Subject: Re: Hard drive BIOS limits?
To: David Brownlee <>
From: Wojciech Puchar <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/20/2004 21:30:00
>> Yes, it will work just fine.  NetBSD only uses the BIOS to access the disk
>> inside the boot program.
> 	If your BIOS is broken enough you may need to disable the second
> 	disk entirely in it. I had to do that with two machines a while
> 	back. NetBSD saw the additional drive(s) fine once the kernel
> 	loaded from a disk small enough to not derange the BIOS.
> 	Fortunately I've been able to move onto more capable obsolete
> 	hardware since :)

My home server has 40GB drive that BIOS doesn't take at all (hangs if 
turned on).

i boot my custom kernel from floppy with root ad wd0a hardcoded. runs 

when installing on that hardware, without extra machine available to 
prepare floppy on it for the first time the solution is:

1) install as usual
2) reboot from floppies/CD back again but with

boot -a

3) type wd0a instead of md0a

4) configure system, unpack kernel sources, (optional) install some other 
editor than vi, and compile custom kernel.

5) prepare floppy from it.

you may use my tools - unpack

to /stand


/stand/ after installing your kernel

and then

/stand/ to write to floppy

always have at least 2 different floppies, in case of recompiling kernel 
to keep older version

kernels up to about 2.7MB should fit well and it's really not a problem to 
have custom kernel smaller.