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Date:      Wed, 21 Aug 1996 09:31:27 +0930 (CST)
From:      Michael Smith <msmith@atrad.adelaide.edu.au>
To:        SCHCATS@siu.edu (Nathan Denny)
Cc:        questions@freebsd.org, hackers@freebsd.org, install@freebsd.org, bugs@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Disk geometry problems.
Message-ID:  <199608210001.JAA07495@genesis.atrad.adelaide.edu.au>
In-Reply-To: <321A254A.414@siu.edu> from "Nathan Denny" at Aug 20, 96 03:51:22 pm

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Firstly, _please_ don't spam the lists with installation questions.

Nathan Denny stands accused of saying:
> 
> I tried a floppy and DOS partition installation of FreeBSD 2.1.0-RELEASE and
> 2.1.5-RELEASE to each of a 386-40 w/2 IDE 115MB disks, a 486DLC-40 w/1 850MB IDE
> disk, and a Pentium-100 w/1 1.2GB IDE disk.
> 
> Each time, I got the warning Calculated sectors percyclinder (xxxx) does not
> agree ... or something and the installation crashed with a written -1 of 512
> bytes, invalid gzip, etc.

The 'calculated sectors...' message is harmless and can be ignored.

The 'invalid gzip etc.' message on the other hand, means that your 
distribution is corrupted.  That's all there is to it.

> It is not the data or the media.  I've tried two versions,
> downloaded 10 times, from 3 sites, so at least one of those
> installations should have worked.

It _is_ the data, or the means that you are using to get it onto the
target system.  Without knowing what that is, or which 3 sites you have
installed from, nobody can help you.

> It seems to me that the installation program reads the data, and
> caches it in core memory.  When the buffer is full it flushes it to
> the disk.  However, since the calculated geometry is wrong, it tries
> to write it to some unknown destination and thppt...crash!

You are guessing, and you are wrong.  Don't.

> How does FreeBSD get such a wild geometry?  It seems to detect the
> correct geometry at boot and partition parts, but when it creates
> the file system it's 100%+ wrong.

The geometry used for the filesystem is a fiction designed to defeat
some of the old optimisations built into the filesystem design back
when the old RA81 was a hot piece of disk hardware and it was worth
the system's time caring about the geometry.  It has nothing to do
with your mundane data corruption problem.

> Nate.

-- 
]] Mike Smith, Software Engineer        msmith@atrad.adelaide.edu.au    [[
]] Genesis Software                     genesis@atrad.adelaide.edu.au   [[
]] High-speed data acquisition and      (GSM mobile) 0411-222-496       [[
]] realtime instrument control          (ph/fax)  +61-8-267-3039        [[
]] Collector of old Unix hardware.      "Where are your PEZ?" The Tick  [[



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