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Old 04-21-2020, 04:44 PM   #1
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Unhappy Cannot get past GDISK- Caution: Invalid backup GPT header, but valid main header, regenerating backup header from main header.

Greetings..I am moving 3 simple configuration Dell workstations (T3600,T7600,T7610) from Win7 to some Linux if I can find one to work. All computers have 32-128GB ram, a single SATA HDD 250 - 1000GB, no RAID, plugged directly into motherboard. The only adapter card present in these systems is a simple Nvidia PCIe graphics card. I am free to trash anything to get this to work.

All 3 computes have exactly the same problem, so at least I am consistent with whatever I am doing wrong.

The problem happens on latest live media, legacy or EFI boot, as well as on Linux I install.

KDE partitioner, gparted, and gdisk all show same error.

In gdisk the message also says it rebuilt the backup gpt, so I sometimes pressed 'w' to write it. That works great until I reboot, wherein the problem again emerges.

With any live media (MX, OpenSuse, Mint, etc.) all I have to do is create a partition table & the problem will happen at next reboot when I run any of the mentioned partitioning tools, or if I let the Linux installer run & I boot from HDD.

This will show the error on any computer: gdisk /dev/sda

I tried removing all partitions & rebooting the live disc, then creating new partitions (or even just one), but as soon as I create a partition table I know that at next boot of the live disc that the error will happen, on all 3 computers.

I did this: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
After a few hours it was done, but creating a partition table on it still gives the error at the next reboot. Same with new hard drives.

I am completely stopped in my tracks at this point. I have searched everywhere for a solution, but nothing at all works. What am I doing wrong here?
Old 04-21-2020, 05:55 PM   #2
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Hi, Welcome to LQ

First of all, I don't have a solution for your particular problem, but...

When you dd your disk/s mostly you only need to zero (write zero) the disk at the section where it stores the partition table. instead of waiting all day for dd to finish zeroing the whole disk...

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
try this...

 dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=1
I got this from somewhere, like here at LQ... :-)

wipe mbr
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=1

wipe partition table
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=446 count=1


if=/dev/zero – Read data from /dev/zero and write it to /dev/sdX.
of=/dev/sdX – /dev/sdX is the USB drive to remove the MBR including all partitions.
bs=512 – Read from /dev/zero and write to /dev/sdX up to 512 BYTES bytes at a time.
count=1 – Copy only 1 BLOCK input blocks.

The mbr size is as follows in bytes:

Where,446 + 64 + 2 = 512

446 bytes – Bootstrap.
64 bytes – Partition table.
2 bytes – Signature.
If you're starting from a clean disk, this won't hurt.

There is a mention of MBR in there, but... Stick with GPT partitioning tools, as you were.

also, Be sure the computers have the most recent bios firmware.

I hope this helps

Last edited by GlennsPref; 04-21-2020 at 05:57 PM. Reason: code tags... and spelling
Old 05-30-2020, 08:23 PM   #3
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Talking Fixed

hi, thanks!
Please pardon the delay, things have been on fire here as we transitioned between projects entirely away from Windows. Plus I had lots of theories that needed hardware & had to wait for stuff to arrive for other systems to temporarily test on these T7600's, including controller boards and HDDs.

But we fixed the disk drive problem on the Dell Precision workstations running Linux Mint 19.3.
On the Dell T3600's we only needed 2TB mirrors so got away with MSDOS partition tables.
On the Dell T7600's we needed at least 8TB mirrors & could not get any SATA drive to work properly, and we tested tons of them of all sizes, including new NAS drives.

The fix was to use SAS drives instead of SATA. These are flying along nicely on PERC H710 & H710P controllers. These SAS drives are 8TB & work great with GPT & have been now for a couple of weeks.

Ok, I will try & see if I can mark this issue as 'fixed' here on this site..


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