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Date:      Fri, 22 Jan 2010 08:09:50 -0600
From:      John <john@starfire.mn.org>
To:        Fbsd1 <fbsd1@a1poweruser.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions <questions@freebsd.org>
Subject:   Re: "Invalid partition table" after installation (GOOD NEWS!)
Message-ID:  <20100122080950.B28958@starfire.mn.org>
In-Reply-To: <20100122072756.A28958@starfire.mn.org>; from john@starfire.mn.org on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 07:27:56AM -0600
References:  <20100121014759.B3377@starfire.mn.org> <4B58127E.9000106@a1poweruser.com> <20100121065206.B8574@starfire.mn.org> <4B5863D6.2000800@a1poweruser.com> <20100121180336.B17543@starfire.mn.org> <4B59973B.8040203@a1poweruser.com> <20100122063614.A27734@starfire.mn.org> <20100122072756.A28958@starfire.mn.org>

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On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 07:27:56AM -0600, John wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 06:36:14AM -0600, John wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 08:16:59PM +0800, Fbsd1 wrote:
> > > John wrote:
> > > > On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:25:26PM +0800, Fbsd1 wrote:
> > > >> John wrote:
> > > >>> On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 04:38:22PM +0800, Fbsd1 wrote:
> > > >>>> John wrote:
> > > >>>>> I've tried the "modern BIOS" geometry and the "255 head" geometry.
> > > >>>>> I've ensured that the first slice (boot slice) is smaller than 1.5
> > > >>>>> Gb.  I've tried to figure out what the BIOS thinks the geometry
> > > >>>>> is, but it doesn't seem to want to tell me.  At least, I can't find
> > > >>>>> it in the BIOS menu anywhere.  When I boot from the CD-ROM with
> > > >>>>> the 255 head geometry, though, it complains about the disk geometry,
> > > >>>>> saying 16h,63s != 255h,63s or something like that - it flies by
> > > >>>>> pretty fast (is there a way to go back and see that from the CD-ROM
> > > >>>>> "boot only" boot?).
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> I'm using the "Standard" boot manager, and the entire disk is devoted
> > > >>>>> to FreeBSD.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> System
> > > >>>>> BIOS version  PT84510A.86A.2004.P05
> > > >>>>> Processor Type: Intel Pentium 4
> > > >>>>> Processor speed: 2.20Ghz
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> Memory: 512Mb
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> Disk: Primary IDE Master ST380021A (Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 80Gb)
> > > >>>>> Primary IDE Slave: IOMega ZIP 250
> > > >>>>> Secondary IDE Master: Sony CD-RW CRX19 (what I boot from to install)
> > > >>>>> Secondary IDE Slave: DVD-ROM DDU1621
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> Boot sequence:
> > > >>>>> 1) ATAPI CD-ROM
> > > >>>>> 2) Hard Drive
> > > >>>>> 3) "Removable Dev."
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> "Modern BIOS" geometry: 155061/16/63 for ad0
> > > >>>>> "calculated" geometry: 9729/255/63 for ad0
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> ad0s1 start=63, size=2875572
> > > >>>>> ad0s2 start=2875635, size=10217340
> > > >>>>> ad0s3 start=13092975, size=143203410
> > > >>>>> unus  start=156296384, size=5103
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> ad0s1a / 384Mb
> > > >>>>> ad0s1d /usr 1Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s2b SWAP 1Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s2d /tmp 384Mb
> > > >>>>> ad0s2e /var 512Mb
> > > >>>>> ad0s2f /var/mail 2Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s2g /usr/ports 1Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s3d /home/mysql 4Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s3e /home 50Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s3f /usr/src 3Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s3g /usr/obj 3Gb
> > > >>>>> ad0s3h /extra 8483Mb
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> Suggestions, please?  I'm making zero headway right now. :(
> > > >>>> What version of FreeBSD are you running????
> > > >>> Well, yes, I suppose that would be a good bit of information!
> > > >>>
> > > >>> What I'm *TRYING* to run is 8.0.  It seems to install successfully
> > > >>> (of course - after doing all that), but then when I try to boot
> > > >>> from the hard drive, I see an otherwise-blank screen that says:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Invalid partition table
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>> and that's as far as it goes!
> > > >>>
> > > >>>> _______________________________________________
> > > >>>> freebsd-questions@freebsd.org mailing list
> > > >>>> http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
> > > >>>> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-unsubscribe@freebsd.org"
> > > >> There are reports of this sort of thing caused by 8.0 fdisk when doing a 
> > > >> install from scratch over a hard drive that all ready has an older 
> > > >> version of Freebsd installed on it.
> > > >>
> > > >> The solution is to force the scratching of the MBR on the disk first 
> > > >> before running sysinstall fdisk.
> > > >>
> > > >> Boot a LiveFS CD, then at a root prompt do:
> > > >>
> > > >> sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16  and:
> > > >>
> > > >> dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/adx oseek=1 bs=512 count=1
> > > >>
> > > >> where x equals your drive number.
> > > > 
> > > > OK.  I did exactly that.  I confirmed that the second 512 bytes were zero
> > > > by doing a dd if/dev/ad0 bs=512 count=2 | od -c
> > > > and everything from 001000 through 002000 was zero.
> > > > 
> > > > But I still got "Invalid partition table" after the installation.
> > > > 
> > > > I guess I should set up one of my other systems as a local mirror.
> > > > I've done the installation so many time already, and it looks like
> > > > I'm not done yet!
> > > 
> > > On the 8.0 fdisk/MBR subject.
> > > Doing dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/adx oseek=1 bs=512 count=1 was the
> > > solution from another post to the list with subject 'SunFire X2100
> > > fails'. Here is another post that gives more details
> > > http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/getmsg.cgi?fetch=322687+326879+/usr/local/
> > > www/db/text/2009/freebsd-questions/20091227.freebsd-questions
> > > 
> > > It seems in 8.0 gpart was introduced and a change was made to fdisk to
> > > support its sector o mbr format. 8.0 fdisk and disklabel are now broken.
> > > 
> > > Searching the list archives may shed more light on your problem.
> > 
> > Hmmm.  This seems to describe a case where fdisk fails to change
> > the slice table.  That is definitely not my case.  The changes
> > certainly get made.  The next time I go to retry the installation,
> > it has the information I gave it the previous time.  I suppose it is
> > possible that it is putting it (and reading it) in the wrong location,
> > which is why the MBR throws up.
> > 
> > The problem is that I have a finite (and smallish) amount of time
> > in which to solve this.  It seems like the most expedient route
> > forward at this point may be to try to install 7.2 and see how
> > that goes.
> 
> OK - well, I just tried with 7.2.  I got exactly the same results.
> After what seems like a successful installation, I try to boot from
> the hard disk and get "Invalid partition table."  Should I try Boot
> Manager?  Could that make a difference?  Is it possible that this
> combination of BIOS, processor, disk drive, etc., just isn't going
> to to do for me?  I can't just keep throwing hours at this problem.
> -- 
> 

OK!  Well!  Good news!  After a sort.

I switched to BootMgr, and it came right up with 8.0!

Slight downside - extra prompt during boot, and of course, it
offers me all three slices, when I only need to boot from
one.

Is that's what's wrong with "Standard" MBR?  Are all three FSD
partitions (type 165) marked bootable and that's upsetting it?
Can I change it so only one of them is marked bootable?

Anyway, it appears that there is a problem with the "Standard" MBR
boot.  I don't think I was doing anything that unnatural - I wanted
quite a few file systems, so I used multiple slices, both to keep
the boot slice below 1.5Gb and to be able to support all the file
systems I wanted, and maybe that's what upset it.  I don't know.
All I know is that Standard MBR didn't work, and BootMgr does.

I'm willing to spend SOME time trying to debug / fix this for the
good of the community and the next poor sucker who comes along
behind me, but I need to move somewhat quickly.  I actually plan
to use this machine!
-- 

John Lind
john@starfire.MN.ORG



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