD-ROM install. Suspect master/slave issues if that works.

FreeBSD used to have problems with IDE master/slave configs that other things could handle (I think it was slaves that have no masters). I thought that was fixed, but you might want to make sure you don't have a slave without a master on any of your ATA/IDE channels. You might also try swapping which channel your CD-ROM and HD are on if they are on different channels, or swapping their master-slave relationship if they are on the same channel.

I will disclaim in advance that, as with almost all computer problems,
the issue is probably me doing something stupid or forgetting something.
Please reply via the list and/or my email address below.
Sean White

I'm sure there are better ideas I'm not thinking of, but these might give you some clues to bring back to the list.

I recommend only posting to one list at a time (usually this one). I have no clue whether someone on the other list answered you or not, and it is not the appropriate forum for this question anyway (see description at

- Bob

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