[PC-BSD Dev] Trick for booting on !DVD enabled systems

M. Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sun Sep 26 13:30:26 PDT 2010


Gentlemen,

I have an older system that I wanted to put PC-BSD on.  It has only a
CD-ROM drive in it.  Since the current image is 4GBish in size, I had
a problem.

So, I took the disk that is to become my root disk and did the
following:

(1) gpart delete -i 1 da0
    (to delete the old Windows partition that was there)
(2) gpart add -t !165 da0
    (create FreeBSD slice)
(3) gpart add -t 7 da0s1
    (create one slice-spanning partition)
(4) gpart bootcode -b /boot/boot0 da0
(5) gpart bootcode -b /boot/boot da0s1
    (add boot code)
(6) newfs /dev/da0s1a
(7) mount /dev/da0s1a /mnt
    (init and mount target disk)
(8) mdconfig -f PC-BSD8.1-DVD.iso
(9) mount -t cd9660 /dev/md0 /cdrom
    (mount iso)
(10) mkdir /mnt/boot
(11) cd /cdrom/boot
(12) tar cf - . | (cd /mnt/boot; tar xvf -)
(13) umount /mnt /cdrom
(14) mdconfig -d -u 0
     (cleanup)

and then I put the disk into the unit I wanted to install onto.  I
also plugged a DVD player into the USB port.  The bios couldn't boot
off of it, but once it booted off the hard disk, the boot scripts, etc
looked for /dev/cd0, which it found right away and started the
installation.

Sadly for me, this story didn't end well...  X wound up hading the
video chip that's in this box, so I couldn't actually put PC-BSD 8.1
on this system.  However, I thought people here might like to have
this trick in their pockets should they need it.  The mnemonic for
remembering it "make a bootable disk with the contents of the pc-bsd
dvd's /boot directory."

Hope you find it useful...  Its cool that the installer is flexible
enough to cope with this bizarre setup.

Warner

P.S.  This was an HP e-Vectra 933MHz 256MB RAM box, so it might not
have been fast enough for flash anyway, but I at least wanted to try
it.


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