Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.


  Search this Thread
Old 03-06-2004, 11:20 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Unhiding partition hiden by lilo -> no filesistem.

my first big linux problem in half a year, please help:

I have a dual-boot system, with Debian Sid in a ext3 partition and XP (in a NTFS), and a FAT32 partition that I was able to acces from both OS.
After upgrading lilo (to 22.5.8), I started to get "Warning: CHANGE AUTOMATIC assumed after "other=/dev/hda1" everytime I run the program (f.e. after installing a new kernel).
Today I had to load XP, and realized that the FAT32 partition was hidden. I unhided it with Partition Magic 8 but lilo hided it again when booting. Reading the lilo.conf manual and people's posts I decided to add "change" to lilo cof:


then the partition appeared in XP after unhiding it with PM and rebooting, BUT as a non-formated partition!!!

and in linux I can't mount the partition. I get : "unknown" file type in qparted, while fdisk -l /dev/hda tells me

/dev/hda2 818 2985 16390080 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

and dmesg while trying to mount the partition at boot:

FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 03:02.

Have I screwed my partition???? erased the partition table?but the data will still be there , isn't it?

Please, help me . To fix it or at least to recover my data from the lost partition!!!!

Thanks a lot,
Old 03-07-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
OK, some more systematic informatio (the problem is in hda2):


Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 5168 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 817 6176488+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 818 2985 16390080 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda3 4428 5168 5601960 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 2986 4427 10901520 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 4357 4427 536760 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda6 2986 4356 10364697 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order


Using /dev/hda
Information: The operating system thinks the geometry on /dev/hda is 5168/240/63. Therefore, cylinder 1024 ends at
(parted) print
Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0.000-38154.375 megabytes
Disk label type: msdos
Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags
1 0.031 6031.757 primary ntfs boot
2 6031.758 22037.695 primary lba
4 22037.695 32683.710 extended lba
6 22037.757 32159.531 logical ext3
5 32159.531 32683.710 logical linux-swap
3 32683.711 38154.375 primary ext3

(parted) check 2
Error: Could not detect file system.


joan# fsck -v -f /dev/hda2
fsck 1.35 (28-Feb-2004)
dosfsck 2.10 (22 Sep 2003)
dosfsck 2.10, 22 Sep 2003, FAT32, LFN
Logical sector size is zero.

Any idea of what to do (please )

Thanks, Joan
Old 03-19-2004, 12:00 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Mmmh... I had *exactly* the same prob with new lilo & FAT/NTFS partitions, now I added 'change' to lilo.conf and it worked fine for me.

Instead of PM, I used cfdisk to unhide win partitions, by changing their type back to NTFS/FAT32, then I was able to mount them properly under linux.

Then, to avoid lilo messing up again winxp partitions at reboot , I installed an old version lilo and everything was ok.

Next day, after reading the lilo man page, I successfully tried the 'change' option.

I don't know if this can help, but if you don't find any better idea try changing the partition type with cfdisk. Then mount it or re-install an old lilo version.
It may be dangerous, but it worked for me.... (but my win disks are not so precious...)

Old 03-25-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
lilo 22.5.8 CHANGE AUTOMATIC does in fact use its own logic to hide partitions when you define "other" bootable partitions. I found this out the hard way. Worse than that, the file and partition utilities in Linux may report partition attributes in different ways...

... some advice based upon mistakes i made:

My first advice is to use a tool like MBRTool ( to backup Track0 and MBR whenever you need to ... definitely before altering them ... (late discovery for me and my brazen self...)

My second advice, based upon spending 2 days researching my problem and trying to fix it, is to NEVER allow lilo 22.5.x to 'assume' CHANGE AUTOMATIC... That's where my problems began (and many other people's, based upon web e-mails I've seen). Try to specify how the booted OS should 'see' the partitions:


other = /dev/hda1
partition = /dev/hda1
set = DOS16_big_normal

partition = /dev/hda2
set = FAT32_lba_normal

(You can check the valid partition types by entering "lilo -T ChRule" if your LILO is 22.5.x)

Last advice, is to NEVER try to fixup LILO-induced partition changes from an 'other' boot partition. LILO will just re-attempt the same thing on the next boot... and the host OS is not likely to 'agree' with Linux on things like disk geometry if you have a large disk (esp >33G)



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 On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
unhiding root turns around the turn off pcandpc Mandriva 2 06-02-2005 10:12 AM
unhiding partition using LILO stewe151 Linux - Software 5 02-12-2005 06:52 AM
Unhiding Partition in Linux blueplanet200 Linux - Newbie 6 04-11-2004 11:48 PM
vsftpd user hiden files intruder Linux - Networking 1 12-25-2003 11:33 AM
Hiden Rows in Openoffice inecoiec Linux - Software 0 03-11-2003 06:30 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:55 PM.

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