Wierd problem with partitioning
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Thread: Wierd problem with partitioning

  1. #1
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    Wierd problem with partitioning

    Ok, here's the problem. My friend's Red Hat 7.2 installation suddenly begins getting kernel panics. Thinking that maybe her brother messed about with Linux and screwed it up somehow. So I start the installation planning to delete all the partitions (yes, even the windows one) and do a clean install. It gets upto the point where it lets me choose between DiskDruid and FDISK and no matter which one I choose, it tells me that it could not read the MBR and it has to initialize the disk. I say what the heck and tell it to go ahead. That's when it gives me an error saying that it could not find any valid devices to make a partition on and it promptly reboots. After that I've tried a lot of things to get this baby running including using ranish to do the partitioning. And everytime i just get the same error. The wierd thing is that when I make a Fat32 parition using Ranish or DOS FDISK, the partitions are read by My friend's system is now blank and has nothing on it except a Fat32 partition that spans the entire disk (20 gigs). I've never come across a problem even similar to this and any ideas would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    cgkanchi
    Buy the Snakes of India book, support research and education (sorry the website has been discontinued)
    My blog: http://biology000.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    You could try booting with a Windows boot disk, and try the following command:

    format /mbr

    That should wipe your master boot record, and restore it to windows. From there, you should be able to get the Linux fdisk to work again.
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  3. #3
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    Smile

    Originally posted here by roswell1329
    You could try booting with a Windows boot disk, and try the following command:

    format /mbr

    That should wipe your master boot record, and restore it to windows. From there, you should be able to get the Linux fdisk to work again.
    I think there should be fdisk /mbr...
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  4. #4
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    D'OH!

    Of course...how silly of me. fdisk /mbr

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  5. #5
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    It almost sounds like the disk has a bad spot
    in the medium in the area of the MBR, as if you write
    data to the sector, but it's corrupted when you try
    to read it back.

    Of course, if that were the case, the disk would be history.
    Try going through the install procedure again,
    and see if you get the same error.

    One more possibility. There is a setting in the BIOS,
    that protects the MBR (on some computers). You must
    make sure it is not on.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  6. #6
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    I've already tried fdisk /mbr (it was the first thing I did) and it doesn't work. The bad sector thing was what came to mind first but then why are DOS FDISK/Ranish able to write to the MBR successfully. The Linux FDISK isn't even able to read the MBR while all the DOS programs do fine. That's what makes this problem wierd. rcgreen I'll try the CMOS thing and see if it works.
    Cheers,
    cgkanchi
    Buy the Snakes of India book, support research and education (sorry the website has been discontinued)
    My blog: http://biology000.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Another long shot possibility. Did the drive have a
    utility like "EZ-BIOS" installed on it?

    Currently, EZ-BIOS technology is limited to utilities released under StorageSoft, Inc. (includes: EZ-Drive™, EZ-Copy™ and DriveGuide™) as well as vendor-specific editions (includes: Maxtor MaxBlast™ and Western Digital EZ-Install™, et al).
    http://www.storagesoft.com/products/...ls/ez_bios.asp

    EZ-BIOS is also referred to as a "disk overlay", and was
    popular a few years back to make larger drives useable
    on older machines. When installed, it puts special program code
    on the first track of the drive, and relocates the MBR to the next
    track
    This can cause some wierd errors for programs
    that look in the standard location for the MBR.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  8. #8
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    Nope, it's a 20 gb Seagate Drive on a mobo with the 810 Chipset. Pretty recent.
    Cheers,
    cgkanchi
    Buy the Snakes of India book, support research and education (sorry the website has been discontinued)
    My blog: http://biology000.blogspot.com

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