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Old 11th May 2008
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Default boot floppy - internet involved?

On the abandoned BSD-forum I started this thread:
http://www.bsdforums.org/forums/show...7&page=1&pp=15
with the subject "floppy boot error - binary vs ASCII mode?" (oh no, not him again )
It was mainly about an error when trying to boot
Code:
error 4 lba 248 Invalid format
FreeBSD/i386 boot Default: 0:fd(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
boot:
No /boot/kernel/kernel
I finally gave up on the idea of trying it with the Compaq, but have a last question on the subject.
A friend came by and said I probably needed to be connected to internet when doing the actual floppy-booting.
I always interpreted the book that it is not so, but maybe I made a stupid mistake there?
(I got the floppies from the web with another machine, of course)
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Old 11th May 2008
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Invalid format. Bad floppy? Properly "formatted"?
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Old 11th May 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Why would you need to be connected to the Internet during the boot process? From the looks of things, it's failing even before the kernel is loaded.

The most probable reasons for the problems you're facing are:

1) You incorrectly created the floppy images, or they are corrupt.
2) The floppy disk or drive you're using is damaged.

There are other options for booting BSD on a system, if either via CD-ROM or PXE(netboot), it's still possible.

Personally, in my opinion, with all due respect, PEBKAC is a prime candidate for this error.
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Old 11th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calderon View Post
Invalid format. Bad floppy? Properly "formatted"?
Brandnew floppy - formatted again, even though new, just like the FreeBSD Unleashed-book described.
Also definitely binary and md5checksum was done.
But that's not my question (I gave up on the Compaq; it's thrown out)...
My friend reckons the machine has to be connected to internet, whereas I (interpreting the book) thought this was not necessary
So, has anyone done a boot by floppy without internet-connection?
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Old 11th May 2008
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The only time I have booted from a floppy disk is under OpeBSD, when I installed 3.9 and later when I upgraded to 4.0 and 4.1.


Creating it off FreeBSD was some thing like:
Code:
fdformat -y /dev/fd0
dd if=floppy_image of=/dev/fd0 bs=32k
cmp /dev/fd0 floppy_image
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Old 11th May 2008
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You don't need an internet connection to boot the installation floppies. The FreeBSD handbook http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...stall-pre.html Section 2.3.7 Prepare the Boot Media describes the steps for a floppy boot.

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...all-start.html has a screenshot of the messages you should see when the floppy is booting.

Please note that these are for FreeBSD 7.0, which is the latest production release.

An alternative would be to get the CD/DVD drive on your Compaq working as a boot device. Then you could create a FreeBSD installation CD and boot from it.
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Old 11th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
You don't need an internet connection to boot the installation floppies.
Aah! So I was correct in thinking that, thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
The FreeBSD handbook http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...stall-pre.html Section 2.3.7 Prepare the Boot Media describes the steps for a floppy boot......
I followed these steps to the letter, and more; advice from the former forum was followed too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
Please note that these are for FreeBSD 7.0, which is the latest production release....An alternative would be to get the CD/DVD drive on your Compaq working as a boot device. Then you could create a FreeBSD installation CD and boot from it.
Yes, I did download the 7.0 release.
I also have the FreeBSD Unleashed 6 DVD, but unfortunately the Compaq didn't have a DVD-device (it's out in the hallway now anyway; off to the recycling containerpark )
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Old 11th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
Why would you need to be connected to the Internet during the boot process?
That's what I thought too, till a friend of mine who knows a million times more about computer than I, read page 25 (FreeBSD Unleashed) "A floppy intallation involves downloading several hundred megabytes..." - a remark that the author could've made less confusing
Quote:
From the looks of things, it's failing even before the kernel is loaded.
It is.
Quote:
.....
1) You incorrectly created the floppy images, or they are corrupt.
Certainly not. I remember your name from the thread on this subject in the former forum; I guess you didn't follow up the thread, or you probably wouldn't say that.
I made every effort to understand the explanations about ftp, md5checksum and all that unknown (to me) stuff; did the research on the web and executed it correctly, I'm quite confident about that.
Quote:
2) The floppy disk or drive you're using is damaged.
Floppies were brandnew and re-formatted - the drive tested with other floppies.
Quote:
There are other options for booting BSD on a system, if either via CD-ROM or PXE(netboot), it's still possible.
My friend, though he's no UNIX-expert, told me to dump the Compaq, so I gave it up and will try to get hold of another old machine to experiment with. (PXE netboot? ok, some more googleing to do )
Quote:
Personally, in my opinion, with all due respect, PEBKAC is a prime candidate for this error.
That's a nicer remark than the one you made in the other forum, thank you. You might be very much correct, but I'm glad you see that I don't give up easily, despite being computer-technically challenged (and never too old to learn )
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Old 11th May 2008
J65nko J65nko is offline
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I wouldn't dump the Compac just because of some strange boot issue.

Does the Compac boot a Windows installation CD? Try to get that working first. Then download a FreeBSD CD images to creat a FreeBSD installation CD and retry
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Old 12th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
.... download a FreeBSD CD images to creat a FreeBSD installation CD and retry
I hauled the Compaq back inside to give it ONE more try, but this time with an ISO-cd.
To make a long story short; I have FreeBSD 7.0 installed now
I followed these steps to install/configure:
HTML Code:
http://www.openaddict.com/node/34
(for as far as possible; not everything was the same)
I ended up with FreeBSD supposedly installed, but after rebooting got this error:
Code:
FreeBSD/i386 boot
Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
boot:
No /boot/kernel/kernel
In the Disklabel Editor I choose to delete VAR (won't be using it on-line in the beginning) because it read: "Not enough free space to create a new partition in the slice."
Also during install I saw
Code:
error mounting /dev/acd0 on /dist:
Input/output error (5)
Anyway, since the subject-header is irrelevant now, I guess I'll leave this thread and do some searching first, retry to install, and if all fails come back in another thread.

Thanks for your help & suggestions so far!
edit: I retried, but this time took disc1.iso instead of the recommended bootonly.iso
Finally... I've really got FreeBSD on the machine (now still learn to work with it ;-))

Last edited by Lazy; 12th May 2008 at 01:12 PM. Reason: install successfull with other cd
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Old 12th May 2008
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Nice to hear you finally managed to install FreeBSD 7.

My advice is to read through the FreeBSD handbook and FAQ.
These are up-to-date, while instructions in non-official Howtos, are not.
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Old 12th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy View Post
That's what I thought too, till a friend of mine who knows a million times more about computer than I, read page 25 (FreeBSD Unleashed) "A floppy intallation involves downloading several hundred megabytes..." - a remark that the author could've made less confusing

It's needed for an installation from floppy because the floppy can't fit the files, only way is through the network or (afaik) an existing partition.

I believe you can do the network install from the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM too if you wanted ;-)
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Old 13th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
....My advice is to read through the FreeBSD handbook and FAQ.
These are up-to-date, while instructions in non-official Howtos, are not.
I'm glad I found this non-official one because it's very short and a quick way to test if it works, but yes, from here on I'll mainly stick to the book.
I plan to install again, but this time not (like in the non-official quickie) with "minimum", but "all" options (including X etc)

Expect some expert tips from me in a couple of years
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Old 13th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
...because the floppy can't fit the files
Which is exactly what was confusing my "expert-friend" (I got it in one ) See my previous "boast-post" about "expertise to come"...
Quote:
I believe you can do the network install from the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM too if you wanted ;-)
Oh, but I've got it down now Terry (I remember your name too from a year or 2 ago BTW)
It's installed and I'll re-install more than once again probably
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Old 26th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy View Post
On the abandoned BSD-forum
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Old 26th June 2010
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Why are you reviving this thread just to post a smiley?
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