Find FreeBSD partition

jono

New Member
#1
Hello,
I am using the latest versions of Vista, XP, and FreeBSD. In Vista the XP drive can be seen, it EasyBCD can reference it fine. But since the BSD drive is formatted as the freebsd file system, Windows cannot see it. Yes the BSD drive works, because I can get into it with a boot disk.

The problem is that EasyBCD asks for a drive letter and there is none for the BSD one on my system. So I cant figure out how to get it to boot that partition.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hello jono,

Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies, and thanks for using EasyBCD.

In EasyBCD, you need to make sure you go to the add LINUX tab in the add/remove entries page.
The linux tab will ask you the drive *number* and partition *number* that FreeBSD Loader is installed to.

Following these directions @ http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Linux
1) Install FreeBSD Bootloader to the *bootsector* of the FreeBSD partition. Depending on what you did, this may already be done. If you're not sure, skip ahead and see if it'll work.
2) Boot into Vista, and run EasyBCD -> Add/Remove Entries -> Linux/BSD.
Set the drive number to a number from 0+ depending on which HD BSD is installed to. The first drive is 0, the second is 1, etc.
Set the partition number to 1+ depending on the Partition BSD is installed to on the HD you just listed in the other box. 1 is the first partition, 2 is the second, etc.

Reboot -> NST Linux Loader -> You're in BSD! :smile:
 

jono

New Member
#3
I was originally working off the directions in your link. But I still cannot get it to work. I know the drive and partition and I can start them up with a boot disk. Maybe that means my FreeBSD bootloader is not working?

The EasyBCD settings are confusing because I have to enter a drive letter no matter what... even if I enter a partition number. Since I cant leave the drive letter blank, it might be trying to boot that random drive I picked to put there which I do not want.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Can you please show me a screenshot of the form you're using?
The BSD page doesn't ask for a letter anwhere. It only asks for a drive NUMBER and partition NUMBER.
 

jono

New Member
#5
When you create the partition it asks for numbers, but when you look at the already created partitions, it asks for a letter. Here's a picture.

 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Ah, now I see what you mean.
Per http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Configuring+the+Bootloader -> Changing The Drive Letter:
The drive letter you see in the listing for non-Vista drives is the drive that the bootloader files are installed to. For Linux and BSD, these files are created by EasyBCD, and are stored on the current boot drive, and WITHIN them is the drive number for the BSD Drive.

You can see these files for yourself, in /NST/* of the boot drive (the one with Boot.ini, bootmgr, BOOT, etc.)

To change the drive number, what you would do is delete the old linux entry, then add a new one with the correct drive and partition numbers. The drive will still say D:\ (or whatever), but EasyBCD will intercept the calls to drive D:\ and forward them to the current drive/partition number, since Windows Vista doesn't by default support anything except for drive letters, and as such, can't use numbers on its own.

Hope this clears things up. It's a complicated hack, and the only way to make Vista's BCD support non-Windows OSes.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
OMG - so sorry!
There's a bug in EasyBCD it seems.

Forget BSD from that screen. Delete the BSD entry in EasyBCD; Instead, select GRUB from the drop-down menu in the Add/Remove Entries screen, and set it up with the BSD partition and drive info.
You'll lose out on some BSD-specific optimizations that EasyBCD does, but it'll work until EasyBCD 1.6 goes public.

Dammit, I don't want to release EasyBCD 1.53 days before EasyBCD 1.6 goes out....

Since there is a workaround, I don't think we will.
 

jono

New Member
#8
Ok. Thanks for all your help.
I still have not got it to work though. I created a boot entry for every partition using GRUB and Lilo. My question is has anyone gotten FreeBSD working at all? If this is a problem with the FreeBSD boot manager, maybe I could get some hints of how that should be set up.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Yes, quite a few people have managed to get BSD to work with EasyBCD & Windows Vista - me included.

You're going to have to install the FreeBSD loader into to bootsector of the FreeBSD partition, and *not* to the MBR - because that won't work with Vista.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Hey that's great news, Jono!

I'm sorry it took so long - but 1.6 is pretty compatibile and hopefully will take care of a lot of issues for a lot of people :smile: