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 WinXP and FreeBSD configuration problems
Author: dmwassman 
Date:   05-08-05 02:50

Hello all,

OK it is now day three and I have given up. This will be a long one just to warn you now.

I have a 320 GiB HD and a 5 GiB HD. The 320 is faster than the 5 (yes, it is that old). I want to dual boot WinXP and FreeBSD. The main issue is that I don't want to put the FreeBSD buried behind 100G FAT partition as I would like to have the swap closer to the edge of the HD. I use the 5 G to transfer files and such, especially when changing the OS on a partition. I prefer not to use it a a boot as it is only 5400 and I would have to put the CDROM on either it as prime boot and slow it more or on the 320 and slow it down. This seems like a simple problem but it has not turned out that way.

First, I tried to install windows on the first 2G partition then tried to install freebsd as follows
ad0s0 NTFS 2G #Windows Boot
ad0s1 FreeBSD 2G #FreeBSD Boot/Swap
ad0s3 FAT 20G #Windows
ad0s4 FreeBSD 298G #FreeBSD

Now when I finished installing WinXP I could boot with no problems but after installing FreeBSD, I get a BSOD when trying to boot WinXP. I looked thru google, FreeBSD, and Microsoft for a possible answer. No. Everyone seems to just put all of WinXP on the first partition and then FreeBSD or Linux. I think thats fine for a 20, 30 or even 80 GiB HD but I think there will be a performance issue with the boot and swap so deep on the HD.

Next, I tried to reinstall WinXP but when I get the the diskpart section, I only see one partition of 130G (diskpart cannot get past the 128G limit). There is no other partitions, not even the FAT labeled partition. Now I am getting frustrated.

Next I tried Ranish Partition Manager (great PM by the way, 30 possible primaries). I set it as follows

1 FAT 2G #Windows Boot
2 unused 2G #To be FreeBSD
3 FAT 20G #Windows
4 unused 298G #To be FreeBSD.

I used RPM to format the two FAT partitions. Then installed WinXP. WinXP see the two FAT partitions, the first one I format to NTFS and continue the install. After reboot, WinXP boots fine. Then I again try to install FreeBSD and reboot to WinXP to low and behold, the BSOD. Now I am MAD.

Next, I used RPM to edit the MBR list so the 2 FAT partitions are 1 and 2 respectively. This fools the WinXP Install but again I get the BSOD after I install FreeBSD. I have also tried to install RPM loader with the last complete cylinder for the boot manager to no avail. I am now about ready to play hackysack with my HD.

Since then I have tried several variations of these themes, diskpart, fdisk and/or RPM in varying order but every time I get a BSOD or a single partition in WinXP install. I would love to be able to put another partition between the FreeBSD boot partition and the Windows partition for a different OS (possible Solaris) using RPM to boot the more than 4 primes this will create but I don't dare until this is solved. I have tried to reach zen to control my skyrocketing rage but have failed to reach enlightenment after my second keyboard was pounded into legos.

Any idea how to do this. I prefer not to have to use the 5G as a boot disk but will have to if I can't get this working. The most frustrating thing is it should just work. I could easily do this with any other OS other than MS crap. Why does WinXP care what I do with the other prime partitions or how this can possible affect them, I am at a complete loss. At least, I think I understand simple tech work as how HD's work but I could be wrong.

Thanks for the help in advance,

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