When the latest FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-i386-20141113-r274463-mini-memstick.img is transferred to an USB key with the official procedure (dd), the resulting stick:
- does not get recognized by boot menus in three different computers I have tried;
- gpart show [da0] output is null, the geom does not seem to exist;
- to my surprise, mount /dev/da0 /mnt works and I can browse the contents of the stick.
On the other hand, the same procedure with the latest FreeBSD-10.1-PRERELEASE-i386-20141026-r273706-mini-memstick.img works at least in two of the three computers:
- it's recognized by boot menus, it boots without issues;
- gpart show [da0] outputs the expected information: BSD schema, slice, label.
I have repeated three times switching from one image to the other, downloading them freshly and the issue is fully reproducible.
I'm on FreeBSD-10.1-RELEASE installed on an old MSI MS-7142 (K8MM-V) motherboard. The two other computers are an Intel Desktop Board DG41RQ (neither of the images boot on this one) and a HP Compaq 6730b.
Also, I seem to remember that these memstick images were absent at least for i386 until recently, something was wrong with them, I guess.
The problem does not exist with amd64 images! Well, the Intel Desktop Board DG41RQ still does not see the stick, but the other two computers can. It's definitely a problem with i386 images.