Subject: Re: sysinst, two more notes
To: None <helbig@Informatik.BA-Stuttgart.DE,,>
From: Ross Harvey <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/16/1999 23:52:18
: From: Wolfgang Helbig <helbig@Informatik.BA-Stuttgart.DE>
> > > Offering an option to the user to overwrite the mbr code probably does
> > > make the most sense here.
> >
> > Actually, if we find that there is only one BIOS partition on the
> > machine that takes up the whole disk, it would make sense to install
> > the NetBSD mbr code whether there is an existing one there or not.
> > Of course, a radio button display would work too.
> In that case, sysinst could even go one step further and configure
> the NetBSD partition to start at the very beginning of the disk, and
> put the first stage boot program in the first sector of the disk.
> This would give me 63 sectors of the first track (which are unused now).
> And it would be really cool :-)

It's tempting, because for one thing it avoids the entire bios geometry

But sadly, although this frequently works, it's not dependable.  Some mfr's
BIOS code (Award, I think, and possibly others) will not just blindly load
sector 0 but will report an error along the lines of `No Operating System'
or something like that.