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Old 04-15-2007, 11:23 AM   #1
dyw
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Problem resizing FAT32 partition on external drive


My brother-in-law asked me to install Linux on his laptop, but he still needs to keep Windows XP. I chose Kubuntu for him, and ran its installer. I chose to resize his Windows NTFS partition from about 19 to 16.5 GB. It failed with just "An error occured." This happened even after disabling virtual memory and defragmenting twice. So I decided to try Freespire's partitioning tool (GParted) instead. It also failed with a similarly useless error message.

So he said to install it on his external USB hard drive (/dev/sda) which is FAT32, so I chose to resize it from 149 to 145 GB. It didn't fail yet, but it's taking a long, long, long time! And there is no indication of progress!

It completed "check filesystem (/dev/sda) for errors and (if possible) fix them" which runs dosfsck.
But now it's on "resize filesystem using libparted" and there is no indication of progress...

I can't stop it in middle because that will ruin the filesystem, and he needs the files on it...

And he needs to leave this afternoon and needs his laptop!

Is there anything I can do?

Again, I am using the Freespire CD with GParted, it's a external USB Western Digital hard drive of about 150GB, FAT32, appears to be connected with USB1.1...
 
Old 04-15-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
Junior Hacker
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Probably just have to wait, I've not used these tools with USB-1 which is probably causing the hang up. Something like 40 times slower than USB-2. And it's a large drive, most re-size utilities have to do a file system check before and after the re-size from one end to the other.
 
Old 04-15-2007, 01:34 PM   #3
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Oh man. It finished the resize with a check mark, and then did another filesystem check (dosfsck) which failed with the error: No such file /dev/sda1!!! That is horrible! It looks like it really messed up my partition table!

Then when I clicked OK the screen went black and nothing responds. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace does nothing and neither does Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Or Ctrl-Alt-F1/2/3 etc. to switch virtual consoles.

My brother in law is going to have my head!

I'm rebooting to Windows now to see if files are accessible on the drive.

He had stuff he wanted on the drive... I thought FAT32 resizing is supposed to be pretty simple compared to NTFS...

Oh man.
 
Old 04-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
Junior Hacker
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I have heard many horror stories regarding gparted, if you know much about CVS and versions, you would find gparted is still in an "unstable" state. I used it successfully the other day, but that was with Linux native file systems. For Windows file systems I use bootitng, it is above version 1.0, which means it's stable. As long as you don't install bootitng to the hard drive, all it's superb partitioning tools are free to use off a floppy or CD.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/

If the partition info or file system is inaccessible, you can recover most of the data with some Linux forensics tools found on many Live CD's.
 
Old 04-15-2007, 04:00 PM   #5
dyw
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Miraculously when I booted back into Windows, the external hard disk was fine, and I backed up everything right away!

Then I went back into Kubuntu install to continue. I found that the installer had indeed resized the partition properly. I did the partitioning and had it install, which was uneventful.

Of course the boot loader had to be installed to /dev/hda not /dev/sda.

Now when I try to boot up the system, it just gives me Grub error 21. I googled and that means can't find disk. Huh? I thought it's supposed to support external hard drives?

So thank G-d my brother in law didn't lose data, but he still needs Windows, and he is leaving soon...
 
Old 04-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #6
Junior Hacker
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If the bios supports booting from USB devices you should have grub installed in the USB MBR. But it sounds like you're saying Ubuntu did'nt give you the option. Grub is not all that great at booting USB drives when grub is on the internal drive from what I've heard. It can do it, sometimes I guess.
 
Old 04-15-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
dyw
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The BIOS didn't provide options...

I threw NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI onto a floppy disk, to boot him into his WinXP, then ran MbrFix to fix the boot record, so now he has Windows XP working.

Unfortunately both him and I are still panting from all this so we're going to let him keep Windows now.

Ubuntu devs I hope you are listening :-)

Okay, just do your best.
 
Old 04-15-2007, 05:42 PM   #8
dyw
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Just wondering, where in TeraByte's license agreement did you see that it is free to use off a floppy?
 
Old 04-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #9
Junior Hacker
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It's under the shareware license agreement, 30 day trial period. Your 30 days starts when you install it as a boot loader.
 
Old 04-16-2007, 11:41 AM   #10
dyw
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Oh so as long as you don't install it you never enter a trial period? But do you have a license?
 
Old 04-16-2007, 05:08 PM   #11
Junior Hacker
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Yes, there is a license, you can download the documentation where the different licenses can be viewed.
 
  


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