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Old 01-20-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
hjogoo
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Unhappy fdisk - invalid DOS partition table...


Hi guys,

Just wondering if you can help me. I've recently bought a new hard drive (seagate) which I am planning to use for backup only.

So far I have been unsuccessful in partitioning the hard dive. Following is a snapshot.


[root@ax-backup ~]# fdisk /dev/sdb
Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0xbd994891.
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
p
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-1024, default 1):
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-1024, default 1024):
Using default value 1024

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.
[root@ax-backup ~]# dmesg | tail
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] 16451600 512-byte hardware sectors (8423 MB)
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
sdb: unknown partition table
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] 16451600 512-byte hardware sectors (8423 MB)
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
sd 1:0:1:0: [sdb] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
sdb: unknown partition table

Can anyone help me. I just cannot figure out what's wrong.

Thanks
Hamun
 
Old 01-20-2009, 10:20 PM   #2
Electro
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Use cfdisk for making partitions. It is not because it is easier. It is more reliable. The utility fdisk can sometimes screw up or make the user screw up while creating partitions.
 
Old 01-20-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
hjogoo
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Thanks Electro for your reply. However, I did try cfdisk or parted. None of them has been very helpful. I am still getting the same error message.

Any further suggestions?
 
Old 01-20-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
onebuck
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Hi,

I disagree! 'fdisk' is reliable when used properly. I like to write the partition table to disk then reboot to insure that the kernel partition table is updated.

If you want a curses based disk tool then 'cfdisk' is the one to use. I would still reboot after writing the partition table to insure the update of the kernel partition table. I have not experienced any problems with either.

I always make my filesystems manually therefore I can be insured that the hdd partition will be valid. I even create my swaps manually before a install to insure that the space is contiguous and without error.

You should 'man fdisk' and 'man cfdisk'.

BTW, what does 'hdparm -I /dev/sdb' show?

Last edited by onebuck; 01-20-2009 at 10:51 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2009, 10:56 PM   #5
hjogoo
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Hi onebuck, thanks for your reply. Following is the output of hdparm

[root@ax-backup ~]# hdparm -I /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:

ATA device, with non-removable media
Model Number: T704A
Serial Number: Q4
Firmware Revision: .A
Standards:
Supported: 7 6 5 4
Likely used: 7
Configuration:
Logical max current
cylinders 2303 2303
heads 16 16
sectors/track 63 63
--
CHS current addressable sectors: 16451600
device size with M = 1024*1024: 8033 MBytes
device size with M = 1000*1000: 8423 MBytes (8 GB)
Capabilities:
IORDY(cannot be disabled)
Standby timer values: spec'd by Vendor
R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16 Current = ?
DMA: not supported
PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
Cycle time: no flow control=240ns IORDY flow control=120ns
Security:
Master password revision code = 2302
supported
not enabled
not locked
not frozen
not expired: security count
not supported: enhanced erase
Checksum: incorrect (0x32), expected 0xce
 
Old 01-20-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
onebuck
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Hi,

Your 'hdparm -I /dev/sdb' is not complete.
Not all devices report the same information but you are getting errors.

Code:
sample output;

hdparm -I /dev/sda

/dev/sda:

ATA device, with non-removable media
        Model Number:       ST3500630AS
        Serial Number:      9QG75YX9
        Firmware Revision:  3.AAE
Standards:
        Supported: 7 6 5 4
        Likely used: 7
Configuration:
        Logical         max     current
        cylinders       16383   16383
        heads           16      16
        sectors/track   63      63
        --
        CHS current addressable sectors:   16514064
        LBA    user addressable sectors:  268435455
        LBA48  user addressable sectors:  976773168
        device size with M = 1024*1024:      476940 MBytes
        device size with M = 1000*1000:      500107 MBytes (500 GB)
Capabilities:
        LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
        Queue depth: 32
        Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, no device specific minimum
        R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16  Current = 16
        Recommended acoustic management value: 254, current value: 0
        DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
             Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
        PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
             Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
Commands/features:
        Enabled Supported:
           *    SMART feature set
                Security Mode feature set
           *    Power Management feature set
           *    Write cache
           *    Look-ahead
           *    Host Protected Area feature set
           *    WRITE_BUFFER command
           *    READ_BUFFER command
           *    DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
                SET_MAX security extension
           *    48-bit Address feature set
           *    Device Configuration Overlay feature set
           *    Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
           *    FLUSH_CACHE_EXT
           *    SMART error logging
           *    SMART self-test
           *    General Purpose Logging feature set
           *    SATA-I signaling speed (1.5Gb/s)
           *    SATA-II signaling speed (3.0Gb/s)
           *    Native Command Queueing (NCQ)
           *    Phy event counters
                Device-initiated interface power management
           *    Software settings preservation
Security:
        Master password revision code = 65534
                supported
        not     enabled
        not     locked
                frozen
        not     expired: security count
        not     supported: enhanced erase
Checksum: correct
 
Old 01-20-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
hjogoo
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hmmm unfortunately it is

[root@ax-backup ~]# hdparm -I /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:

ATA device, with non-removable media
Model Number: T704A
Serial Number: Q4
Firmware Revision: .A
Standards:
Supported: 7 6 5 4
Likely used: 7
Configuration:
Logical max current
cylinders 2303 2303
heads 16 16
sectors/track 63 63
--
CHS current addressable sectors: 16451600
device size with M = 1024*1024: 8033 MBytes
device size with M = 1000*1000: 8423 MBytes (8 GB)
Capabilities:
IORDY(cannot be disabled)
Standby timer values: spec'd by Vendor
R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16 Current = ?
DMA: not supported
PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
Cycle time: no flow control=240ns IORDY flow control=120ns
Security:
Master password revision code = 2302
supported
not enabled
not locked
not frozen
not expired: security count
not supported: enhanced erase
Checksum: incorrect (0x32), expected 0xce

[root@ax-backup ~]#
 
Old 01-20-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjogoo View Post
Configuration:
Logical max current
cylinders 2303 2303
heads 16 16
sectors/track 63 63
--
CHS current addressable sectors: 16451600
device size with M = 1024*1024: 8033 MBytes
device size with M = 1000*1000: 8423 MBytes (8 GB)
Ooohhh - that doesn't look real good. That isn't LBA geometry.

As an aside, here's a cite from the fdisk manpage
Quote:
cfdisk is a beautiful program that has strict requirements on the par‐tition tables it accepts, and produces high quality partition tables. Use it if you can. fdisk is a buggy program that does fuzzy things -usually it happens to produce reasonable results.
I happen to use both BTW.
 
Old 01-20-2009, 11:59 PM   #9
hjogoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Ooohhh - that doesn't look real good. That isn't LBA geometry.
So are you saying that their aint any way that I can fix this?
 
Old 01-21-2009, 12:27 AM   #10
syg00
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Dunno - is this external or internal. If internal, what does the BIOS have set for it ?.
At a minimum, the [cs]fdisk suite all allow setting the geometry, as does grub - but you need to know the numbers to plug in. Better to play with the BIOS settings and see if the disk resets itself correctly I would think.
 
Old 01-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #11
hjogoo
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Thank you syg00. This is what I was thinking too. Will let you guys know if I was successfull.
 
Old 01-21-2009, 07:38 AM   #12
onebuck
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Hi,

Most modern motherboard BIOS has hard disk detection. If this is a internal you should setup with your geometry with the 'user' settings. Your drive information is not complete so I would look at your drives documentation to get the proper geometry.

You could have a bad hdd system. The warranty still valid?
 
Old 01-21-2009, 11:08 PM   #13
hjogoo
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Thanks onebuck. I just bought the hard drives. May return them.
 
  


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