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Old 06-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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Location: CornVegas, IL
Distribution: Linux Ubuntu 10.04, Linux Mint
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How to configure disk as one partition on HPdv8000 also..(Getting bad sector errors)

I have a HPdv8000 which has two 80GB disks for a total of 160GB of space (don't ask me why they decided to build it this way! It wont let me set a raid either). When installing Ubuntu or Mint (9.10 or 8 respectively).

When asked where to put OS I select Erase and use the entire disk my choices are either or.

SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) - chosen disk (holds previous OS).
SCSI1 (0,1,0) (sdb) - not chosen (no OS).

Option is either or not both.

Is it possible to use the entire disk from this point?

When trying to Specify partitions manually. I get...

Device- /dev/sda1 Type- ext4 Format- (checkbox) Size-76717MB Used-4245MB
Device- /dev/sda5 Type- swap Format- (checkbox) Size-3306MB Used-0MB
Device- /dev/sdb Type- Format- Size- Used-

If I highlight /dev/sdb and select new partition table I get...

Device- /dev/sdb Type- Format- Size- Used-
Device- freespace Type- Format- (checkbox) Size-80023 Used-

**FYI I have a column for Mount point (no listings) in-between Type & Format.

If I highlight free space (row) and select add. I get the option to create partition. (not sure what to choose of the following).

Type: Primary or Logical
Size in MB (cant go larger than 80023)
Location: Beginning or End
Use as: (what should I select here?) Ext4, Ext3, JFS, XFS, etc....
Mount pointdropdown with location) /, /boot, /home, /tmp, etc...

I'd like to use all 160GB of space (1 partition). When I tinker with the configuration (above) I can see 2 80GB disks in disk utility, but I don't really know what to do or how to access the other 80GB.

Is there an equivalent of disk management for extending partitons in linux?

On a side note once the OS is installed I get an error.

A hard disk may be failing One or mor hard disks report health problems.

This error eventually goes away. (?) If I use the install CD to check disk for errors. nothing is found to be wrong. (I think it only checks the first 80GB disk).

I know it's a lot, but TIA.....
Old 06-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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I've worked as a computer technician for a number of years, and have found that it's pretty pointless to try to make a bad hard drive do anything. The second you know it's bad, you need to back up your data and replace it.

If your hard drive is reporting errors, it is most likely because you have S.M.A.R.T. activated for that drive (which is a good thing), and it's telling you that the drive is failing. SMART is basically a system for monitoring and logically replacing damaged sectors of the hard drive with healthy "reserved" (normally inaccessible) sectors from elsewhere on the drive. If SMART has to replace even one sector, that means that you have lost the data in that sector. If SMART is giving you unsolicited warnings about this, it is possible that it has run out of reserved sectors. Here's how to be sure that the hard drive is bad (or good):

1) Boot into the Ubuntu (or Mint) Live CD.
2) Open a terminal. (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)
3) Type the following, then press ENTER:

sudo blkid

4) Make a note of what Linux is calling your hard drive (/dev/sd?, usually)
5) Type the following, then press ENTER:

sudo badblocks -svb 4096 /dev/sd?

(Replace "/dev/sd?" with your drive's path)

6) Wait for a long time. The badblocks program is now scanning the surface of your drive for bad sectors, and is reading 4096 kilobytes at a time (instead of 512 [default], to speed things up). It will tell your which block it is currently on, and how many it has to check. It will print out a scrolling list of any and all bad sectors it finds, and will tell you the total number of bad sectors at the end of the test. If even ONE bad sector shows up, it means that all of your SMART reserved blocks have been used, and if you don't back up your data and replace the drive immediately, you will most likely lose most or all of your data (and your computer won't work for much longer).
7) To stop the test before it's done (such as if it begins printing out lots of bad sectors), press CTRL+C. Once you see that the drive is bad, it's best not to continue the test, as it will increase the likelihood of data loss.

Once we make sure you have a fully-functioning hard drive and are not losing data, we can tackle the issue of how to partition it properly.

Hope that helps.


P.S. The Live CD's "check disc for errors" function refers only to checking the CD itself.

Last edited by DaneM; 06-09-2010 at 12:59 AM.
Old 06-09-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2002
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Logical Volume Management (LVM) allows one to span multiple disks with a single mount point i.e. /. You will actually need two partitions, one for /boot and a LVM partition for everything else. You should also be able to install using software RAID 0 too although I do not think mint includes support for either.

You can manually create partitions are both disks as desired. As a beginner it is best to keep things simple.
/boot, /, /swap.
Old 06-09-2010, 09:21 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
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Ah, I didn't catch that you have two drives, rather than two partitions on one drive. You will need to run the steps above on each drive.

michaelk has a good suggestion. It's a little trickier than just installing on one drive, but it will give you the extra space on a single partition.

Incidentally, RAID0 (LVM or otherwise) is really bad if you ever lose a hard drive. Here's a thread I've explained this on recently:


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