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Old 02-15-2006, 02:00 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 33

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Error: "Unable to seek on /dev/hdb"

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I'm a Linux newbie, but I thought this problem may be more suited for the "Hardware Forum." This may not be as complicated as I think, but here it goes. I have a 160 Gb Seagate hard drive that has Ubuntu installed on it. I took it out of my old machine that I took apart after my Soyo motherboard bit the dust. I'm now building a new system with a Gigabyte GA-BX2000 motherboard. I have my 160 Gb HD connected to my primary IDE controller. My problem with this is that my HD was too big for the BIOS to recognize (it would just freeze), so I switched the jumper on the back of the HD to limit the size to 32 Mb (This also made the drive "primary slave" for some reason). I'm thinking that I need to update the BIOS for it to recognize a bigger drive. Anyway, BIOS is fine with the current jumper setting on the HD. Ubuntu will not boot now (sync problem, I guess because I changed the jumper on the hard drive??), so I'm trying to install Slackware 10.2. After I log in as 'root' and get to the prompt to partition the disk, I type in

fdisk /dev/hdb (hdb because HD is "primary slave")

I get a message that there is so many cylinders, more than 1024, blah, blah, blah. and then I get an error:
"Unable to seek on /dev/hdb"

I've also tried

cfdisk /dev/hdb and get this error:

"FATAL ERROR: Bad primary partition 0. Partition ends after end-of-disk"

I'm thinking this may be because I changed the jumper to set the HD to 32 Mb. Do I need to erase the HD, reconfigure it, take a baseball bat to it or what?
Very confused as I'm new to this partitioning thing.
Any help is appreciated, thanks!

Last edited by vidguy; 02-15-2006 at 02:02 AM.
Old 02-15-2006, 02:23 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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It would be very helpful if you posted the output of this command, which just lists some basic about your hard drives and how they're partitioned
fdisk -l
note that's a lowercase "L"
Old 02-15-2006, 02:34 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 33

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All I'm getting when i type "fdisk -l" is:

"Unable to seek on /dev/hdb"

Then it brings me back to the root prompt.


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