LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > DamnSmallLinux
User Name
Password
DamnSmallLinux This forum is for the discussion of DamnSmallLinux.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 09-25-2008, 10:05 AM   #1
kuser:)
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Olsztyn, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 168

Rep: Reputation: 99
cfdisk fatal error: cannot open disk drive (on serial ata)


Hi,
I successfully installed Damn Small Linux 4.2.5 on a Dell Dimension 4500 (pretty old) from the live CD. This computer has a parallel ata interface (the standard ultra ata one, predecessor of the serial ata).
The commands I used to partition the drive were:
Code:
sudo -s
cfdisk /dev/hda
and they worked fine.

I tried the very same CD to install it on my HP Pavilion a1330n, which has a serial ATA type hard disk drive, and:
Code:
sudo -s
works fine, but the
Code:
cfdisk /dev/sda
gives a blank screen with this message:
"FATAL ERROR: Cannot open disk drive
Press any key to exit cfdisk"

Does Damn Small Linux support serial ata, and how do I install it on such a disk?

Thanks,
K
 
Old 09-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
PTrenholme
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
Posts: 4,186

Rep: Reputation: 347Reputation: 347Reputation: 347Reputation: 347
Did you note the "BUGS" comment at the bottom of the man page that cfdisk cannot handle multiple disks? Try unplugging all drives except the one you want to partition.

Alternatively, either parted or fdisk should work from a command line. (Not being a DSL user, I don't know what you'd need to do to get those installed, but fdisk is part of the util-linux-ng GNU package that contains cfdisk, so it's likely that you already have fdisk available.)
 
Old 09-26-2008, 10:00 PM   #3
roystonlodge
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 161

Rep: Reputation: 32
Whenever I've had that problem I reboot from the LiveCD and type install at the boot prompt, which boots into a menu instead of booting into X. Selecting cfdisk from that menu usually allows me access to my drives.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
kuser:)
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Olsztyn, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 168

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 99
I think my HDD is damaged - the serial ATA one . I need to use a weird combination of steps to turn it on. Most of the time it looks like this:
1. I power on my PC, and I can only see the power and the HDD leds burning, but it won't boot.
2. I press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the optical drives leds blink, at which moment I release the power button, and the PC reboots, and starts normally (if I hold it a bit longer, it shuts down).
3. Sometimes, I need to power it off before step 2 works.

This started to happen since I accidentally struck my PC when it was turned on as I was taking a sit at my desk.

How should I diagnose my HDD?
It's a Pavilion a1330n.

I can install for example Ubuntu without any problems, but the strange way of powering on the PC persists...
 
Old 09-27-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
PTrenholme
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
Posts: 4,186

Rep: Reputation: 347Reputation: 347Reputation: 347Reputation: 347
I recently added a second serial ata drive to my laptop and noticed that GRUB was unable to access the drive for boot. (Since it was a second drive, I didn't need it to be bootable.) I have Ubuntu (Hardy), and Vista (which was pre-installed) on the first drive, and Fedora 9 on the second. When I boot Fedora 9 (using GRUB, the kernel, and the initial RAM disk image, from the first drive), I get about a page of error messages about the second drive being "frozen" until the kernel gives up and resets the disk transfer rate from 3Gb/sec to 1.5Gb/sec. After that, everything works fine.

The point in all that is that perhaps your problem is just that your drive is slower than what it's telling your BIOS it can handle.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:08 PM   #6
Cool Javelin
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2008
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
OK, I was having this problem on a simple IDE drive. Turns out it was a permissions issue.

Try booting in using the DSL live CD, and then go to a terminal (A little icon on the application bar, not in the menu,) and type...

sudo cfdisk

Worked for me, Good luck.

More....

I had troubles when I had 2 drives and a logical volume manager (LVM) spanning across the 2 drives.

One failed, (not the boot one (hda)) then DOS fdisk couldn't remove the partitions. Also, I couldn't get DSL cfdisk to do it either (I forgot to do the sudo part then.)

I had to start an install using xubuntu and make it repartition the drive, then I could boot DOS and FDISK could then delete that and recreate another. Turns out CFDISK still couldn't do the work then I remembered the sudo thing. (several hours wasted on a simple thing.)

cfdisk should suggest the permissions issue to remind us poor forgetful humans.

Mark.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Serial ATA Not Detected cfdisk or fdisk davidmbomb Linux - Hardware 2 06-06-2006 11:47 PM
Fatal error when cfdisk reads partition table on 160GB disk glasisch Linux - Newbie 1 05-22-2005 10:44 AM
How do I use a parallel ATA drive on a serial ATA controller? sigmaris Linux - Hardware 2 08-21-2004 07:41 PM
help. ATA/SCSI Serial-ATA error: "ATA: Abnormal Status" xin Linux - Hardware 10 09-05-2003 10:59 PM
cfdisk - Fatal Error IceGrill Linux - Newbie 3 11-03-2002 02:10 AM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > DamnSmallLinux

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:24 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration