Install Problems for Determined Newbie to FreeBSD
Posted on 2004-12-01
As a burned out on Windows XP user, having made numerous attempts to install FreeBSD, I will be most grateful if anyone can help me unravel some installation problems.
The PC is an HP with Windows XP Home, 120 GB single hard drive, 2800+ Athlon processor. I am determined to install something besides Windows, as a long haul with a hacker and trojans has convinced me to learn a new OS. But I can't get it to install. I want to keep XP until I learn BSD.
The BSD notes said geometry is not accurately shown on the install when you are partitioning one drive for two OS, that you need to first boot from DOS and run the BSD PF utility from the tools subdirectory to get an accurate geometry. I DL'd a DOS boot for XP onto a floppy, which would not work. So, I did cmd from XP and got in that way -was I in a clean "XP-version" DOS mode from this entry? (for purposes of obtaining an accurate geometry). I got a directory on my D drive where the BSD CD is. The command "pfdisk>L" gave me the C drive geometry of 306 4 17. That seems totally wrong, way too low, right? The number BSD had during the install procress doesn't match this number nor the number I have from SisSoftSandra, which is 15508 cylinders, 240 heads, 63 sectors.
I went ahead anyway with the install, as it didn't object, but then it just ignored my input. I set up a very small empty partition at the beginning, as it suggested. The XP partition is next. The 3rd is BSD, which I set for 50GB. It does designate it as a FreeBSD partition on that line, but the size, no matter what size I try, comes back with its' own size.
Then the next step, I chose the auto default to set up the FreeBSD partitions with the disk label editor. It recommended doing that also. It either reboots me, does nothing, or I have to go back to the prior step to keep from being booted.
It seems like a fairly simple install procedure, at least the part I have been through! I have made it beyond this point on prior attempts. But I know the system partition has to be correct, or it makes sense that the whole thing will not work. But unless my PC tells me what it is, how in the world would I know what it is? And the other snags, I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong.
I have already tried installing it on a clean, reformatted system, and had to finally re-install Windows because it wouldn't work.
I have spent a great deal of time and money to bring my PC back into the world free of leaches and snoops, which hounded me for almost a year. I purchased a used Cisco router, all sorts of virus/spy/trojan checker-remover software, and have a long distance friend helping me via IM and Email. I am determined to lose the last of it, IE is already gone, just one last continual annoyance to go - Windows!
I have not had the best luck with this endeavor, and I am hoping not to have to abandon my goal to end my participation in the M$/IE anti-consumer madness. I bought the SAMS huge FreeBSD 2nd Ed book with CD. Also DL'd the lastest version. Now am trying an older, more stable version (4.0 I think). None of these versions has worked! The book's CD got magnetized somehow? Unlikely that 3 versions are defective.
Am at the point in thinking the problem here is a few screws loose in my head. Any recommendations for something with a higher return rate on my financial/emotional/time investment are greatly appreciated. Thank you, and please forgive my b....ching so much, don't mean to sound like a complainer.
Points are the max, 500. If it drags on too long, I'll open a new question with another 500.