Can't boot from freebsd boot cd - BSD

This is a discussion on Can't boot from freebsd boot cd - BSD ; I have an old machine running 4.11 quite happily and want to bring it to 7.0 When I try to boot from the CD, I get Building the boot loader arguments Looking up /BOOT/LOADER... Found and then it immediately reboots ...

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Thread: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

  1. Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    I have an old machine running 4.11 quite happily and want to bring it to 7.0

    When I try to boot from the CD, I get

    Building the boot loader arguments
    Looking up /BOOT/LOADER... Found

    and then it immediately reboots (before displaying Relocating the loader and
    the BTX).

    The problem should not come from the CD because it has worked on another
    machine (the one I'm using to write this message) and I tried the CD for
    6.3 and it does exactly the same thing.

    The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II

    All suggestions welcome!

    Bernard Higonnet

  2. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Begin <48035a99$0$13074$426a74cc@news.free.fr>
    On Mon, 14 Apr 2008 15:22:35 +0200,
    Bernard T. Higonnet wrote:
    [snip! install cd bootloader immediately reboots instead]
    > The problem should not come from the CD because it has worked on another
    > machine (the one I'm using to write this message) and I tried the CD for
    > 6.3 and it does exactly the same thing.


    I'm inclined to agree with you there. :-)


    > The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II


    You could try and see if there's a BIOS update available.

    Should that fail, you could try for an alternative installation method,
    like booting from a USB stick if it supports that, or even trying for a
    netboot+install. It might be that this doesn't actually circumvent the
    problem, of course. In that case, installing a base system on the disk
    using another computer might be worth a try.

    I'd look at finding a BIOS update first, but then, it's a dell.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  3. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    jpd wrote:

    ..
    ..
    ..
    >> The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II

    >
    > You could try and see if there's a BIOS update available.


    As you indicate below, it's being a Dell, an update is unlikely to be found.

    But out of principle, it seems to me that the problem is elsewhere. I was
    able, long ago (around Jan 2005), to boot the 4.11 install CD and a cursory
    inspection of the web suggests that the BTX loader has been version 1.01
    since about 2000...

    > Should that fail, you could try for an alternative installation method,
    > like booting from a USB stick if it supports that


    Don't think so.

    > , or even trying for a netboot+install. It might be that this doesn't
    > actually circumvent the problem, of course.


    I shall try floppies if I have the energy. The as-yet unreplaced 4.11 system
    can read the CD fine (I tried running sysinstall from 4.11 on the 7.0
    install CD but it was unable to copy any of the distribution files...??)

    > In that case, installing a base system on the disk
    > using another computer might be worth a try.


    Apart from the effort, sounds risky to me!

    Thanks
    Bernard Higonnet

  4. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Begin <480385a9$0$27186$426a74cc@news.free.fr>
    On Mon, 14 Apr 2008 18:26:19 +0200,
    Bernard T. Higonnet wrote:
    [snip!]
    > As you indicate below, it's being a Dell, an update is unlikely to be found.


    I took a quick look and, lo and behold, there is a dell ftp that appears
    to have two revisions (A01 and A03) for this line. The documentation is
    woefully lacking and even the release dates are unclear and conflicting.
    But there does seem to be something.


    > I shall try floppies if I have the energy.


    You only really need the boot floppies; once booted you can likely
    use CD, USB, or a choice of network protocols to transfer the rest.

    As usual: make sure you have brand new and verified bad sector free
    floppies. Dos' fat16 will happily work around those, but for this
    purpose they need to be perfect.


    > The as-yet unreplaced 4.11 system can read the CD fine (I tried
    > running sysinstall from 4.11 on the 7.0 install CD but it was unable
    > to copy any of the distribution files...??)


    The 4.* series came with gnu tar, which claims to be POSIX compatible,
    but fails that test in interesting ways. The newer archives are made
    with bsdtar, and should be readable with that or other implementations
    (star, pax --I think including gnu pax--, and so on and so forth).

    Note that the distributions are split tar archives (look at the
    accompanying install script) so if you're feeling adventurous you could
    try and install by hand. Of course, don't forget to backup your /etc and
    run mergemaster by hand, too.


    >> In that case, installing a base system on the disk
    >> using another computer might be worth a try.

    >
    > Apart from the effort, sounds risky to me!


    Not so much risky, but it can be somewhat tricky to get the necessairy
    magic bits in the right places. In any case, full backups are useful to
    keep around.

    If you want to go really old-school, you could even try to create a
    spare slice or do funky stuff like park a temporary root in swap to get
    around this problem. That would also allow you to upgrade the filesystem
    to UFS2.

    I don't actually know whether this will work for you (it's tricky)
    but I know that back in the days of old unix systems and QIC tape
    distributions it was necessairy in certain cases. I recall a
    description of how to do it with NetBSD on hp9000/400 gear.

    You probably have more options now than you ever wanted to know. :-)


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  5. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Bernard T. Higonnet wrote:
    > jpd wrote:
    >
    > .
    > .
    > .
    >>> The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II

    >>
    >> You could try and see if there's a BIOS update available.

    >
    > As you indicate below, it's being a Dell, an update is unlikely to be found.


    Dell is evil in many ways, but they're not bad for online support.
    Actually, I can't think of better.

    There is a BIOS update for the XPS H series, dated 8/15/2000.

    > But out of principle, it seems to me that the problem is elsewhere. I was
    > able, long ago (around Jan 2005), to boot the 4.11 install CD and a cursory
    > inspection of the web suggests that the BTX loader has been version 1.01
    > since about 2000...


    The CD boot has changed in the last couple of years, and the Dell BIOS
    is probably old enough to where the new method doesn't work. (I forget
    the details--using a larger sized "floppy" image, or something like
    that.) The BIOS update probably won't fix that, but it's worth a try.

    >> In that case, installing a base system on the disk
    >> using another computer might be worth a try.

    >
    > Apart from the effort, sounds risky to me!


    It's actually pretty safe. Might have to use the Dell to partition the
    disk first, though.

    --
    Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota * USA

  6. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    "Bernard T. Higonnet" writes:

    > I have an old machine running 4.11 quite happily and want to bring it to 7.0
    >
    > When I try to boot from the CD, I get
    >
    > Building the boot loader arguments
    > Looking up /BOOT/LOADER... Found
    >
    > and then it immediately reboots (before displaying Relocating the loader and
    > the BTX).
    >
    > The problem should not come from the CD because it has worked on another
    > machine (the one I'm using to write this message) and I tried the CD for
    > 6.3 and it does exactly the same thing.
    >
    > The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II


    Does it boot properly in "safe mode"?

  7. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Bernard T. Higonnet wrote:
    > But out of principle, it seems to me that the problem is elsewhere. I was
    > able, long ago (around Jan 2005), to boot the 4.11 install CD and a cursory
    > inspection of the web suggests that the BTX loader has been version 1.01
    > since about 2000...


    FWIW, BTX has very recently (a few weeks ago) been updated in RELENG_7.
    check the mailinglist archive for freebsd-stable for the details.
    Perhaps this update will help, or perhaps it won't.
    --
    Torfinn Ingolfsen,
    Norway

  8. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Begin
    On 14 Apr 2008 17:44:35 GMT, Warren Block wrote:
    > Dell is evil in many ways, but they're not bad for online support.
    > Actually, I can't think of better.


    Uhm. Various things come to mind. IBM, for one: all their updates
    --when they exist-- do come with at least some sort of detailing
    of what has changed. Not very detailed, often merely superficial,
    but it's better than no such document at all.


    > There is a BIOS update for the XPS H series, dated 8/15/2000.


    Yes, two of them. Both with the same date. I've seen other dates for
    them too. I think they had a site reorg of sorts on the date you
    mention.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  9. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd


    "Bernard T. Higonnet" wrote in message
    news:48035a99$0$13074$426a74cc@news.free.fr...
    >I have an old machine running 4.11 quite happily and want to bring it to
    >7.0
    >
    > When I try to boot from the CD, I get
    >
    > Building the boot loader arguments
    > Looking up /BOOT/LOADER... Found
    >
    > and then it immediately reboots (before displaying Relocating the loader
    > and
    > the BTX).
    >
    > The problem should not come from the CD because it has worked on another
    > machine (the one I'm using to write this message) and I tried the CD for
    > 6.3 and it does exactly the same thing.
    >
    > The machine is a Dell (Dimension XPS H266) with a Pentium II
    >
    > All suggestions welcome!
    >
    > Bernard Higonnet


    I think what this guy was looking for was this....

    Somewhere between 4.x and 6.x the format of the ISO files was changed and it
    will not work with older CDROM's. That's the simple answer. I found all my
    old Dell Optiplexes and several other older machines will boot the 4.11 CD
    just fine, but they will fail with a BTX Loader message with the later
    versions. A BIOS update might do the trick. Floppies are probably the best
    answer although I think the new FreeBSD now requires 3 or 4 floppies to get
    you started.

    The drag about this is that my old dependable P166 tower that's been running
    24/7 for almost 11 years now will no longer boot the FreeBSD ISO's. No big
    deal, there are alternatives.



  10. Re: Can't boot from freebsd boot cd

    Bernard T. Higonnet wrote:
    > I have an old machine running 4.11 quite happily and want to bring it to 7.0


    In the end, I replaced the CDROM drive and my problems went away.

    I believe (but am not positive) that the working drive is more recent
    than the one which didn't work (say, 2001 instead of 1998).

    I apologize for not 'closing' this thread before.

    Thanks
    Bernard Higonnet

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