Subject: Using extra hard drive for install?
To: None <tech-install@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Brian C. Grayson <>
List: tech-install
Date: 10/05/1997 12:30:27
  I think most of this is -i386 specific.

  I just bought a 4G IDE disk and am going to work on getting NetBSD
installed on it soon, so I'll have two machines at home.  While
pondering the various ways of setting the disk up, I realized
there's an option that is not covered in the INSTALL document --
temporarily putting a new hard disk in an existing NetBSD machine,
getting the hard drive set up, and then moving the hard drive to
the destination machine.  This avoids all the floppy work, and
also avoids the trouble of setting up SLIP/PPP on a minimal
system for net installation.  Plus, everything goes at IDE
bandwidth instead of floppy or net bandwidth!

  Is this worth pointing out in the INSTALL docs, with a section
on what is different?  For example, I don't think a boot floppy
is even needed, even if one is doing a binary upgrade (and not
just a copy of a working system, etc.).  

  Also, what would be required to allow this install to be
performed strictly under NetBSD?  I tried using the NetBSD
version of fdisk, but it wouldn't work until I ran the DOS-mode
pfdisk on it.  I may have been doing something wrong -- I haven't
installed on brand-new hard drives very often (i.e., twice).

  Lastly, are there any gotchas to this method?  For example, I
saw some traffic a few months ago on port-i386 that seemed to
say a master-slave setup of two hard disks on one IDE
``string'' may not be safe.  I don't remember the end result,
so to be safe, I'm using wdc0 and wdc1.  Also, the kernel on
the running system would need support for ``wd* at wdc0''
(which nearly everyone has), or wdc1 if the user opts to use
the second IDE string.  I'm not sure what would be required for
SCSI disks.

  I currently am working on installing NetBSD for a second
system, but I have a spare hard drive around, so I could test
out some stuff.

  Thanks in advance for help!

Brian Grayson (
Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Office:  ENS 406       (512) 471-8011
Finger for PGP key.