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etanter 12-23-2003 10:46 AM

strange partition table - boot partition empty

I have a nice question for partition table experts.

Here is my partition table:

% fdisk -l /dev/hda

Disk /dev/hda: 30.0 GB, 30005821440 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3648 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 1 0 0 Empty
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/hda2 1021 1026 48195 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 1027 1727 5630782+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 1 3648 29302528+ f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 1 1020 8193087 b Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda6 1728 1857 1044193+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda7 1858 3648 14386176 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

[hda2 is my /boot, hda3 is my /, and hda7 is my /home]

At first I was annoyed by the "Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary" and "Partition table entries are not in disk order" messages, but then looking in forums it seems it is not that an issue (agree??).

However, here is the problem. For some reason, I need to install Win2000 on the /dev/hda5 partition. I managed to get the partition in FAT32 and the windows installer recognizes it.
However it cannot install on it: it complains, saying basically that it needs to write some boot data somewhere but the harddrive is not compatible (apart from the FAT32 partition it does not recognize anything).

Looking at the partition table straight into the eyes, it seems to me that /dev/hda1 is somehow strange, and I believe this might confuse windows.

What does it mean to have a boot partition that starts and ends on cylinder 1 with an empty filesystem???

Does anybody has a clue for fixing this? I have no sensitive data at all on /dev/hda5 (which is at the beginning of the disk) so I could split it if needed or whatever.


-- Eric

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