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Date:      Tue, 06 Nov 2012 23:59:43 -0500
From:      "Thomas Mueller" <mueller23@insightbb.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Cc:        Snow Mountains <snow.mountains.4@gmail.com>
Subject:   Re: Groupping restored partitions into slices
Message-ID:  <1B.E6.23131.FBAE9905@smtp02.insight.synacor.com>

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> Thomas, thank you very much for your mail, but that isn't what I asked.

> Of course, I know that "bsdlabel -R ad0s1 new_label_file" writes new
> labels to ad0s1.

> My question is: what to do if I _lost_ s1, s2, and s3 - how to recover
> _them_ first? Without that, all I can do is to write labels table
> directly on ad0.

> SergiM.

I thought you had found where the slices and partitions had been.  Otherwise,
if you only have the BSD partitions and need to label more than 8, there is
gpart in FreeBSD base system and Rod Smith's gdisk, available in FreeBSD ports
and also on the System Rescue CD (sysresccd.org).  If you switch to GPT, you 
can accommodate 128 partitions by default, and you wouldn't need the original
slices, just the BSD partitions in what had been the slices.

If you switch to GPT as opposed to MBR, you won't use bsdlabel; partitions for
each FreeBSD installation would be listed in /etc/fstab.

If you have the data, where each slice began and ended, you can restore the
slices with fdisk.

If you can find the BSD partitions and have the media space to backup to, you
might want to backup the partitions if feasible, as protection in case you
mess up.

NetBSD disklabel can accommodate up to 16 partitions per hard disk, but
FreeBSD might not be able to properly read a NetBSD disklabel.  Also, NetBSD
disklabel is very tricky and temperamental; I'd surely trust gdisk or gpart
over NetBSD disklabel.

Tom



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