fdisk cant located master boot file

Posted on 2002-03-03
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi all,

I've got a Sparc 5 that used to be running RedHat Linux 7.1.  I have just downloaded Solaris 9 Early Access CDs, and am trying to install it on this machine (to REPLACE Linux).

When the webstart begins, it tells me it is unable to format my hard disks!  Then it drops me to a shell prompt.

If I try "format", go in and remove all slices, it tells me it can't find backup labels and fails to update the drive.

if I try "fdisk", it tells me it can't locate the master boot file at /usr/lib/fs/ufs/mboot.

I checked, and that file does NOT exist when I boot off the CDROM.  I also tried booting off my Solaris 8 CDROM, and it TOO lacks that file!

My question is this.  How the heck can I get Solaris 9 EA installed?  I have a feeling this has to do with the Linux partitions on the drive, but I am not sure!

In PC land, I used to have to blank out the Hard Drives  before FDISK could touch them.  Without this, FDISK would tell me it couldn't delete a logical partition with drives define, then tell me no drives were defined!
Question by:thetool721
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6839714
A Sparc 5 is easy. Boot off the CD and run format. I believe it will tell you that there's no label on the disk and it'll ask if it should write one. Allow it to and I think the install can the proceed.
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 100 total points
ID: 6839721
Sorry, left something out. Use a Solaris 8 or earlier 1st Software CD for the format operation. If you can't get get it to write a label in the normal manner, use the format menu to format the drive.

Author Comment

ID: 6841657

I was trying to use the Solaris 8 install CD.  I'll give the first CD a try and see what I can come up with.

LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6844175
The very first CD is the Webstart stuff. The 1st software CD is a conventional Solaris installation CD and has the normal tools that one would expect. I don't have Solaris 9EA yet, but for Solaris 7 & 8 my standard practice is to not use the Webstart CD at all and to install from the 1st Software CD.

Author Comment

ID: 6845101
Ah, ok

Yes, booting off that CD, I was able to format the drive successfully.  However, my problem may have been a combination of issues.

When I first formatted the drive, I removed ALL labels.  It was complaining because I didn't have any "backup" labels.  Using your suggestion, I booted off the 1st CD, and did a format.  I removed all labels, and added the backup label.  It worked fine from there!


Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

In tuning file systems on the Solaris Operating System, changing some parameters of a file system usually destroys the data on it. For instance, changing the cache segment block size in the volume of a T3 requires that you delete the existing volu…
My previous tech tip, Installing the Solaris OS From the Flash Archive On a Tape (, discussed installing the Solaris Operating S…
Learn several ways to interact with files and get file information from the bash shell. ls lists the contents of a directory: Using the -a flag displays hidden files: Using the -l flag formats the output in a long list: The file command gives us mor…
Learn how to navigate the file tree with the shell. Use pwd to print the current working directory: Use ls to list a directory's contents: Use cd to change to a new directory: Use wildcards instead of typing out long directory names: Use ../ to move…

839 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question