[nycbug-talk] Can I install FreeBSD 5.3 from a USB CD drive?

Maude User maudeuser
Thu Aug 11 22:52:25 EDT 2005

Thanks for this info. 
The handbook chapter on BIOS (see below) doesn't mention "USB" but it says the machine 
can boot from "Removable Devices" so it sounds like your first suggestion about booting from 
removable drives would work. 
It also says something about PXE so it looks like your second suggestion would also work.
-- Steve
PS - More detail below about this server's specs (link below) -- it's a Tyan GS12 motherboard:
--> Integrated LAN controller (Intel 82547GI CSA & 82541GI PCI 10/100/1000 GbE 
LAN controllers) with two RJ-45 LAN connectors
--> Supports Intel P4 processor 800/533 MHz FSB
--> Supports up to 2 IDE HDD devices (Serial ATA and Ultra ATA/100 connectors)
--> Supports RAID 0, 1
--> One 32-bit/33 MHz PCI v2.3 slot
--> Four USB 2.0 ports
--> Phoenix BIOS on 4Mb Flash ROM; UCR and PXE (LAN remote boot); SM BIOS
2.3.1 (backward compatible w/ DMI 2.0)


In the handbook (link to PDF below), the BIOS chapter says:
> The Boot Menu allows you to set the priority of the booting devices:
>  - Removable Devices
>  - Hard Drive
>  - CD-ROM
>  - IBA GE Slot 0208 v1216 (LAN Intel 82547GI)

Jim Brown <jpb at sixshooter.v6.thrupoint.net> wrote:
* Maude User [2005-08-11 20:15]:
> Hello -
> I want to install FreeBSD 5.3 onto a rackmount server that came with two SATA hard drives 
> (it came with no CD or floppy). I will borrow a keyboard and monitor because I was informed
> today on this list that a "headless install" from my laptop over a null-modem cable would slow.
> I was going to buy a cheap USB floppy drive today (I saw prices from $30 to $50) but at jandr.com in NYC today I saw a USB CD-RW/DVD+/-RW on sale for $99 
> (Panasonic DVRS706) so I got that instead, figuring it was "more bang for the buck". 
> Can I install FreeBSD 5.3 from this USB CD drive? 
> If not, what sort of CD drive can I install from?

While I don't know the specfic equipment in your question, the general response
is that it is the BIOS that determines 'bootability' i.e. whether a device
can be used as a boot device. Check the BIOS setting first, there may
be a setting for booting from USB. If not, try 'removable drives' if it is shown.

If that fails, you might be able to boot from a network device using PXE booting.
Check the handbook (and your BIOS documentation) regarding PXE boot support.

If all that fails, try removing the hard disk and placing it in another compatible
system which has a bootable CD ROM.

And if *that* fails, post again. I'll be really interested to hear your curs^w comments.

Best Regards,
Jim B.

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