fdisk failure re-installing PCBSD 8

Ok, so I have an IBM T40 and I am installed PC-BSD 8.  Then for fun, I downloaded a more recent snapshot (PCBSD 8-Stable) and installed that.

However, woe is me, I ran into this FreeBSD bug: 131087. This prevents me from using my Wireless, which on a laptop is a show stopper.

So I got out the release version of the PCBSD 8 installer and tried to install again, however, now it fails.

Here is the log:

Running: find-update-parts
kern.geom.debugflags: 0 -> 16
Cleaning up ad0
Running: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad0 count=2048
2048+0 records in
2048+0 records out
1048576 bytes transferred in 0.391058 secs (2681383 bytes/sec)
Running fdisk on ad0
Running: fdisk -I /dev/ad0
fdisk: invalid fdisk partition table found
fdisk: Class not found
******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
ERROR: The slice ad0s1 doesn't exist! FDISK Failure
Running: umount /cdmnt-install
umount: /cdmnt-install: statfs: No such file or directory
umount: /cdmnt-install: unknown file system

So obviously something is broke with the partition table.  I am not sure if this can be duplicated but it sure is annoying.
So how do I fix this?  Well, right now I decided to use dd to wipe my drive.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad0 bs=4096k

That took something more than an hour and then I reinstalled an all worked fine.

Anyway, I wonder if there is a bug with the installer that caused this or if this is a result of the multiple crashes that occurred due to the iwi bug that causes kernel panic.


  1. b says:

    Maybe next time you can add the 'count' argument (e.g. 'count=1') to save time; I believe the primary partition table is stored in the master boot record at sector 0 (512 bytes worth, so you could use 'bs=512'), and wiping it should be enough to get fdisk (or its ilk) to offer to create a new partition table for you. FULL DISCLOSURE: Although I've done a fair bit of partitioning throughout the years, I've never tried to nuke the PT using dd (still, if you're intent on wiping the disk, you can't really mess things up too badly, no matter what you do). (Thanks for sharing your development insights and experience, BTW. Great blog!)

    A few years ago, when I first tried to install several Linux distros on a laptop that had a SATA drive (every other laptop I've used/seen has used PATA/IDE), it wouldn't recognize the [only] hard drive. Eventually I discovered that Kubuntu 7.x could "see" the drive. My guess is that SATA drivers were just starting to become standard issue kernel built-ins, and most of the distros I'd first tried simply lacked the drivers, and so ignored the SATA HD.

  2. addy says:

    I could get this working after changing to an IDE drive.. Some reason scsi never worked.

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