Newbie with MBR Doesn't Want UEFI To Kill His Drive


My computer uses the BIOS (MBR) system for partition management, not UEFI. I read a TrueOS Install web page that showed an Advanced option where MBR could be selected. However, I did not see that option up to the point where I had selected the partition and the installation would begin. At that point, I decided I needed more information to proceed. So here I am, hat in hand.

I sure would appreciate some help, because I want to use TrueOS… but I don’t want to lose access to the other systems on my hard drive.



Ok, so there are a couple of possibilities here.

  1. Use an external USB drive as your installation target. I have a couple of 500GB Toshiba external drives (not ‘sticks’) that I use for this purpose. These will be the root drive of the newly installed system. You’ll still need an installation media such as a USB ‘stick’ drive - 8GB or so works fine. Preparation instructions for the installation media (the ‘stick’) are found on telegram or elsewhere on this forum. To proceed, you 'll need to interrupt your Power On Self Test and select a boot menu - hopefully this is supported in your current BIOS. Select the install ‘stick’ as the boot drive. When you get to the Trident installation menu be sure to select the correct target disk for the installation - the external USB drive, not the ‘stick’, and NOT your internal hard disk! In fact, do what I do and just remove the internal hard disk and set it aside. That way, there is absolutely no way it will be affected.

Once the system is installed, power down and remove the USB ‘stick’ installation media. Then boot up, selecting the external USB disk (still attached) and the system should boot. If your system supports USB 3.0 speed, it should be acceptably enough for general use.

  1. If you don’t have an external USB lying around, try installing into a virtual machine. There are lots of people doing that on these forums and you can easily find help for that. If you don’t have VMWare, you can use Qemu (available as a FreeBSD package or port - also available on other platforms). Qemu 2.9.0 works nicely but I’ve used other versions too.

If you need help with Qemu (getting it set up and running can be a bit challenging) let me know. I have some write-ups some where. I’ll just send them to you via email.

Hope this helps,
Jim B. -


I would like to read the write up also… If you are willing to share…

The advantage of using VirtualBox is that Trident includes the
guest additions out of the box.
$ pkg info|grep -i virtualbox
virtualbox-ose-additions-5.2.18_1 VirtualBox additions for FreeBSD guests



Thanks for all the helpful responses. I first was thinking of using the USB approach you suggested, but the comment about Trident made me decide to go with VirtualBox. I would rather keep everything on my hard drive. I used VirtualBox a lot years ago, but I remember almost nothing about it. So I’ll have to get back up to speed.

I’ve installed VB, and I’m downloading Trident.


Please do let us know how you get on.

As there is some general interest, I’ll post the Qemu stuff either here or somewhere else.

Jim B.


I installed VirtualBox in a Linux partition and set up a Trident machine. When I started it, it started reading the Trident DVD and moved along for a bit. It got to this point:

  1. Boot [Enter]
    I pressed Enter, but nothing happened for a while.

To make a long story short, I could not continue the install. I beleive this error is relevant:
CPU doesn’t support long mode

I booted the DVD in my computer and confirmed the DVD was OK. The only thing that VirtualBox did that may explain the problem is that the only option I could select was a 32-bit FreeBDS. It seems Trident only available in a 64-version, and that’s what’s on the DVD.

If your host has a 64-bit processor, but VirtualBox is only allowing you 
to install 32-bit guests, then see the VBox FAQ:

If you have a 32-bit processor, you're SOL regarding Trident.
You could install FreeBSD and add the Lumina packages for a similar UI.


Thanks for the tip. I run 64-bin Linux distros, so my computer is capable. This last point from the FAQ makes me think this is why it’s not working:

When creating a VM, make sure you choose the 64-bit version of the guest OS template in | General | Basic | Version, e.g. choose “Ubuntu (64 bit)” and not “Ubuntu” or “Ubuntu (32bit)”.

There is no 64-bit BSD template.

Under Trident or FreeBSD
# sysctl hw.model

Under Linux:
# grep 'model name' /proc/cpuinfo

Does your processor support the required virtual extension
for 64-bit guests?


Maybe not. I see that all of the templates for all OSes are 32.bit. I see TrueOS also comes only in 64, so I guess I’m stuck with Linux. :slight_smile:

If you're worried about Trident breaking your current Linux installation,
another good option for testing is to install to an external USB harddrive.

The qemu option that jimbygh suggested isn't likely to perform well if 
you have an ancient x64 processor without virtualization extensions.

Happy hacking,


I have a DELL Optiplex that I can run windows “64 bit OS”, however, it doesn’t (architectually) support Long Mode, and, as such, can’t run TOS. See the wikipedia page on ’ Long mode’ for the detail [Real mode or virtual 8086 mode programs cannot be natively run in long mode].


i forgot about this, but will try to find that documentation and post it here…


TrueOS install (and freeBSD) was very very good about not installing anything before asking etc. I would not risk your current installation. Just unplug your current working drive and install whatever you want on another drive or more convenient on a USB stick.


in playing freeBSD-13-0-Current, trueos/tident, linux mint, and debian, on a test thinkpad, using EFI.

freeBSD, hence trueos/trident, do not play nice using partitions. 2 out of 3 times when FBSD/trueos was installed into a partition, it would rEFInd you.

For older system, using gpart/gparted, the freebsd/trueos/trident partition would be labelled, unidentified or something simlar.

Yes, there is an issue, but it looks like it may more of a freeBSD issue, at this moment.

Maybe, someone with more knowledge can take a deeper look.