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I upgraded my 7.3 FreeBSD box using the following instructions from the FreeBSD website:

2.2 Upgrading Using “FreeBSD Update”

The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of i386 and amd64 systems running earlier FreeBSD releases. Systems running 7.[01234]-RELEASE, 8.[012]-RELEASE, 8.3-BETA1, or 8.3-RC[12] can upgrade as follows:

"# freebsd-update upgrade -r 8.3-RELEASE

During this process, FreeBSD Update may ask the user to help by merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically performed merging was done correctly.

"# freebsd-update install

The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before continuing.

"# shutdown -r now

After rebooting, freebsd-update(8) needs to be run again to install the new userland components:

Following the reboot the box just keeps on looping. I am not sure if the kernel is fine and I am not sure what the above instructions mean when they say "The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before continuing.

I have looked in the /boot directory and the kernel directory is there and seems fine.

I tried booting with the default kernel and it reboots, I also tried with ACPI disabled (option 2) and Safe mode (option 3) with the same results. I can boot successfully into Single user mode (option 4).

Do I need to change any files etc to boot with the newly installed kernel?

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This had something to do with a corrupt version of vmware tools.

After booting into single user mode, I remounted the root file system using:

mount -u /
mount -a

running fsck as the root file system could not be mounted in read-write mode with errors on it. Once it was fixed I reinstalled vmware tools and the rebooted the system.

Everything ran fine after running:

freebsd-update install

one more time.

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