[Soekris] Installing FreeBSD 6.1 on a 2.5" Hitachi for Soekris

nealr neal at lists.rauhauser.net
Sun Aug 27 15:48:01 UTC 2006

> I'm trying to get FreeBSD 6.1 installed for the soekris-box  
> (net4801).  I was planning to install the FreeBSD on another PC on  
> the disk, compile a new kernel and swap the disk to the Soekris box  
> all installed.

    I do this quite often - FreeBSD 5.4 or 5.5, an IBM Thinkpad I keep 
around for such purposes, and off you go. I use the Hitachi microdrives 
and I hook them up with an external USB adaptor. Once the install is 
complete the last step is to edit /etc/fstab since the device names for 
USB install are not the same as IDE - swap the 'da' references with 'ad' 
and it should go. Installing to a 2.5" drive with an old laptop should 
be even easier - drive stuff shouldn't even need changed.

   I did plow 40 - 60 hours of my life into trying to make a kernel that 
would handle the boot gracefully via the serial port on the Soekris, but 
then I discovered the machines will boot without this ...

> On the PC I tried to do this (Mac-guy, not many spare PC's laying  
> around ;-) FreeBSD install complains about the disk geometry and the  
> partitioning / bootstrap install / newfs fails with error 36.  First  
> I thought it was the disk but SeaTools verifies the disk quite fine  
> and WinXP install is smoothless.  This was a 80G Hitachi 2.5" drive.   
> Then I tried with another 40G Hitachi 2.5" drive, the same problem.   
> Using a random 3.5" disk the install worked smoothly.  Using the  
> correct cyl/head/... parameters didn't work.
> Is there something special one should be aware of when using those  
> 2.5" drives?

   I have only done one or two 2.5" installs for Soekris and I didn't 
see this. I think I used nothing but a 12.0 gig Deskstar from an old 

  Perhaps one of those IDE 2.5" drive enclosures to hold your disk would 
get you around this trouble?

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