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Old 06-20-2004, 08:16 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Finland
Distribution: Mandriva
Posts: 102

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My /home partition shows up as unpartitioned space!

I was trying to install Fedora, but had the same trouble that most of the people: Misaligned partitions, it said.
After I told it to ignore and proceeded to the partitioning screen I was shocked to see that it thought my entire >90Gb /home partition was free space. So, I quit the installer and dug up a solution from this forum:

I tried setting the drive to LBA in bios, didn't work.
So, I booted with a livecd, unomounted all the drives and gave this command, as suggested:
sfdisk -d /dev/hda | sfdisk --no-reread -H255 /dev/hda
It said : "Successfully wrote the new partition table"

Though after that it said something like this: "Re-reading the partition table ...
BLKRRPART: Device or resource busy
The command to re-read the partition table failed
Reboot your system now, before using mkfs"

They didn't say what it was supposed to tell me after that, so i rebooted.

Didn't work. Still saw it as free space.

But now, even Mandrake, the distro I'm trying to switch out of, sees that partition as free space!
It didn't until I entered that sfdisk command.

I have the /home mounted, it works. It's ext3. But to every disk tool I can use it's seen as free space. Here's what fdisk -l says:

Disk /dev/hda: 120.0 GB, 120060444672 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14596 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        1275    10241406    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2            1276        1286       88357+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3            1287        1352      530145   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda4            1353       14596   106382430    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5            1353        2635    10305666   83  Linux
/dev/hda6            2636       14596    96076701    0  Empty
So.... How can I repair the damages?

Edit: Gah.. Doesn't seem like the right forum after all. Someone move to general?

Last edited by purplecow; 06-20-2004 at 08:20 AM.
Old 07-06-2004, 04:28 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2004
Location: MA
Distribution: Red Hat 7.3
Posts: 12

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I just installed SuSE 9.1 on my thinkpad T42 dual boot. What I did is, before the install, boot off of System Rescue Disk (you can use that or any of the other "live rescue CD distros"), and repartitioned the drive with qtparted. It resized NTFS like a champ, left the "hidden" restore partition in place, and was a pleasure to use.

In general, I like to do as much as I can outside the OS installer (this goes for all OSes) as possible, because it is such a fragile process and there are too many things that can go wrong. Worse, most installers don't let you skip steps, or even go back.

Sorry I found your post so late, but maybe someone else will benefit.
Old 07-06-2004, 05:20 PM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

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You can try setting the ID as 83 with fdisk, but that might make the problem worst. I suggest getting another hard drive that is bigger than your 120 GB hard drive and then make an image of it. Next set it up using losetup. Then try if setting the ID to 83 using fdisk works.

You can also just copy the files from the /hom partition to another hard drive. Then go into fdisk and delete the partition. Next re-create the partition again and format it as ext3. Finally copy the files back to the new partition.

You may want to use sfdisk to extract the information about the partition table, so next time you can easily fiix it.


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