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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Boot option: don't check additional faulty IDE harddrive


    I wanted to read out a friend's windows hard drive, so I took the IDE connection from my CD drive and plugged it into the hard drive.

    Now at boot time at the stage where it usually checks all partitions, linux complains about "zero length partition of that harddrive" and then stops giving me an emergency login.

    Maybe that hard drive is actually faulty, even though I see all partitions correctly in windows. What can I do to make linux stop checking it? Is there a boot time option?

    I suppose later I can manually mount a /dev/sdb or so device. I just have to figure out which

    PS: what the easiest way to check which devices/partitions are available to mount?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    it shouldn't do anything with the disk if you didn't create an fstab mount point for it, at least I didn't think so

    fdisk -l command will list partitions of disks, it must be run as root or with sudo access

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I also thought so. Especially since in the worst case it's a noauto CD drive fstab entry.

    But I had tried the same with another hard drive just before with no problems.

    Then I plugged in that friend's hard drive I got the error.
    Actually when I tried copying files from it in windows it repeatedly crashed and rebooted the computer after showing a bluescreen. So indeed, something was wrong with the hard drive (yet finally I managed to copy all files).

    My actual hard drive is SATA so maybe he wanted to examine IDE in more detail? Hmm, don't know.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Just make sure that the Slave/MAster Jumper is set correctly can only have one of each on each IDE cable If you have 2 masters or 2 slaves it either wont boot or get weird errors

  6. #5
    Just Joined!
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    Jan 2010
    Indeed, I didn't pay attention to that and it may have been wrong. I wouldn't even know which configuration to set for master/slave.

    Interestingly windows didn't have any problems.
    (Well, apart from blue screen when I copied a particular directory)

    In any case, is it possible to fix fstab configurations as a kernel option, so that I can correct for changes?

  7. #6

    Smile Connecting 2nd drive

    Not sure of your PCs setup but my PC has two IDE cables each with two connectors - the main ones being at the very end of the cables, the others being 2/3rds of the way down the length. In my situation the CD is fitted to IDE 2 main and the HD to IDE 1 main. If you connect the second HD to the second connector on IDE 1 and change jump settings everything should be o.k. You can usually find details of jumper setting on the labels fixed to the drives - if not I'd just Google the device details to find them. Typically [at least on my kit] the 2nd drive's jumper would be moved from position 7-8 [master] to 3-4 [slave] then the 1st drive's jumper in 7-8 would be left in place but would require a second jumper to be put alongside it in position 5-6 to indicate the presence of a 'slave' drive. Hope this helps.

  8. #7

    Emergency Boot CD

    Another solution would be to get hold of a live CD such as Parted; available by download as an ISO that just needs to be burnt onto a CD.
    Disconnect your HD to prevent any problems - A bit overkill perhaps but it is better being safe than sorry.
    Connect the suspect HD to the second IDE connector on your cable and make sure that it is set correctly with respect to Master/Slave/ CableSelect. Whatever your CD/DVD is set to - probably Master - make sure the HD is different.
    Boot your PC using the Live CD and it should show all partitions. Parted will allow you to test the HD and you could correct some errors.
    When you are happy that the HD is recoverable - switch off, reconnect your HD reboot and then you can copy files from the Suspect to yours.

    Works for me.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerenuk View Post
    In any case, is it possible to fix fstab configurations as a kernel option, so that I can correct for changes?
    If you would like to boot your local linux without actually mounting fstab entries, you might want to bypass init by passing (pun not intended) the init argument to the kernel:

    linux init=/bin/bash
    Or, alteratively, you might start in runlevel 1 by appending 1 to you linux startup line in your bootloader.

    You might also want to change your various rc.d configurations (this is distro dependent), but in this case it would be easier to just comment out the corresponding fsttab entry

  10. #9

    Booting any hard drive

    The way I get round this problem when I want to run a hard drive from another computer is to set the jumpers on all of my drives, and the drive to be tested, to "CS" which means Cable Select. Every drive on my computer is set that way.

    In this case the decision as to which is the primary drive on the IDE cable is made with reference to whether the drive is plugged into the connector part way along the cable or to the connector at the end. The one at the end is the primary (or "master" drive and the other is the secondary (or "slave" drive). Usually the computer would boot from the primary drive on the first IDE port.

    If you set up the drive to be tested, and all of your other drives, with the jumper set on "CS" you can then unplug the boot drive and plug in the drive under test. You should then be able to boot from the drive to be tested.

    You could plug the testing drive as the secondary drive and set up in the BIOS for that to be the boot drive, but the first way is usually quicker.

    This method depends on all drives having the jumpers set to "CS".

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