Sunday, May 20, 2012

FreeBSD Pains

My 'new' BSD machine (FreeBSD 8.2) crapped out again.  Actually, I think either my wife or one of my kids accidentally shut it down.  Now it tries to boot up and immediately shuts down during the boot-up process.  I can't look at logs because it keeps shutting down.  I tried single mode and it does the same thing.  I've been trying to see the last line of the boot-up process before it shuts down...that's like trying to capture (with your mind) one frame of a film...very hard to do.  Well, it looks like it can't mount the root partition (just from what I've seen the milli-second before it shuts down).  I need to run fsck on it but I can't do that if it's not booting up properly into single mode.

I cheated and tried to boot up live install of Linux Mint, Ubuntu (both of the latter are on USB sticks), and FreeBSD (on DVD)...they must be trying to mount the drive that the FreeBSD install is on, because they all shut down too.  So, I'm going to try a rescue version of FreeBSD (for memory sticks).

Once I fix this, I'm sure there's a rc.conf setting that I'll need to set to force an fsck during boot-up if needed.  This has happened ever since I installed FreeBSD and I'm a bit irritated...this should be enabled by default so that someone doesn't get 'locked' out of their system.  :/


Huey said...

You should be able to boot off a DVD and tell the kernel to not load anything off your HDD. Look at the bootloader options.

Ron Sinclair said...

Huey, sorry for the late response. I tried that and the system still wouldn't boot (tried a bunch of live CDs and USB versions of Linux/BSD). I'm wondering if something else might be going on. I'd just set up a very nice phpBB3 site that had all my internal admin notes, too. I've an older machine up now, running slackware. I really wanted to be able to gain access to that drive/system. Maybe I'll spend some more time working out the issue this weekend.

Ron Sinclair said...

Huey, I found the issue. Wasn't the drive at all. It looks to be a bad mobo or CPU. I swapped the mobo for a known-working one and the system came up.