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Old 05-28-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
Frank Leone
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disk boot failure, can't reformat. Help.


Hello,
I have really screwed up. I'm not sure what info is important, so here is what I have. I was running Kubuntu feisty on x86 machine. I was trying to get my ipod mounted and the only way it was mounting was to plug it in and restart the computer. After doing things that I can't remember in root, I restarted the computer and got this message: Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter. Ok, big problem; I figure that I have to reformat and start from scratch. So, I put in a feisty installation DVD. I try to install. First, I try to do an automatic partition and it says it will use the whole disk. I start that and get an error : Creation of swap space in partition #5 of SCSI1 (0,0,0)(sda) failed. I then try to do a manual partition, and under the dialog box that says Prepare partitions, it only lists the device /dev/sda. When I try to create new partitions, it gives me the same error (creation of swap space in...failed). In desparation, I shut the computer down and tried to load windows xp. At some point it stops me and says that it cannot access any hard drive. I don't think the hard drive has exploded as when I tried to reinstall Kubuntu, it can read that I have 20gb of space, which is my hard drive size. I am lost as to what to try other than to give it to a repair guy, which I am unlikely to do as I bought this computer for less than it will cost to diagnose and repair the problem. I am still able to use a live cd, which is how I am communicating now. Please help. As you can guess, I am a newbie of sorts, although I have been using Kubuntu for the past year or so. I know, never mess in root again...Thanks, Frank
 
Old 05-28-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
Okie
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i would suggest getting a Slax live CD and booting it up then use cfdisk to delete all the disk partitions, they may be corrupted but hopefully cfdisk will allow you to delete them, then create the partitions you need and start over...

if that fails you may need to write zeros to the harddrive and then use cfdisk to create some disk partitions...
 
Old 05-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #3
Emerson
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Try running testdisk from your LiveCD. Don't know if it's there, but it's worth a try, it will restore your partition table. If successful you'll have everything back.
 
Old 05-28-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie
i would suggest getting a Slax live CD and booting it up then use cfdisk to delete all the disk partitions, they may be corrupted but hopefully cfdisk will allow you to delete them, then create the partitions you need and start over...

if that fails you may need to write zeros to the harddrive and then use cfdisk to create some disk partitions...
Writing zeros requires the use of dd or a similar command---also try DBAN (available at Sourceforge)

Just for kicks, you might try "fdisk -l" from the live CD Linux---post the results here
 
Old 05-28-2007, 03:45 PM   #5
Junior Hacker
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Any operating system installer can install on a brand new disk with no written MBR or partitions created, which means it does not matter what the current partition scheme is. If neither Windows or Linux can access the disk, chances are it is a hardware controller failure if the bios does not report disk errors upon a re-boot. If you do not see allot of text flying by during power up, check in the bios to see if you can have it display the P.O.S.T. messages as allot of computer bios are set not to show that during power up. This is where the bios may tell you if there is a problem with the disk.
Some hard drive manufacturers have updated firmware that can be installed to correct minor controller deficiencies, or you can probably just try applying the original firmware which should be available at their web site. This is usually applied much like a bios flash from a floppy in dos.
It is not un-common for an operating system to make changes in the bios, I've repaired computers that the original vendor's technicians said the software controller was hosed, which is part of the main chip set on the mother board. But it was the bios that would make changes to hard drive settings after a power failure, if I remember correctly, it would turn off DMA.
These are the areas I would look at right now, bios settings, firmware for the drive, check for loose cable connections at both ends, the mother board and at the drive. Because both operating system installers say they cannot access the drive, the problem is more than likely hardware related.
 
  


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