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Old 03-10-2005, 02:55 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: berlin
Distribution: Redhat 9, Fedora 3
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trying to understand hda1, hdf, sda...

1. I was just learning about hda1, hdb, hdc, etc. Looking back at the screen shots of a Fedora 2 installation that I did, I see that the hard drive partitions were:

Where did hda, hdb, hdc, hdd, and hde go? I KNOW I didn't have 5 harddrives on that system (!). Why did it start at hdf?

Also, why was hd3 and hd4 skipped?

2. Now I'm installing Fedora 3 in WMWare on Windows and on the portion "Disk Setup" I noticed that my virtual hard drives are:


Why are the virtual drives SCSI? Does that have any consequences?

Can anyone shed some clarity on this?
My redhat 9 book just says that there are hda, hdb, hdc, hdd...
Any links with good explanations of how hda, hdb, etc. are determined?

Old 03-10-2005, 03:13 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Yucatán, México
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ok... Something i've learned is that every Linux Distribution has its own idea about naming the devices, even when they change from version to version, this is specially true when a big version changes occurs like going from RedHat to Fedora.
Beside, u said that you're running Linux inside a VMware box. This might be the cause for first issue.

Now, if your discs are named sda, sdb and so on, as SCSI, it might be because you're using Seral ATA disk (SATA). These are recognized like SCSI because they can be put together in an RAID array.

I hope this is helpful
Old 03-10-2005, 03:19 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
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About the jump in the numbers, I think that hdx1, hdx2, hdx3 and hdx4 always refer to primary partitions, while hdx5, hdx6... are reserved to logical ones (created inside an extended partition).
Old 03-10-2005, 03:23 AM   #4
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Correct, enemorales. If his hdf2 partition were the extended partition, and the next two partitions were created therein (Windows usually only creates 1 Primary before creating extended and logical partitions, whereas linux recognizes up to 4 primaries before going extended), it would skip #s 3 and 4 so you can see exactly what type of partition it was just by its name.
Old 03-10-2005, 03:25 AM   #5
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AFAIK, the naming of the drives comes from their place on the controller. In a normal system, the master drive on the primary controller is called hda, the slave hdb, secondary master hdc, slave hdd and so on. But if you have a mixed system e.g. with P-ATA and S-ATA controllers, this might get confusing.

The numbering of the partitions is easier to explain:
There are 4 possible primary partitions, for which the numbers 1-4 are reserved (even if you do not use them). Logical partitions are numbered 5-... (I don't know how many are possible). The extended partition, where all logical partitions reside in is always a primary partition. The numbering is determined by their order in the partition table, not by their physical location (that means that hda3 can be before hda2 if hda3 existed already when hda2 was created).
Old 03-10-2005, 03:25 AM   #6
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Normaly the first ide channel gets hda and hdb. hda is the master device and hdb is slave. This goes on for all other ide channnels (ide2 = hdc, hdd).

The reason why you did not have hdf3 and hdf4 is related to the partitioning of the drive. On every harddisk you can create partitions. Four primary and depedning up to unlimited virtual.
So if you miss hdf3 and hdf4, i would say you have two primary partitins and the rest starting from hdf5 are virtual ones.

A little extra note on the scsi thing. As far as i know linux treats every drive as a scsi device on first sight. So this is no problem at all.


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