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Old 04-04-2007, 08:01 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 65

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FDisk not allowing entire cylinders for partition

I'm running Redhat Enterprise Linux and running into an issue creating a partition that should take up the entire harddrive...

Here is the disk info per FDISK:

Disk /dev/sdc: 3496.9 GB, 3496908685312 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 425141 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

I've created 1 partition on the disk, and used the default cylinders which used only about 157000 cylinders.

When I try to add a new partition I get a message "no free sectors available".

What's preventing me from using the entire range of cylinders? Obviously the sectors, but how do they relate directly to cylinders? Hopefully, it's not something too basic, but I'm dealing with a cold and so I'm having trouble getting my head around numbers right now.

Thank you.
Old 04-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 65

Original Poster
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I found the problem...fdisk doesn't support disks larger than 2T.

Using parted I changed the disklabel to "gpt" and then was able to utilize the full disk.
Old 04-29-2007, 06:34 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: FreeBSD 6.1, Debian Sarge 3.1r2
Posts: 5

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FDISK is a for legacy partition table

As far as I know FDISK usually handles the legacy disk partitions. ie, It handles the PC MBR partition tables only. PC MBR scheme can only have 2TB size limit and it always partitions disk on cylinder boundaries. Hence there may be gaps between partitions in block based view. ie, some unused space between partitions.

The cylinder based prtitiioning is very old. Newer drives uses block based scheme. ie, drive will be divided in to cylinders, heads and sectors OR with a fixed size bloacks. 512 KB is a usual block size, and it will be multiples of 512 KB. Block based scheme is the easiest. In block based partitioning we will partition drive based on size of partition (just as in PARTED).

Try swiching to 'parted' partitioning tool. Also try GPT based partition table, it can support 64 bit partiton table and hence no 2TB limit.


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