Subject: sysinst and "no OS found" message (was Re: GusPnP... )
To: Andrew K. Adams <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/18/1997 13:02:15
On Tue, 18 Nov 1997, Andrew K. Adams wrote:

: >If you put NetBSD onto your entire disk, there is no need to do a special
: >partitioning.  sysinst utility makes sure that NetBSD is not in the
: >first cylinder on any machine.  Install and enjoy.
: Hmm, I tried that the first time, but I was getting the "no operating
: system found" or equivalent bios message.  Re-running sysinst (after
: fdisk'ing the drive again from dos) and installing NetBSD starting at
: cylinder 1 fixed my problem.  The slight inconvenience being that I
: had to figure out the NetBSD partition sizes with a calculator because
: "cylinders" was my unit of choice :-(
: This is the second HDD on the SCSI chain, the first is all DOS w/OSBS.


I've had this happen on several motherboards (read: every single one I've
ever used except one) with the old install system.  I don't know how sysinst
works yet, as my i386 box is in 24 hour production use and will be upgraded
by hand to release.  However, sysinst should _ALWAYS_ create a valid
partition table if there is not one on the disk.  If it even gives you the
option to put the NetBSD part of the disk in the first cylinder and skip the
whole MBR/partition table, it is badly broken.  A "boot block interceptor"
that doesn't require a standard partition table is just as broken.

When I go try out the amiga version of sysinst after my ethernet card is
replaced, I'll expect sysinst to either create a RDB (Amiga partition table) 
or require that one exist beforehand.  Any other way would, again, be
broken, because not all ROM revisions would understand the disk otherwise. 

Same with SPARC.  If the disklabels it creates are not SunOS-compatible such
that the ROMs understand it, it's broken. 

My $0.02, but it comes from a couple years of experience installing NetBSD
on more than four dozen system on five architectures with wildly varying
hardware setups.  (Oh, I've had this same problem with FreeBSD way back; I
don't know if they now create real partition tables, but I'd guess that they


Yawn, that was a big one, but it's been a pet peeve of mine for a while.
I'm done for now.  :)

== Todd Vierling (Personal; Business
== So you know what, Mikey?  Go to bed.