[conspire] Re: RHL 9 Install problems

Greg Dougherty rhl at molecularsoftware.com
Thu Jul 10 13:37:10 PDT 2003

On 7/10/03, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> writes:

> Quoting Greg Dougherty (rhl at molecularsoftware.com):
> Anyhow, to recap:  You have a whopping big hard drive.  RH9 has problems
> installing onto it.  You think it has an ext2 partition on it, but
> running _even_ the LNX-BBC 2.1's fsck.ext2 on it brings up a bogus (?)
> complaint of the partition being mounted.  

I HAD an ext2 partition on it.  I did another install, however, and this is my
current setup:
hda 1: ~10 GB, NTFS
hda 2: 100 MB, ext3 /boot
hda 3: 2000 MB swap
hda 5: the rest ext3 /

It's a WD 40 "GB" HD, which means it holds ~40 billion bytes of data (NOT 40

I ran fsck -c -c on hda2, no problem.  I ran it on hda5, it said "vdone" after
spending 20+ hours checking for bad blocks, then hung my machine.  Control-c and
-D did nothing, neither did anything else, so I shut it down.

I have found that I can usually do a Custom Minimal RHL 9 install.  I try to do
more than that, or try to do anything once I have install, and my computer goes
tits up.

> Somehow (exactly how is a bit unclear from your posts), you got past
> that, and ran a 20-hour fsck.ext2 _with_ badblocks check on it (but
> running the non-destructive mode), again using the utility from the
> LNX-BBC.  But it didn't terminate correctly, but rather put out an
> incomprehensible notice saying "vdone", and hanged.
> You also mentioned downloading the pseudo-low-level formatting utility
> and/or drive-diagnostic utility for your model hard drive, just in case
> the drive has problems.  You didn't clarify whether you ran it.

I haven't run it.  I don't have a bottable floppy at the moment.

> Man, what a mess.

That was my feeling, about a week ago. :-(

> I think we can _reasonably_ safely assume that the LNX-BBC disk you used
> is OK.  Therefore, the fsck.ext2 you're using is OK, ditto.  (Your CD
> drive could still have problems, but instances of subtly defective read
> operations from _two_ CDs would be an awfully big coincidence.  It would
> have been slightly nicer to have not used that CD drive, e.g., by using
> the Tom's Root-Boot floppy instead, but never mind.)
> Since you have the LNX-BBC handy, you might want to use _it_ to see if
> it can make fresh, from-scratch filesystems on your hard drive, blowing
> away whatever RH9 created there.  If that works, and ext2.fsck likes
> them[1], then you can do a fresh installation of RH9, and be happy.  
> If LNX-BBC's mkfs.ext2 chokes on the drive, then we have to wonder about
> the drive itself.

How do I do that?  What program do I use to make the partitions, and how do I
get RHL to install onto the already created partitions?

While we're on the subject of partitions, is there anyplace you can point me to
that gives a good discussion on reasonable ways to partition a large HD with

IOW, I'm a programmer.  I want to download and play with the linux kernal.  I
want to download, and fix some "bugs" (they piss me off) in Mozilla.  I want to
download JBuilder and MySQL and do programming with both (including downloading,
installing, and playing with the biojava.org code tree).  After reading the
first chapters of the RedHat Linux 9 Bible, I was thinking about creating the
following partitions and mount points:

2 GB /tmp
2 GB /var
8 GB /usr
5 GB /home
`8 GB / (i.e. it get's what's left over)

Is this reasonable for what I want to do?  Is this overly complicated, and I
should just make one large partition?  TIA, anyone.

> In the latter case, I'd try the drive utilities you downloaded.  If that
> doesn't make the problem go away, then RMA (return) the drive to the
> manufacturer under warranty, and get a replacement.
> (If anyone else on the mailing list thinks I'm talking through my hat,
> or has other ideas, please do speak up.  Thanks.)
> [1] In your shoes, I'd try it without badblocks checking, I guess:  20
> hours _is_ a heck of a long time.

I'm not doing anything else with the computer, and I'm happy to leave it running
all night long, if it will do me any good.


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