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Old 06-30-2001, 12:43 PM   #1
manny dingo
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Registered: Jun 2001
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Red Hat HD geometry mismatch.

Hi, I would like to start by saying that I do NOT have that problem where I can't boot because of only a few of the letters in "LILO" producing an error message. My computer gets into GNOME fine. What happened is that I bought an old computer and installed Red Hat 7.1 The computer has a Pentium 166mhz, 96mb Ram, 3GB Western Digital hard drive. It had Windows 2000 in it and I did an fdisk and format with a Windows 95 startup disk with format file. Red Hat 7.1 comes with three installation options, Automatic Install, Disk Druid, or the Linux FDISK. I did not want to use the easier Auto install so I tried the FDISK and then the Disk Druid. Both produced a mismatch in the geometry. It is important to mention that both the Hard Disk documentation and the BIOS give the correct geometry. Only Linux is wrong. Cylinders and Heads were wrong but the Sectors were right. I ended up using the Auto install to see if it would correct the problem but installation ended correctly without letting me know what it detected. What command do I enter to see if now it is correct? I know it's probably still wrong. How do I know and what do I do to correct this problem? Did I have to do an fdisk /mbr with the Windows startup disk? How would I do that with Linux's fdisk?
Old 07-01-2001, 08:26 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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To see what linux thinks about your hard drive type 'dmesg | less'. You will see a detailed line about each drive that includes C/H/S info.
Old 07-01-2001, 09:32 PM   #3
manny dingo
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Red Hat HD geometry mismatch

Well, the command you gave me shows the wrong figures just as Linux showed during the attempts to install using Disk Druid and Linux FDISK. It is also wrong when I use the command:

fdisk/dev/hda now that it is installed and running.

I do get the correct C/H/S geometry with this command:

# /sbin/hdparm -i /dev/hda

So even though I'm getting one correct result, I'm gettin more incorrect results.

Someone mentioned that I should uninstall Linux and do an fdisk /mbr with a Windows startup disk since it had Windows on it before I did a regular windows fdisk and then a format. I did not use the /mbr when I did that, though.

One day after above message: Nevermind, I tried the /mbr thing and reinstalled Linux and it's still the same.

Last edited by manny dingo; 07-03-2001 at 06:06 PM.
Old 10-17-2001, 05:15 PM   #4
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Location: netherlands
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why do i always see the western digital hd have this problem this geometry and time out problems ???

I have also a WD caviar 31000 with this problem.

Did you find the solution ???
Old 10-17-2001, 06:04 PM   #5
manny dingo
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Red Hat HD mismatch

The answer is no. Someone had some good ideas but they never came to a solution. I even asked Matt Welsh, the author of Running Linux and he said he had heard of the problem before and that it would cause me no problems and to just ignore it and keep moving forward with it. That's not exactly what I wanted to hear but it's better to know that than wonder if you're going to find trouble in the future because of that. For example, the person that gave me some input on that first told me that it did not cause a problem until he wanted to run both Windows and Linux on the same hard drive. Bye


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