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format slice - FreeBSD

Hello, I have a freebsd installation on a disk with two slices. One of them has the current freebsd install, the other has a win2k installation. I want to convert the win2k slice to a freebsd slice (by deleting the old one and add a new one). I followed the handbook but when I try to delete the win2k slice, and want to write the changes to the disk, sysinstall returns "a disk error". The steps I took were simple: - run sysinstall en select fdisk - choose delete on the NTFS slice - Write changes Then sysinstall complains that ...

  1. #1

    Default format slice

    Hello,

    I have a freebsd installation on a disk with two slices. One of them has the
    current freebsd install, the other has a win2k installation. I want to
    convert the win2k slice to a freebsd slice (by deleting the old one and add
    a new one). I followed the handbook but when I try to delete the win2k
    slice, and want to write the changes to the disk, sysinstall returns "a disk
    error". The steps I took were simple:

    - run sysinstall en select fdisk
    - choose delete on the NTFS slice
    - Write changes

    Then sysinstall complains that it cannot do that (no specific information on
    the cause of the error is displayed).

    Does anyone know what can be wrong and how can I solve this?




    Freek Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: format slice

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 17:58:10 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote:
     

    Hello,

    Try using 'fdisk' directly (man 8 fdisk) and see the complete error
    messages.

    For example, to delete the second slice (check the numbering with
    'fdisk -s') save the following in a file and then run 'fdisk -f <file>'
    (but first try the test mode with the -t flag to see if it works as
    expected):

    p 2 0 0 0

    Best Regards,
    Ale

    P.S.: what is the output of 'fdisk -s'?
    Alejandro Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: format slice



    Well, it looks like you started right.
    But "write changes" can cover a lot of things - all of which
    need to be done.

    After you delete the NTFS slice, you must create a new FreeBSD slice
    in its place. Then you need to do the disklabel part to make at
    least one partition in the slice (more are possible if you want to
    divide it for some reason. Then that (those) slice(s) must
    be newfs-ed. You also need to establish a mount point and mount the
    newly newfs-ed filesystem(s). Sysinstall should do all that for you
    if you do all of its steps before bailing out of sysinstall.
    It might not do the mount though. But, it should create the mount
    point and put the mount line in /etc/fstab.

    Alternatively, you can do it all yourself and skip sysinstall.
    That is what I normally do.
    Study the man pages for each of these before starting. They
    have recently been improved, but can still be very confusing.

    The steps are:
    fdisk -- overwrites the NTFS slice and creates a
    new FreeBSD slice in its place. Set it
    active if you want to boot from it.
    disklabel -- writes a FreeBSD label and divides the
    slice in to partitions.
    newfs -- creates a filesystem in each partition
    you run it on.
    mkdir -- create the new mount point mkdir /newmnt
    or whatever you want to call it
    edit /etc/fstab -- to enter your mount information so it
    will mount at boot time without you doing
    by hand all the time.
    fsck -- the new file system, just in case.
    mount -a -- To mount the file system

    If you have done everything and it still doesn't work, then more
    information is needed to make any good guesses. But, check all
    this first.

    ////jerry 

    Jerry Guest

  4. #4

    Default RE: format slice

    Thank you for your suggestions, I followed them and this is what happened:

    pcwin451# fdisk -s
    /dev/ad0: 39704 cyl 16 hd 63 sec
    Part Start Size Type Flags
    1: 63 20820177 0x07 0x00
    2: 20820240 19201392 0xa5 0x80

    Part 1 is the one I want to convert to a freebsd slice.

    Now I used fdisk -f <file> with the input

    p 1 0 0 0

    the operation succeeded. I did again:

    pcwin451# fdisk -s
    /dev/ad0: 39704 cyl 16 hd 63 sec
    Part Start Size Type Flags
    2: 20820240 19201392 0xa5 0x80

    And this was indeed the output I expected. So I thought lets see what
    sysinstall thinks of all this. Selecting fdisk in the menu showed me a disk
    layout where the NTFS partition still was on the disk.

    Disk name: ad0 FDISK Partition
    Editor
    DISK Geometry: 39704 cyls/16 heads/63 sectors = 40021632 sectors (19541MB)

    Offset Size(ST) End Name PType Desc Subtype
    Flags

    0 63 62 - 12 unused 0

    63 20820177 20820239 ad0s1 4 NTFS/HPFS/QNX 7
    20820240 19201392 40021631 ad0s2 8 freebsd 165


    How can this be? I've always assumed that sysinstall uses the fdisk tool?
    And which one is "correct"? Is it wise to try creating a new slice with
    fdisk?



    -----Original Message-----
    From: Alejandro Pulver [mailto:biz]
    Sent: vrijdag 11 maart 2005 20:15
    To: Freek Nossin
    Cc: org
    Subject: Re: format slice

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 17:58:10 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote:
     

    Hello,

    Try using 'fdisk' directly (man 8 fdisk) and see the complete error
    messages.

    For example, to delete the second slice (check the numbering with
    'fdisk -s') save the following in a file and then run 'fdisk -f <file>'
    (but first try the test mode with the -t flag to see if it works as
    expected):

    p 2 0 0 0

    Best Regards,
    Ale

    P.S.: what is the output of 'fdisk -s'?



    Freek Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: format slice



    Well, is one of them reading only the in-memory label and the other
    reading the label on the disk? When you did the fdisk, did you
    make sure it changed on disk. Then, did the in-memory label get
    updated?

    ////jerry 
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > Try using 'fdisk' directly (man 8 fdisk) and see the complete error
    > messages.
    >
    > For example, to delete the second slice (check the numbering with
    > 'fdisk -s') save the following in a file and then run 'fdisk -f <file>'
    > (but first try the test mode with the -t flag to see if it works as
    > expected):
    >
    > p 2 0 0 0
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Ale
    >
    > P.S.: what is the output of 'fdisk -s'?
    >
    >
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > org mailing list
    > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
    > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "org"
    >[/ref]

    Jerry Guest

  6. #6

    Default RE: format slice

    > -----Original Message----- 
    > happened: 
    > disk 
    > (19541MB) 
    > tool? 
    >
    > Well, is one of them reading only the in-memory label and the other
    > reading the label on the disk? When you did the fdisk, did you
    > make sure it changed on disk. Then, did the in-memory label get
    > updated?
    >
    > ////jerry[/ref]


    /stand/sysinstall would be the one that read the in-memory label. The other
    way around seems impossible to me. But then how can these two be different?
    I did close /stand/sysinstall and restarted. The in memory one *should* be
    updated right? If this wasn't the case than it seems to me like bug in
    sysinstall, or more likely, freebsd itself.
    Normally I should simply try rebooting the system and all ambiguities should
    be solved. The problem is I'm working remote and rebooting is kind of a
    risk.

    Freek Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: format slice

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 21:16:49 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote:
     
    > > happened: 
    > > disk 
    > > (19541MB) 
    > > tool? 
    > >
    > > Well, is one of them reading only the in-memory label and the other
    > > reading the label on the disk? When you did the fdisk, did you
    > > make sure it changed on disk. Then, did the in-memory label get
    > > updated?
    > >
    > > ////jerry[/ref]
    >
    >
    > /stand/sysinstall would be the one that read the in-memory label. The
    > other way around seems impossible to me. But then how can these two be
    > different? I did close /stand/sysinstall and restarted. The in memory
    > one *should* be updated right? If this wasn't the case than it seems
    > to me like bug in sysinstall, or more likely, freebsd itself.
    > Normally I should simply try rebooting the system and all ambiguities
    > should be solved. The problem is I'm working remote and rebooting is
    > kind of a risk.
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > org mailing list
    > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
    > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
    > "org"[/ref]

    Hello,

    I do not know about that, but I think the best option is to do the
    procedure manually, as indicated by Jerry.

    Best Regards,
    Ale
    Alejandro Guest

  8. #8

    Default RE: format slice

    Hello, formatting is almost complete...

    My new problem is that bsdlabel didn't create a new partition after bsdlabel
    -e ad0s1. Below is an extensive output of some commands, but you might want
    to skip to the last alinea ;).

    I used fdisk to create a new slice. I copied the exact format of the
    previous slice (on which the windows installation resided), so I didn't have
    to worry about the "overlapping slices". I got this nice output:

    pcwin451# fdisk
    ******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
    parameters extracted from in-core disklabel are:
    cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

    Figures below won't work with BIOS for partitions not in cyl 1
    parameters to be used for BIOS calculations are:
    cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

    Media sector size is 512
    Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
    Information from DOS bootblock is:
    The data for partition 1 is:
    sysid 0 (0000),(unused)
    start 63, size 20820177 (10166 Meg), flag 0
    beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
    end: cyl 174/ head 15/ sector 63
    The data for partition 2 is:
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 20820240, size 19201392 (9375 Meg), flag 80 (active)
    beg: cyl 1023/ head 255/ sector 63;
    end: cyl 1023/ head 15/ sector 63
    The data for partition 3 is:
    <UNUSED>
    The data for partition 4 is:
    <UNUSED>

    Part 1 is the new slice which I want to use.
    Then I used bsdlabel to create a label on ad0s1 by typing:

    #bsdlabel -w ad0s1

    And following the handbook, my next command was:

    #bsdlabel -e ad0s1

    Now I wrote in the text editor (I admit, after 4 tries and a lot of
    reading...):

    # /dev/ad0s1:
    8 partitions:
    # size offset fstype [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
    c: 20820177 0 unused 0 0 # "raw" part, don't
    e: 20820177 0 4.2BSD 2048 16384 32776


    now I wanted to use newfs to create a file system on ad0s1e, but it could
    not. My problem is illustrated by my ls output:

    pcwin451# ls /dev/ad*
    /dev/ad0 /dev/ad0s2 /dev/ad0s2b /dev/ad0s2d
    /dev/ad0s1 /dev/ad0s2a /dev/ad0s2c /dev/ad0s2e

    bsdlabel -e didn't create a new partition, although the output of bsdlabel
    ad0s1 is:

    pcwin451# disklabel ad0s1
    # /dev/ad0s1:
    8 partitions:
    # size offset fstype [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
    c: 20820177 0 unused 0 0 # "raw" part, don't
    edit
    e: 20820161 16 4.2BSD 2048 16384 32776

    How can this be? (and how do I fix it...?)

    Thanks for your help already so far

    Freek

     
    > >
    > >
    > > /stand/sysinstall would be the one that read the in-memory label. The
    > > other way around seems impossible to me. But then how can these two be
    > > different? I did close /stand/sysinstall and restarted. The in memory
    > > one *should* be updated right? If this wasn't the case than it seems
    > > to me like bug in sysinstall, or more likely, freebsd itself.
    > > Normally I should simply try rebooting the system and all ambiguities
    > > should be solved. The problem is I'm working remote and rebooting is
    > > kind of a risk.
    > >
    > > _______________________________________________
    > > org mailing list
    > > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
    > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
    > > "org"[/ref]
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > I do not know about that, but I think the best option is to do the
    > procedure manually, as indicated by Jerry.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Ale[/ref]

    Freek Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: format slice

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 21:09:33 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote:
     

    Hello,

    In my second disk I have free space between two slices so I tried the
    procedure by myself.

    When I did a 'bsdlabel -w /dev/adXsY' (without editing them) I ended
    with a partition labeled 'a', and it instantly appeared in '/dev/'. Then
    I did what you have done ('bsdlabel -e <slice>') and it also appeared in
    '/dev'.

    I do not know about this, but maybe this helps:

    1) Try with only 'bsdlabel -w <slice>'. The partition should appear as
    'a'.

    2) If the partition does not appear in '/dev/' then you can reinitialize
    the ATA channel (0 or 1, I think your disk is in 0) your disk is in,
    with 'atacontrol reinit <channel>'. For a list of ATA channels
    with the devices do 'atacontrol list'.

    ***WARNING***: do ***NOT*** 'detach' and 'attach' the channel your
    device your running hard disk (that contain the FreeBSD you are
    running) is connected to (but you can safely 'reinit' it). A 'detach'
    removes the disk and slices/partitions from the kernel and powers down
    the devices in that channel, so FreeBSD will stall when it tries to
    read/write on its partitions ('/', '/usr', etc.). I could detach and
    atach it once (in less than 5 seconds), but the other time it crashed
    my machine (I had to rewrite this mail three times, because I was
    experimenting with 'atacontrol'). It is more safe to reboot the machine.

    Best Regards,
    Ale
    Alejandro Guest

  10. #10

    Default RE: format slice


     
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > In my second disk I have free space between two slices so I tried the
    > procedure by myself.
    >
    > When I did a 'bsdlabel -w /dev/adXsY' (without editing them) I ended
    > with a partition labeled 'a', and it instantly appeared in '/dev/'. Then
    > I did what you have done ('bsdlabel -e <slice>') and it also appeared in
    > '/dev'.
    >
    > I do not know about this, but maybe this helps:
    >
    > 1) Try with only 'bsdlabel -w <slice>'. The partition should appear as
    > 'a'.
    >
    > 2) If the partition does not appear in '/dev/' then you can reinitialize
    > the ATA channel (0 or 1, I think your disk is in 0) your disk is in,
    > with 'atacontrol reinit <channel>'. For a list of ATA channels
    > with the devices do 'atacontrol list'.
    >
    > ***WARNING***: do ***NOT*** 'detach' and 'attach' the channel your
    > device your running hard disk (that contain the FreeBSD you are
    > running) is connected to (but you can safely 'reinit' it). A 'detach'
    > removes the disk and slices/partitions from the kernel and powers down
    > the devices in that channel, so FreeBSD will stall when it tries to
    > read/write on its partitions ('/', '/usr', etc.). I could detach and
    > atach it once (in less than 5 seconds), but the other time it crashed
    > my machine (I had to rewrite this mail three times, because I was
    > experimenting with 'atacontrol'). It is more safe to reboot the machine.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Ale[/ref]


    Thank, but unfortunately it dit not help

    pcwin451# atacontrol reinit 0
    Master: ad0 <Maxtor 5T020H2/TAH71DP0> ATA/ATAPI revision 6
    Slave: no device present

    pcwin451# bsdlabel -w ad0s1

    pcwin451# ls /dev/ad*
    /dev/ad0 /dev/ad0s2 /dev/ad0s2b /dev/ad0s2d
    /dev/ad0s1 /dev/ad0s2a /dev/ad0s2c /dev/ad0s2e



    Freek Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: format slice

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 00:04:06 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote: 
    > >
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > In my second disk I have free space between two slices so I tried
    > > the procedure by myself.
    > >
    > > When I did a 'bsdlabel -w /dev/adXsY' (without editing them) I ended
    > > with a partition labeled 'a', and it instantly appeared in '/dev/'.
    > > Then I did what you have done ('bsdlabel -e <slice>') and it also
    > > appeared in'/dev'.
    > >
    > > I do not know about this, but maybe this helps:
    > >
    > > 1) Try with only 'bsdlabel -w <slice>'. The partition should appear
    > > as'a'.
    > >
    > > 2) If the partition does not appear in '/dev/' then you can
    > > reinitialize the ATA channel (0 or 1, I think your disk is in 0)
    > > your disk is in, with 'atacontrol reinit <channel>'. For a list of
    > > ATA channels with the devices do 'atacontrol list'.
    > >
    > > ***WARNING***: do ***NOT*** 'detach' and 'attach' the channel your
    > > device your running hard disk (that contain the FreeBSD you are
    > > running) is connected to (but you can safely 'reinit' it). A
    > > 'detach' removes the disk and slices/partitions from the kernel and
    > > powers down the devices in that channel, so FreeBSD will stall when
    > > it tries to read/write on its partitions ('/', '/usr', etc.). I
    > > could detach and atach it once (in less than 5 seconds), but the
    > > other time it crashed my machine (I had to rewrite this mail three
    > > times, because I was experimenting with 'atacontrol'). It is more
    > > safe to reboot the machine.
    > >
    > > Best Regards,
    > > Ale[/ref]
    >
    >
    > Thank, but unfortunately it dit not help
    >
    > pcwin451# atacontrol reinit 0
    > Master: ad0 <Maxtor 5T020H2/TAH71DP0> ATA/ATAPI revision 6
    > Slave: no device present
    >
    > pcwin451# bsdlabel -w ad0s1
    >
    > pcwin451# ls /dev/ad*
    > /dev/ad0 /dev/ad0s2 /dev/ad0s2b /dev/ad0s2d
    > /dev/ad0s1 /dev/ad0s2a /dev/ad0s2c /dev/ad0s2e
    >
    >
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > org mailing list
    > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
    > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
    > "org"[/ref]

    Hello,

    Have you tried to reinitialize the ata channel before changing the
    partitions?

    Try unmounting '/dev' and mounting it again (forcing it with '-f').

    If the problem persist, the only alternative is to reboot. Do you have a
    dynamic IP? If that is the case it is possible to add a crontab entry
    that executes a script on each system startup. The script can send you
    an e-mail to you using the internal sendmail (must be enabled for that)
    relay so it will contain the IP of your server (in the complete
    headers). Alternatively the script can upload a file containing the
    output of 'ifconfig' to an FTP site.

    If you are interested you can ask me for more information.

    Best Regards,
    Ale
    Alejandro Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: format slice

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 21:06:05 -0300
    Alejandro Pulver <biz> wrote:
     
    > >
    > >
    > > Thank, but unfortunately it dit not help
    > >
    > > pcwin451# atacontrol reinit 0
    > > Master: ad0 <Maxtor 5T020H2/TAH71DP0> ATA/ATAPI revision 6
    > > Slave: no device present
    > >
    > > pcwin451# bsdlabel -w ad0s1
    > >
    > > pcwin451# ls /dev/ad*
    > > /dev/ad0 /dev/ad0s2 /dev/ad0s2b /dev/ad0s2d
    > > /dev/ad0s1 /dev/ad0s2a /dev/ad0s2c /dev/ad0s2e
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > _______________________________________________
    > > org mailing list
    > > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions
    > > To unsubscribe, send any mail to
    > > "org"[/ref]
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > Have you tried to reinitialize the ata channel before changing the
    > partitions?
    >[/ref]

    Sorry, I mean after.
     
    Alejandro Guest

  13. #13

    Default RE: format slice


     
    > >
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > Have you tried to reinitialize the ata channel before changing the
    > > partitions?
    > >[/ref]
    >
    > Sorry, I mean after.
    > [/ref]

    Hello,

    I did try to reinitialize the ata channel: no effect
    I did try to unmount and mount /dev: no effect
    Next on the list was: Shutdown -r now.

    The reboot fortunately went well. But my problems weren't solved. Still
    ad0s1a wasn't in /dev.

    #/stand/sysintall

    Selecting fdisk showed that the first slice wasn't of type freebsd, but
    unused. I selected "create" and went on to the labeller. I made a partition
    and tried to write the changes. "ERROR". The same error as before. Back to
    fdisk and only trying to make the slice resulted in the same (unspecific)
    error "could not write to ad0".

    It appears that writing changes to the disk layout seems to be a problem,
    and that fdisk/bsdlabel apparently don't see that there is a problem, they
    return no error whatsoever, but they don't function as expected as well.

    Best Regards,

    Freek



    Freek Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: format slice

    Hello,

    Sorry I did not noticed it before, but your first slice must be of type
    165 (or 0xa5 in hex), that is the type of FreeBSD slices.
     [/ref]

    It appeares as "unused". So try changing the type.

    Best Regards,
    Ale
    Alejandro Guest

  15. #15

    Default RE: format slice


     [/ref]
    >
    > It appeares as "unused". So try changing the type.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Ale[/ref]

    Finally it worked!

    Thanks for helping me (but if I may? Still one question left... ).

    The slice was indeed unused. When I tried sysinstall just after the reboot,
    and again it didn't worked I falsely assumed doing it from the command
    prompt would also be of no use. I was wrong, following your advice, starting
    fdisk (this time with -i, instead of -u, just to figure out if there was any
    difference, still don't know that yet though ;-) ). And changing the type
    created a freebsd slice. Then I used bsdlabel and there it was! /dev/ad0s1a
    was in my list of devices.

    There is one little thing that worries me. On someone's advice I installed
    testdisk (sysutils/testdisk). This tool tests your disk (duh! I mean slices
    and partitions, so actually my disklayout).

    Disk /dev/ad0 - CHS 39704 16 63 - 19541 MB
    Check current partition structure
    Partition Start End Size in sectors
    1 P FreeBSD 0 1 1 20654 15 63 20820177
    2 * FreeBSD 20655 0 1 39703 15 63 19201392

    Bad starting head


    The "bad starting head" warning worries me. But with these tools you never
    know if the tool is correct, or indeed my disklayout. If I didn't just wrote
    my "Bios Partition table" a couple of times, I wouldn't have worried at all,
    but now I did, it *might* be possible that I actually did something wrong.
    My fdisk output is as follows (These numbers come even visit me in my dreams
    these days... ;-) ):

    bash-2.05b$ sudo fdisk
    ******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
    parameters extracted from in-core disklabel are:
    cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

    Figures below won't work with BIOS for partitions not in cyl 1
    parameters to be used for BIOS calculations are:
    cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

    Media sector size is 512
    Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
    Information from DOS bootblock is:
    The data for partition 1 is:
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 63, size 20820177 (10166 Meg), flag 0
    beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
    end: cyl 174/ head 15/ sector 63
    The data for partition 2 is:
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 20820240, size 19201392 (9375 Meg), flag 80 (active)
    beg: cyl 1023/ head 255/ sector 63;
    end: cyl 1023/ head 15/ sector 63
    The data for partition 3 is:
    <UNUSED>
    The data for partition 4 is:
    <UNUSED>

    Does anybody see a "bad starting head"???

    Thanks again for helping me so far (Alejandro, and Jerry)

    Freek

    Freek Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: format slice

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 22:54:57 +0100
    "Freek Nossin" <nl> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > It appeares as "unused". So try changing the type.
    > >
    > > Best Regards,
    > > Ale[/ref]
    >
    > Finally it worked!
    >
    > Thanks for helping me (but if I may? Still one question left... ).
    >
    > The slice was indeed unused. When I tried sysinstall just after the
    > reboot, and again it didn't worked I falsely assumed doing it from the
    > command prompt would also be of no use. I was wrong, following your
    > advice, starting fdisk (this time with -i, instead of -u, just to
    > figure out if there was any difference, still don't know that yet
    > though ;-) ). And changing the type created a freebsd slice. Then I
    > used bsdlabel and there it was! /dev/ad0s1a was in my list of devices.
    >
    >
    > There is one little thing that worries me. On someone's advice I
    > installed testdisk (sysutils/testdisk). This tool tests your disk
    > (duh! I mean slices and partitions, so actually my disklayout).
    >
    > Disk /dev/ad0 - CHS 39704 16 63 - 19541 MB
    > Check current partition structure
    > Partition Start End Size in sectors
    > 1 P FreeBSD 0 1 1 20654 15 63 20820177
    > 2 * FreeBSD 20655 0 1 39703 15 63 19201392
    >
    > Bad starting head
    >
    >
    > The "bad starting head" warning worries me. But with these tools you
    > never know if the tool is correct, or indeed my disklayout. If I
    > didn't just wrote my "Bios Partition table" a couple of times, I
    > wouldn't have worried at all, but now I did, it *might* be possible
    > that I actually did something wrong. My fdisk output is as follows
    > (These numbers come even visit me in my dreams these days... ;-) ):
    >
    > bash-2.05b$ sudo fdisk
    > ******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
    > parameters extracted from in-core disklabel are:
    > cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)
    >
    > Figures below won't work with BIOS for partitions not in cyl 1
    > parameters to be used for BIOS calculations are:
    > cylinders=39704 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)
    >
    > Media sector size is 512
    > Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
    > Information from DOS bootblock is:
    > The data for partition 1 is:
    > sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    > start 63, size 20820177 (10166 Meg), flag 0
    > beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
    > end: cyl 174/ head 15/ sector 63
    > The data for partition 2 is:
    > sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    > start 20820240, size 19201392 (9375 Meg), flag 80 (active)
    > beg: cyl 1023/ head 255/ sector 63;
    > end: cyl 1023/ head 15/ sector 63
    > The data for partition 3 is:
    > <UNUSED>
    > The data for partition 4 is:
    > <UNUSED>
    >
    > Does anybody see a "bad starting head"???
    >
    > Thanks again for helping me so far (Alejandro, and Jerry)
    >
    > Freek
    >[/ref]

    Hello,

    You are welcome.

    Mine is better :)

    Disk /dev/ad0 - CHS 77504 16 63 - 38146 MB
    Disk /dev/ad2 - CHS 79656 16 63 - 39205 MB

    Disk /dev/ad0 - CHS 77504 16 63 - 38146 MB
    1 * FAT32 LBA 0 1 1 36863 6 63 37158282
    Bad ending head
    2 E extended LBA 36863 7 1 77488 1 63 40949685
    Bad ending head
    Disk /dev/ad2 - CHS 79656 16 63 - 39205 MB
    1 P Linux 0 1 1 20304 5 63 20466747
    Bad ending head
    4 * FreeBSD 40624 11 1 79225 4 63 38909430
    Bad ending head
    TestDisk exited normally.

    I do not know what is that, but I think it is just a warning. It has to
    do with low level disk parameters (cylinders, heads, sectors, etc.) I do
    not know. There is information about that (not specifically this topic
    but there is a *lot* of information about hard-disks and how do they
    operate) in

    http://www.pcguide.com/topic.html (section hard-drives)

    but I did not have problems with my slices/filesystems/data.

    Best Regards,
    Ale
    Alejandro Guest

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