Subject: Re: installing/running 1.4D, continued
To: Frank van der Linden <>
From: jiho <>
List: port-i386
Date: 10/11/1999 13:06:40
Good news, bad news.

Good news:  Most of my problems with NetBSD 1.4D fdisk have been resolved (see 
below for excruciating detail).  Furthermore, by first using 1.4D fdisk to 
create partitions for Linux (root and swap), I managed to get that OS 
installed and working _without_ re-installing NetBSD 1.4D.

Bad news:  I still have incorrect BIOS geometry.  I failed to find a way to 
correct it, short of starting over with a low-level format of the drive and 
complete re-paritition and re-installation of all OSes.

When I originally installed NetBSD 1.4D, it correctly reported the correct 
BIOS geometry of 1024 / 255 / 63.  But since then something, somewhere, 
managed to mung the BIOS geometry to 1024 / 15 / 63.

I don't think NetBSD did this, because I can't get 1.4D fdisk to modify the 
BIOS geometry no matter what I tell it.  It only takes what I tell it, to use 
in calculating individual _partition_ geometries (which works well enough to 
get other OSes working, as noted above.)

Working with fdisk:  My problem was, the -B and -b options are mutually 
exclusive, because -B _cannot_ be used with the -u option and -b _must_ be 
used with the -u option.  This makes sense, because if you modify partitions 
with -u you will be prompted to edit the boot menu.  The man page, however, 
doesn't make all of this clear, beyond using -u with -b.

Furthermore, the usage() function in fdisk.c could use modification to take 
the special i386 features into account.

Well, anyway, what a relief.  Now if I could just figure out how to get all of 
my heads back....

--Jim Howard  <>