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Date:      Thu, 17 Jan 2008 10:42:28 -0500
From:      Jerry McAllister <>
To:        Eric LaVoie <>
Subject:   Re: external hard drive for mobile pc
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 07:55:20PM -0800, Eric LaVoie wrote:

> Will FreeBSD work if I install it on an external hard drive, connected to a mobile PC via USB or FireWire, as a partition ( the two partitions being the mobile PC's internal Hardrive and this external hard drive which I am asking about.)?
> If the answer is yes: can you provide me with links to some documentation covering how I would create the partition on the external hard drive ( this partition would cover as much of this drive as possible with the internal one being used for Windows Vista.); and how I can burn bootable DVD-RWs from the .iso image files of FreeBSD which I downloaded from your site?
> Thank-you for your time,
> Eric

Well, I have an external USB drive on my deskside machine and I don't see 
how it should be different for a mobile one, except you might not want to
always carry the external drive with you.   So, you will want to 'noauto' 
it in fstab, so it doesn't always try to mount it at boot time.  Then
you can mount it manually when you need it.  You will most likely have
to have it plugged in at boot time if you want to use it so the system
knows to make a device for it.

The process of creating slices and partitions/filesystems on an
external drive are exactly the same as doing it on an internal drive.
You should be able to use either fdisk/bsdlabel/newfs or have sysinstall
do it for you.   

I had some trouble because the drive I had was larger than the slice
size limit those things would handle on V 6.1 which I was using on that
machine then.   So, I had to use gparted to create 3 slices.  Then I
was able to do it in a standard manner - just as described in the
handbook for adding drives and in numerous posts to the list - I have
made several - and some FAQs in online publications.   So, just a 
little searching for adding a disk will get you what you need.

Remember, that in FreeBSD, primary divisions of the disk are
called 'slices' and slices can be subdivided in to 'partitions'.

Microsloth mangles those so that primary divisions are called
primary partitions and subdivisions are called extended partitions
but their extended partitions are not compatible with UNIX, although
there are UNIX ways of talking to them.


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