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Old 03-03-2006, 01:29 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 99

Rep: Reputation: 15
Error enabling swap device hda3

Help!! SOS!!

I am a newbie to linux. I am encountering a troubling problem while installing linux to my laptop. I have
searched throughout the web for any hints or solution but in vain. Here are the error message:

1) Error enabling swap device hda3: Invalid argument
This most likely means this swap partition has not
been initialized.
Press Ok to reboot your system

or another error message:

2) Invalid partition table on /tmp/hda
- wrong signatue b358

or another error message:

3) An error occurred trying to initialize swap on
device hda5. The problem is serious and the
install cannot continue.

Now my laptop is considered 'dead'. No windows or Linux. Please help!!
Old 03-03-2006, 03:53 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

Rep: Reputation: 48
Yes that looks pretty bad. You need to reboot with a rescue disk of some sort. Possibly the linux installation CD could be used. Then you can try to sort out the disk partitions. Command 'fdisk /dev/hda' should give some idea of what has happened.

Alternatively a live CD like knoppix will give you full access to the internal disk.

You may also be able to save any valuable data while you are booted off the rescue disk by copying it over the network. Depending on how the installer works a reinstallation attempt carries the risk of trashing all your data.

What distro/installation method did you use?
Old 03-03-2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,891

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As I read Eileen's post, installation has failed because the swap partition can't be enabled.

Eileen. Try booting from cd 1 of the installation cds. You should see a menu of choices: install, boot from hard drive, boot from cd. If you don't see such a menu, start installation again.

If you get the menu, choose boot from cd (that boots the copy of the kernel image on the cd; you have a running Linux in RAM to try to fix things).

Once running, open a console window and run cfdisk. It will show you all the partitions you currently have made. Use the arrow keys to select the swap partition; press enter.

Across the bottom of the screen, you have options of what to do with the selected parttion. Use the arrow keys to select Type; press enter. That will take you through a sequence of steps to prepare the swap partition (including one to set the partition type to 82 (Linux swap)).

When that's done, select Write to write the changes, then Quit to quit cfdisk.

Shutdown, then try the installation again.
Old 03-06-2006, 06:26 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 99

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Gosh, it looks really complicated. Anyway I have give up! I think I am gonna get myself another PC. Thanks guys!!


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