[conspire] Re: RHL 9 Install problems

Greg Dougherty rhl at molecularsoftware.com
Thu Jul 10 17:32:08 PDT 2003

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

> Quoting Greg Dougherty (rhl at molecularsoftware.com):
>> 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 /
> OK.
> > 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.
> Ouch.  That's a real pain -- especially since it leaves you objectively
> in doubt as to whether its a logical (formatting) problem or a physical 
> problem on the hard drive.

I've now tried running the WD HD Utilities two different ways, from a Windows ME
bootable floppy, and from a "Data Lifeguard Tools" booting floppy.  In both
cases, attempting to run DLGDIAG.EXE caused my computer to crash (screen goes
black.  Nothing happens.  I wait.  I three finger salute). :-(

I didn't wait long enough. :-)

So, I ran their full test.  It claims there are no problems with my drive.

The WD low level format utility refuses to run unless I give in a Windows 98
boot disk.  SInce I have no desire to put Windows 98 on my system, that would be
a bad idea.  Yes?

Attempting to run DLGUDMA.EXE (from the Data Lifeguard Tools" booting floppy)
has worked, so, just for grins, I told it to go down to UDMA 33 (I'll tell it to
go faster if I can ever get it to work).

> Logical drive problems come in two varieties:  There are the ones that
> go away when you blow away and remake filesystems using standard tools
> whose integrity you have confidence in, and there are those that don't.
> As a practical matter, what you do in the latter case is have a whack at
> the drive using the manufacturer's pseudo-low-level formatting
> utility[1].  If the problem goes away _then_, it must have been of
> logical origin.  If not, by process of elimination, it's physical and
> you return the drive under warranty (or hurl it in the compost heap,
> absent an unexpired warranty).

So this means that if I continue having difficulty, I call up NewEgg and get an
RMA # (The disk is about 3 weeks old)?

> The easy way to blow away a filesystem (partition) using standard
> high-level tools is using /sbin/fdisk (or cfdisk; your choice).  The
> obvious way to make a new one is mkfs.ext2, mkfs.ext3, etc.  
> Blowing away high-level information (partition definitions) using
> fdisk/cfdisk has the advantage over low-level reformatting of enabling
> you to blank out less than the entire drive.  Low-level formatters blitz
> absolutely everything -- which is both advantage and disadvantage at the
> same time.

Ok, will try.

> Boot the LNX-BBC.  Type "mount".  umount anything concerned with
> /dev/hda5.  Then, type "mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda5".  Wait a few minutes;
> you'll get your prompt back when it's done.
> Do something similar for anything else you want to make afresh.  (You
> might need to invoke "mke3fs" instead of mkfs.ext3.)`

What to I use to remake my Swap partition?

> The above will suffice if you wish to just remake partitions that
> already exist.  If you wish to change from ext3 to any other partition
> type (no reason why you should) or to change the size and quantity of
> partitions, then you need to _first_ edit the partition table using
> fdisk or cfdisk, and _then_ use appropriate mkfs.* tools (mkfs.ext3,
> mkfs.ext2, mkfs.xfs, mkreiserfs...) on the partitions thus defined.

> I'll address the question about "reasonable ways to partition a large HD
> with Linux" in a separate message, to be posted after this one.

I look forward to it.

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