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Old 07-15-2008, 03:51 PM   #1
jdh77
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Question formatting large hard disk drives in linux


Long story short, generic question.

Purchased a Seagate 320 GigaByte PATA.

Seagate's instructions said to check with linux "vendor" for procedure to partition, etc.

Unable to find any mention of said problem on various venues including, but not limited to, and in no particular order; klikit-linux, debian, kubuntu, linspire, ibm and so forth.

Attempting with cfdisk did not take.

Started install of klikit-linux and proceeded with gparted, then experienced the error message:

Unable to install GRUB in (hd0)

(!) Executing 'grub-install (hd0)' failed.

This is a fatal error.

[ OK ]


Is there a "proper" way to partition these large drives?
 
Old 07-15-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
farslayer
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I would create partitions with fdisk
then create file systems (format the partitions) using mkfs

But you are trying to install Linux to the drive it looks like ?

If you are going to install Linux you wouldn't partition or format the partitions before you start. you would want to install to un-partitioned space and allow the Linux installer to create and format the partitions as part of the install.

I don't think I'm clear on exactly what your issue is....
 
Old 07-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I would create partitions with fdisk
then create file systems (format the partitions) using mkfs

But you are trying to install Linux to the drive it looks like ?

If you are going to install Linux you wouldn't partition or format the partitions before you start. you would want to install to un-partitioned space and allow the Linux installer to create and format the partitions as part of the install.

I don't think I'm clear on exactly what your issue is....
There is nothing wrong with configuring a drive with partitions and pre-formatting for a filesystem. By doing so you can verify the HDD is valid and without errors. I do this all the time with my hdd. I will setup the partition scheme to suit my needs. I then will format with the filesystem of choice which in my case is ext3.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 06:03 AM   #4
Larry Webb
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Use fdisk to create one primary partition and it will tell you your hd is too large for format, continue anyway then when it is finished you can use your cfdisk or install your distro.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 03:15 PM   #5
jdh77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I would create partitions with fdisk
then create file systems (format the partitions) using mkfs

But you are trying to install Linux to the drive it looks like ?

If you are going to install Linux you wouldn't partition or format the partitions before you start. you would want to install to un-partitioned space and allow the Linux installer to create and format the partitions as part of the install.

I don't think I'm clear on exactly what your issue is....
Thanx for the response. I'm fairly familiar with partitioning, formatting, etc. I should have been clear in my original post. The issue seems to be HDDs over 150GB or so. Seagate contends you MUST use a special drive setup software, that you should not rely on standard setup procedures for a reliable HDD setup. I have successfully (I think?) done a 160GB IDE Seagate. (But, the jury is still out.)

I generally prefer to pre-format my HDDs, then install. Not all distros will allow you to do this however.

I am STILL looking for whatever it is that Seagate is alluding to about "see your vendor" for procedure, etc.

thanx again,
 
Old 07-16-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
Mr. C.
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That's the documentation + legal department speaking.

fdisk will partition the drive on *nix systems just fine, and has been doing so for quite a long time.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 03:22 PM   #7
jdh77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,


There is nothing wrong with configuring a drive with partitions and pre-formatting for a filesystem. By doing so you can verify the HDD is valid and without errors. I do this all the time with my hdd. I will setup the partition scheme to suit my needs. I then will format with the filesystem of choice which in my case is ext3.
Ditto, except my preference is reiserfs. I really like Reiserfs4 but there seems to be some unresolved problems with some distros, or maybe the issue(s) are with the kernel.

Thanx for the response.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 03:36 PM   #8
jdh77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Webb View Post
Use fdisk to create one primary partition and it will tell you your hd is too large for format, continue anyway then when it is finished you can use your cfdisk or install your distro.
yeah, thanx Larry, that's a trick I employ from time to time. The issue seems to be reliability of data on a large drive that has not had the benefit of Seagate's special setup software. I'm pretty much M$ free these days only using W98SE running on top of linux for one or two must have programs, so I'm not about to try to use M$ to achieve the ends. (With Seagate's windows software)

thanx for the reply Larry,
 
Old 07-16-2008, 04:43 PM   #9
Larry Webb
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fdisk as far as I know is a tool in every linux live distro.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
amani
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Better still use the parted magic live CD or use gparted...for the graphical way
 
Old 07-16-2008, 05:38 PM   #11
forum1793
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I have two seagate 250gb sata hd and have had no problems. I prepartition using cfdisk and have used ext2, ext3, reiserfs, and others without problems. I never used any special seagate software to prepare or initialize the hd. I have not seen any data loss ... that I no of.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 07:36 PM   #12
farslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh77 View Post
The issue seems to be HDDs over 150GB or so. Seagate contends you MUST use a special drive setup software, that you should not rely on standard setup procedures for a reliable HDD setup. I have successfully (I think?) done a 160GB IDE Seagate. (But, the jury is still out.)
The only reason I can think of for having to use Drive Overlay software of that nature is if you have an old system that has BIOS limitations. On a newer system you shouldn't have issues of that sort.

Hard Drive Size Limitations and Barriers In Depth

I also don't know if those drive overlay programs would even be compatible with Linux..

Last edited by farslayer; 07-16-2008 at 07:37 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:50 PM   #13
michaelk
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The kernel did or does have support for drive overlay software. However, I do not if is still in the latest kernels.

http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/linux/Large-Disk-8.html
 
Old 07-17-2008, 01:49 AM   #14
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I suggest use cfdisk instead of fdisk to make partitions.

A lot of people still think there is a hard drive geometry limit. During booting this is true. In Linux, this is false. Linux goes around the BIOS to calculate large hard drives just fine without any problems. If you are using the hard drive for booting the partition that you are trying to boot from will have to be within limits of the BIOS. When the Linux kernel is loaded, limits are through the roof. Of course, you are using an old distribution because latest distributions already or should have large hard drive option enabled.

I strongly recommend do not use ReiserFS. It has a long history of data corruption. I recommend EXT3, XFS, JFS as file systems of choice.
 
  


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