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Date:      Sun, 12 Mar 2006 20:52:49 -0000
From:      "Frank Mitchell" <mitchell@cloudynwuk.force9.co.uk>
To:        <matteo@freebsd.org>
Cc:        freebsd-qa@freebsd.org
Subject:   bin_48341 MBR Problems
Message-ID:  <000001c64625$59101bc0$2dd4ae51@hal>

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Dear Matteo Riondato,

I had a similar problem to Heiner's, installing FreeBSD on a Windows
machine. But I noticed there was a problem with CHS Translation Geometry,
which may have been the cause.

I had Windows Me installed in Primary and Extended Partitions set up using
Windows FDISK. The Hard Drive is a Seagate Medalist 2122 (ST32122A) which
physically has 2 platters and 4 heads.

FreeBSD fdisk accepts the Default Logical Geometry supplied by the ATA
Identify Drive Command. That means 4092 Logical Cylinders + 16 Logical
Heads. Seagate documentation says this is acceptable to Non-DOS Operating
Systems.

But Seagate says DOS is likely to prefer 1023 Logical Cylinders + 64 Logical
Heads. This configuration is displayed by the Slackware fdisk, presumably
because Slackware wants compatibility with Logical Drives in an Extended
Windows Partition.

After installing FreeBSD I got an unbootable Hard Drive, which couldn't be
fixed using "SYS C:" on the Windows Rescue Floppy. Then Windows FDISK
reported the Hard Drive was only 504 Meg instead of the usual 2014 Meg.
Clearly an unwanted factor of 4 was involved.

I'm new to FreeBSD so I may be on the wrong track here. But I'm going to
read up CHS Translation Geometry and try again after my next Backup.

Frank Mitchell





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