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I was using Ubuntu 5.10 very happily until I added some more memory. I now have two hard drives both of which report bad partition tables. That is, the output from fdisk -l differs from the information in the BIOS.
Can someone please tell me how to repair the partition tables so that I can reformat the drives?
Welcome to LQ! Your question is a little confusing (for me at least). If you plan on reformatting the drives, why is it necessary to repair the partition tables? Reformatting is going to wipe them out anyway (unless you are talking about reformatting just a single partition). Also, while I cannot offer an expert opinion, I do not understand how adding more ram has corrupted your partition tables.
If you could explain a little further, maybe more specific help could be offered.
Ignoring sda, the fdisk output looks normal.
The bios data--even though the CHS values are different, still gives the right total capacity. I do not know if the difference between BIOS and fdisk is significant.
Questions still outnumber answers:
1. Why do you believe you have bad partition tables? You said the drives reported bad partition tables--how did that appear? In what context?
2. does the system boot into either Windows or Linux? If not, what happens when you try and boot?
3. What did you do before the problem? (You said install RAM--anything else?)
4. Is sda relevant? What is on each of the 3 drives?
When (if) the fog clears, you may find that re-formatting and re-installing is the easiest way out.
1. When I couldn't boot into Linux (I have no windows partition) I ran some programs from a live CD which reported 'bad partition table'. I compared the fdisk output with the BIOS & assumed that that was the problem. Parted reports that it is 'unable to align partition properly, because it didn't have the correct BIOS geometry.
2. The system won't boot now because I've succeeded in clearing the disks -- so far as I can tell. When I try to install Ubuntu the installation hangs during the format stage, at about 13%.
3. At the same time that I installed the extra RAM I removed a SCSI card which I wasn't using any more.
4. There's nothing on hda apart from a swap partition. Nothing on hdb. And sda is an USB drive which has all my data backed up.
Hindsight is 20/20 but... A good rule of thumb if something stops working to undo the last change. Did you remove the memory to see if the problem went away? Did you veriy the the new memory was inserted correctly and did you run any checks to see if it was good?