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Hard drive problems


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#1
tengil101

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I have Maxtor 60GB harddrive that stopped working in Linux. It was one large vfat partition and all of a sudden it stopped being usable. With that I mean that I could not add or delete files on it. When I did that all of a sudden during the process I would get read and write error. Disk is read only. That happened after a while it does work to write and delete for a while. After remounting the drive all the changes I made in the filesystem is gone and the "original" files I had there are the only once there.

After that I been trying to remove the partition with fdisk for linux first. I remove the partition and add a new one but after reboot its still the old partition there. I done the same with fdisk for dos with the same result (and no I havent forgotten to save what I have done first). I also did fdisk /mbr from dos. I tried write the whole drive with 0's with dd in linux, but the data is still all there when im done. I also tried to low level format this drive with Maxtors hard drive tools. I also ran all the checks it had and it checked through fine.

During all these things I have done I have never received an error message that could give me a reason whats wrong, but yesterday I installed Windows and tried to format it from there. It went through the whole format process to the end and it said cant finish format. Then I had partition magic which I used to remove the partition and writing a new one. This time when creating the partition it gave me this error: Error #1500 Bad boot signature byte.

It seems to me that it would be a boot sector problem but I am not sure. Could it be a boot sector virus causing this. Anyone have any ideas how to fix this or is it probably that the hard drive is broken and nothing can be done about it?
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#2
linuxwannabee

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You say you saved your previous fdisk options - by this, I trust you mean you restarted the PC?

If not, whenever you do anything significant in fdisk, you should definitely restart before doing anything else. You probably know that already, but not 100% clear from your post.

Another thing you can try - again not clear on your exact situation, but this is a problem I encountered one time, with Linux.

If you had a dual boot scenario, i.e. any part of your disc was formated as FAT32 or NTFS (seen in fdisk as non-dos partition, but not to be confused with your Linux partition - which will also be seen as non-dos); and part of your disk was for Linux, I have one question?

Did you use YAST2 to install linux - which version are you using? Did the installer detect a previous operating system - FAT32? Did you use YAST 2 to shrink/re-sise the windows partition?

If you don't have a valid Windows partition on your drive, or you do but can afford to lose the info on it, the proceedure below should work.

I too notice if you attempt 'tricks' with your hard disk partitions, fdisk isn't very tolerant/friendly.

Therefore, if you wish to reclaim all your hard drive space, this is what I did.

Used Yast2 (SuSe Linux pro 7) to install fresh copy of linux on whole of the disk.

Did that and ran fdisk - which now reports non-dos partitions, which it will delete.

Restarting the pc will give you a disk ready to run with no partitions on it, so you can start again.

I realise this might not be what you're trying to achieve me and it's a blunt instrument of a workaround - but it's there as an option, when you're tired of techie work arounds to juggle with your existing partitions!

Info above assumes you'd be 'happy' to loose your data and start again - so follow as a last resort only. Perhaps someone else knows of a less blunt workaround.

Fdisks basically sucks when working with anything other than FAT16, 32 or NTFS - fair enough really, why should microsoft produce a tool for other operating systems!

DaveB - LinuxWannabee :tazz:
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#3
tengil101

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I did reboot after trying to fdisk both in windows and in linux. The harddrive that I had the problem in is not a dual boot hard drive, in fact it was never an operating system on it at all. Just a fat32 drive with files on it. I do however have linux and windows on another disk. The linux version I used is Slackware and I tried something like I think you described. I just had my hard drive in with the troubles and I booted the Slackware CD and tried to install it over everyhting on that drive but that didnt succeed either.

I never used Yast2 (SuSe Linux). What is it that you suggest me to do. Download a suse iso and boot it and try to install this on my "broken" harddrive from the cd?
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#4
Technogeek8

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Try using suse fot a sec. It's one of the best linux distros available today. Also, try running delpart for any partition problems you might have. It can delete every partition, either linux or win. Thanks

David
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