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old machine--booting problem

Hi all,

I have an older Compaq machine that has bizarre BIOS issues. I can
install OpenBSD fine, but it doesn't setup the boot correctly on
the hard disk. This in itself is not a big deal, I've read the man
pages and done the installboot and all of that stuff, but not much

I used to have slackware loaded on this box, and to get around this
same problem I just put in the slackware boot disk that doubled as
a rescue disk, loading the kernel off of the floppy but loading the
system off of the root partition on the hard disk.

The box is SCSI based, and I assume that since the OpenBSD boot
doesn't list sd0 as a boot device (thus thwarting boot sd0a:/bsd...only
listing fd0)

I can't boot at all. OpenBSD (and all other OS's I've had on this
box have this problem, so it's got some weird issues) doesn't know
about the SCSI devices until it loads the controller driver and
then it finds the disk. The SCSI controller (NCR chipset IIRC) is
onboard. I've tried setting image and device variables at the boot
prompt, but no luck. Perhaps I'm missing something there.

Any clues or things I can do to work around this? I may end up doing
a network boot or something, but would rather use the internal disk
to load the OS if possible.

If more details about the disk/controller/bios/etc would be helpful,
please let me know, but I assume this is a more generic question
of is it possible to boot a hard disk while loading the boot/kernel
from a floppy, if the boot loader doesn't know about the upcoming
hard disk already?

Thanks in advance!


George Lewis