Subject: Re: Installing Boot Blocks on New Disks
To: Aaron Benner <>
From: Chris G Demetriou <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 08/23/1996 22:55:06
> Reply To:
> I've gotten my Multia running NetBSD/Alpha, and am trying to add on
> some more disk, which I would like to make bootable. (Just in case the
> primary disk goes down)  On an i386 machine I understand how to do
> this using disklabel.  The problem I'm having is that on the alpha
> disklabel doesn't seem to support the writing of boot blocks, and the
> only other option I found ,installboot, doesn't want to work either.

The Alpha installboot is like the sparc installboot...  which means:

> When I try;
> /usr/mdec/installboot -v boot bootxx /dev/rsd1c

This won't work.

the 'boot' you specify has to be on sd1.  i.e. say you have sd1a
mounted on /mnt, you would do something like:

cd /usr/mdec
cp boot /mnt/boot
./installboot -v /mnt/boot bootxx /dev/rsd1c

This is actually a hack; it's more correct to say "/dev/rsd1a", but
the "kernel security" features in 4.4BSD derivatives prevent that from
working, if they're enabled.

You'll note that this means that:
	(1) part of the boot blocks live in the file system, and
	(2) you need a file system on a disk, containing at least
	    the /boot and a kernel, in order to boot from that
	    disk, and
	(3) currently, you can't boot from kernels in any partition
	    other than 'a'.
For your purposes, some of those facts may be irrelevant.  8-)