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So after three years my motherboard (Asus M2N-0MX) has died off. As I go shopping for its replacement tomorrow I have a concern about the data that I currently have on the drives wtihin. I'm currently running BSD 6.2, and am wondering if there would be any concern with installing a new OS on that system, would it be better to just install the latest BSD version, and are there any pitfalls that I should watch for to make sure I don't end up losing 750gb's of data.

The setup consists of the following (to the best of my knowledge):

Pioneer DVD drive
3ware RAID card
four 250gb SATA drives in RAID 5 config

Thanks to anyone that can offer some advice, or just to confirm if I am over thinking things.

EDIT: Thanks Dennis for the edit. Typing with a head cold, not a good idea.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As long as the replacement MB isn't too exotic FreeBSD will boot just fine.

As with any operating system, I would not recommend changing/upgrading hardware and software at the same time. I would replace the hardware, get it running again (this should be fairly easy, minimal configuration changes), take a backup, then worry about the software upgrade.

The only pitfalls I foresee in the MB replacement is that the devices might not be exactly the same, or not in the same order. For instance, the PCI bus might be enumerated in reverse order. So if you have two of the same device (happens frequently with NICs & HD Controllers) their numbering may be reversed. This can be annoying as the boot device's number may be changed too. Other than that, just make sure everything plugs into the new MB and you should be good.

For the software upgrade, backup, backup, backup, then test and verify your backup. Then just burn an 8.0 (or whatever version you want) CD, boot and install the same base system you had before, doing a custom installation. You'll have to mount the existing partitions to the same locations. If you want you can run newfs on them (be sure you don't delete the backup) to clean out the old cruft. If you cleaned off the old cruft, reinstall the ports you want again. If you didn't erase everything, install the portupgrade port and run it with the -af flags (this will take a long time and upgrade all your ports to the newest versions, this is known to have minor issues with Gnome).

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Chris pretty much covered it - the only caveat I would add for the motherboard swap is that if you have a custom kernel you should probably boot GENERIC instead (you do keep an up-to-date GENERIC for emergencies, right? :). That way if any hardware changed (e.g. new onboard NICs) you'll probably have support for the new devices, and then it's just down to fixing rc.conf & friends. –  voretaq7 May 28 '10 at 15:21

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