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Old 07-07-2004, 02:00 PM   #1
clausawits
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Registered: Jun 2001
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lilo says, "L 01 01 01" and fdisk says, "Unable to seek on /dev/hda1"


I've already read this thread (regarding fdisk): http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...+to+seek+fdisk
this thread (from google) (regarding fdisk):
http://lists.ethernal.org/dunlug-0405/msg00121.html
and much of this (regarding lilo):
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...22&btnG=Search

Background: A PC has a single hard drive with Win2k and Mandrake 8(?) dual booting with Lilo. It had been working fine for many a moon until today. Win2k is in hda1...

Today I booted it up and lilo spewed the "L 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01..." stuff at me (it had never done that before). I googled around and came to the (mistaken?) conclusion that it was a hard drive starting to flake out. The advice was to re-run Lilo to write the MBR again to fix the mistake.

I had a Knoppix 3.4 cd lying around, so I thought I'd use that to boot the computer up, but when it came up, the boot-up routines didn't see any partition other than hda1 (I wanted to use the lilo.conf from the linux partition on hda). I did an fdisk, and fdisk replied with "Unable to seek on /dev/hda".

I've googled around on that, but haven't really found anything that is helpful. One person seemed to say that using a different partition managing program than fdisk was successful, others said it was probably a bios thing.

Anyone actually know? Do I have any alternatives to salvaging what I may be able to pull of the drive and replacing it? Or is this an esoteric, fixable glitch that has nothing to do with hard drive failure?

I know it's a long-shot, but thanks for any help/info you can give..
 
Old 07-07-2004, 08:05 PM   #2
jailbait
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Debian Jessie
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"Anyone actually know? Do I have any alternatives to salvaging what I may be able to pull of the drive and replacing it? Or is this an esoteric, fixable glitch that has nothing to do with hard drive failure?"

I would say that most likely the hard drive is failing. You can check out hardware failures by swapping components. If possible, take the hard drive to another computer and see if it works on the other computer.

The second most likely possibility is that the BIOS has the geometry of the hard drive screwed up. Look in your BIOS for the hard drive configuration settings and see if that can be changed to something that works.

"I had a Knoppix 3.4 cd lying around, so I thought I'd use that to boot the computer up, but when it came up, the boot-up routines didn't see any partition other than hda1 (I wanted to use the lilo.conf from the linux partition on hda). I did an fdisk, and fdisk replied with "Unable to seek on /dev/hda"."

Considered by itself this could be interpreted as a bad partition table. When you throw in the lilo messages, etc I would change the interpretation to: the portion of the hard drive containing the partition table has physical damage.

It is possible that you could salvage the part of the hard drive which is still OK (perhaps most of it) by downloading a low level format utility from your drive manufacturer and doing a low level format on the drive. Doing a low level format can take hours (my 30G Maxtor took 2.5 hours). It will completely erase all information on the hard drive. And after all that work the hard drive may still be unusable.

Obviously you should back up anything that you can before swapping hard drives or doing a low level format.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 07-07-2004 at 08:06 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2004, 08:38 AM   #3
clausawits
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Hmm.. Thanks for your reply. I pulled the hard drive out and noticed that it was an IBM Deskstar. I'm surprised that I hadn't already suspected that.

I'm currently just trying to salvage what data I can off of it.

I am reminded why I vowed never to buy another IBM hard drive (this was by no means my first issue with the product line). I think they stopped selling hard drives, so it makes my vow easy to live up to. Didn't they?

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,67608,00.asp
 
Old 12-31-2007, 09:33 PM   #4
greeniguana00
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I know it's probably bad to dig up a three-year-old thread, but it doesn't necessarily mean hard disk failure. I am having the problem right now with an virtual hard disk. I have a raw disk image, and GRUB gives a "GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB" etc when booting. FDisk gives "Unable to seek on /dev/loop0" after I losetup /dev/loop0 image.img.

Obviously virtual disks don't fail, so it must be something weird.
 
  


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