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Old 02-04-2006, 01:00 PM   #1
jima71
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Can't open hard drives


I've tried fdisk and cfdisk to remove and repartition my hard drives, both of them, and I keep getting a error message saying that they can't be opened. What could the reason for this be?
I had Unbuntu installed and running at one time, then decided to try another distro, FC4, but couldn't complete the install for some reason. I tried to reinstall Ubuntu and all seemed to be going fine until it said I ran out of room. I've tried swapping my hard drives, one is a 20GB, the other an 8GB, but still get the same error for each drive.
I am currently having to use a KNOPPIX LiveCD to do anything.
I would greatly appreciate any and all help that can be offered or suggested. Thanks.
 
Old 02-04-2006, 01:26 PM   #2
anti.corp
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What type of drive is it? SATA?

Did you try booting for an ordinary win98CD/floppy and fdisk the whole thing, and leave it as unformatted?

Also remember to do a fdisk /mbr to erase you masterbootrecord.

Try that, and lets hear what happens?
 
Old 02-04-2006, 06:14 PM   #3
jima71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antiloaded
What type of drive is it? SATA?

Did you try booting for an ordinary win98CD/floppy and fdisk the whole thing, and leave it as unformatted?

Also remember to do a fdisk /mbr to erase you masterbootrecord.

Try that, and lets hear what happens?
Thanks, I will do that as soon as possible and see what happens. I completely forgot about the /mbr part as well. I will post and update as to the results.
Thank you again and hopefully it will work.
 
Old 02-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
sundialsvcs
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When fiddling with a disk partition table, make sure that you have booted a LiveCD. This will ensure that (a) you are root, and (b) the disk that you're fiddling with is not "mounted" at the time.

Whether or not you're concerned with the MBR (master boot record) depends entirely upon whether you intend the disk to be bootable.
 
Old 02-04-2006, 07:39 PM   #5
jima71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima71
Thanks, I will do that as soon as possible and see what happens. I completely forgot about the /mbr part as well. I will post and update as to the results.
Thank you again and hopefully it will work.
There still seems to be an extended DOS partition that I can't get rid of for some reason. I haven't tried to install anything because of this and hope y'all can give me something to go on from here.
 
Old 02-05-2006, 03:21 AM   #6
anti.corp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima71
There still seems to be an extended DOS partition that I can't get rid of for some reason. I haven't tried to install anything because of this and hope y'all can give me something to go on from here.

Take the time to learn linux' own partitioning programs cfdisk & fdisk, and use one of those to format your harddrive.

Example using fdisk:

fdisk /dev/hda

Type this to see your current partition(s)

p <hit enter>

To delete a partition:

d <hit enter>

X the number of the partition you want to delete. Then hit enter.

To exit and save the new partitiontable type:

w <enter>
 
Old 02-05-2006, 07:19 AM   #7
jima71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antiloaded
Take the time to learn linux' own partitioning programs cfdisk & fdisk, and use one of those to format your harddrive.

Example using fdisk:

fdisk /dev/hda

Type this to see your current partition(s)

p <hit enter>

To delete a partition:

d <hit enter>

X the number of the partition you want to delete. Then hit enter.

To exit and save the new partitiontable type:

w <enter>
I have done all of that so far and through all of the options, I haven't been able to delete this one 250MB EXT DOS partition. I can't use FDISK or CFDISK while running Linux and yes, this is from a LiveCD, Knoppix 4.0.2. I believe is the correct version of the distro, not sure as it's in the drive right now.
A very, very strange thing is that Ubuntu tries to keep going on with it's failed install without anything in the drive at all, but it just hangs at "preparing packages for installation" or something like that.
The only way I've been able to FDISK anything at all, even if it's failed, is by booting from a Win98SE install CD. It just keeps showing that one undeleteable partition. When I FDISK /MBR, it shows a couple of blank lines and then a command prompt again. I don't know if anything has been done or not though.
How can I FDISK my slave drive? That is where Ubuntu is currently, in it's failed attempt stage, and it was my primary/master drive at the time. It's since been swapped to try an install on the other drive.
BTW, the drives are as follows, current configuration:
Primary/Master: Seagate ST36421A, IDE, 6.4GB (not 8 as previously thought and mentioned)

Secondary/Slave: Maxtor 2B020H1, EIDE, 20GB
This really has me baffled. While I'm a Linux newbie, I've had a computer for around 20 years throughout my life. I've taken computer courses in high school and even started with a computer engineering degree (hardware emphasis), switching to MIS.
I'm not scared to go into a computer for any reason and have found that it's truly very difficult, if not impossible, to make a system where it's unusable. Don't let that hold you back from any suggestions or ideas you might have in regards to this. I just can't figure out what's going on with the drives/system right now.
Is there still a utility disc program that will write all 0's to a drive? I haven't seen one as of yet, but remember there was one available by each manufacturer. Even if it is, how could I use it from a LiveCD?
Thanks again for the replies and help. Hopefully it will all be straightened out soon enough. If not, I guess I'll just break down and get a new HD and go from there.
 
Old 02-06-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
jima71
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Well, I found an old install CD for Suse 9.1 and was able to get it installed, but I've ran into one problem that I don't know how to fix. I'll post here, but let me know if I should start a new thread in the Suse forum.
The only part of the install that failed is my being able to connect to the internet by DSL. I have a Network Everywhere NP100 card connected to a Westell WireSpeed Dual Connect modem.
I don't know what to type in to get any kind of diagnostic output, so if someone could let me know where to go from here, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
 
  


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