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Date:      Wed, 31 Mar 2021 22:02:07 -0700
From:      Julio Merino <>
To:        Jason Bacon <>
Subject:   Re: Troubles with USB
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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I finally had some time today to get back to this.

In the end, I traced the problem with USB drives to the RAM upgrade I
performed. Pulling out the extra 8GB I added and leaving the machine with
2GB made the USB drives work again and I could reinstall the system. I'm
not sure why my previous attempt at doing this failed.

This smells like a bug in FreeBSD to me though. OpenFirmware had no trouble
loading the kernel and booting it but FreeBSD was just confused reading
from the drives. In fact, if I booted the already-installed FreeBSD,
plugged the USB stick in, and ran a "dd" to read the data, all I got were
zeroes. And if I tried to unplug and replug the drive, the system would

On Wed, Mar 10, 2021 at 6:39 PM Julio Merino <> wrote:

> Well, note that the USB stick and drive that I mentioned had previously
> worked on this machine. And OpenFirmware still sees them well and can boot
> the loader and kernel just fine. It's FreeBSD the one that gets confused
> when mounting the root file system...
> On Mon, Mar 8, 2021 at 6:30 AM Jason Bacon <> wrote:
>> I've had similar trouble, which I mentioned on this list in the past.
>> The PowerMac is finicky about USB sticks.  It seems that it does work
>> with U3 drives and other newer drives.  I was only able to boot from one
>> older 2 GB drive that has since burned out, so I'm unable to upgrade at
>> the moment, given that my optical drive can't read DVDs.
>> If you can find a USB stick the same vintage as the PowerMac, your luck
>> might change.
>>      JB
>> On 3/7/21 10:18 PM, Julio Merino wrote:
>> > However, here is where the strangeness starts. I want to repartition the
>> > boot (SSD) drive now... and I just cannot get the installer to work
>> again.
>> > Using the same image as before and the same USB stick, the installation
>> > kernel loads without issues from OpenFirmware... but as soon as it
>> starts
>> > loading /sbin/init, things start failing left and right. It feels as if
>> > there is I/O corruption when reading from the USB drive given that the
>> > system reports "invalid binary files" and segfaults everywhere. (I tried
>> > with another drive and found the same problem. I'm pretty sure the
>> drive is
>> > good given that it can be read from another system.)
>> --
>> Earth is a beta site.
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