Sarge 3.1r2 will not create file system on Western Digital 40Gb laptop HDD
Hi, I am a Debian newbie, although not a Linux newbie !
I have a TC-10 touch screen computer from EarthLCD. The mobo is x386-based, and I am looking to put a 2.4 Linux kernel on this hardware because it supports touch screen calibration, which the 2.6 kernel does not.
For starters I've attached a CD-ROM as IDE primary slave and that's recognised just fine. When there's an IBM 512Mb microdrive also attached as IDE primary master, I have no problems whatsoever creating filesystems and indeed a whole Debian system on it, but the problem is that I'm very quickly running out of disk space when I start to add packages, add X11, play with the kernel, etc. (It is /var that fills up very quickly).
So I decided to swap the Microdrive for something bigger - a 40Gb Western Digital 2.5 inch laptop HDD, connected via a 2.5 inch-to-3.5 inch adapter. Again, the disk is recognised just fine. However, when I come to try and create even just a 1Gb root partition (in ext2, ext3 or reiser), the filesystem creation progress bar gets right to the end and then says that it failed to create the filesystem.
I have tried two different brand new Western Digital 2.5" disks - both give the same result. I have tried various types of partition table (the default 'msdos', but also bsd) but again this does not help.
One other thing I have tried is to create the filesystem on a root partition no more than 500Mb, thinking that I would later extend it. Sometimes this works, but if I then go back one step in the installation menu and try to run the partitioner again, it says "no partitionable media found" !!
I'm tearing my hair out!
Any ideas why these fairly harmless, standard IDE disks (not even SATA) should fail to accept a filesystem ? Anywhere I can look for clues as to what is behind the failure ? I don't know what else to try.