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Hello all linuxers, I am pretty new to linux and I need your help in formatting an USB HD. Since this section deals with HD stuff, I found it feasible ...
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  1. #1
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    Help needed in partitioning/formatting an USB Harddrive


    Hello all linuxers,
    I am pretty new to linux and I need your help in formatting an USB HD. Since this section deals with HD stuff, I found it feasible to post it here. I have a 60GB laptop harddrive in an external USB case splitted into NTFS, Fat32, Fat32. All I need to do is remove all partitions and have just one single Fat32. The device gets mounted automatically in my Fedora. I used "fdisk /dev/sda" to partition. But when I do all those add delete etc etc, and just after choosing the "w" (write table to disk and exit) option, I get the following messages/error:

    The partition table has been altered!

    Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.

    WARNING: Re-reading the partition table failed with error 16: Device or resource busy.
    The kernel still uses the old table.
    The new table will be used at the next reboot.
    Syncing disks.
    [prompt]
    And upon reboot, i still see the old partition and the data intact. The reason why I use linux for partitioning is because windows does not recognize the multiple partitioned USB harddrive. Linux however mounts the Fat stuff and r/w is possible. So I want to make this a single Fat32 to use in both windows and linux.

    Any help appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Vasanth

  2. #2
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    Partition table info added

    Hi all,

    I also want to know if this partition table info seems OK?? This is the partition which I want to remove and make it as single Fat32.
    Disk /dev/sda: 60.0 GB, 60011642880 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7296 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 1912 15358108+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 1913 7295 43238947+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 1913 4462 20482843+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda6 4463 7295 22756041 b W95 FAT32

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Disk /dev/sda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 7296 cylinders

    Nr AF Hd Sec Cyl Hd Sec Cyl Start Size ID
    1 80 1 1 0 254 63 1023 63 30716217 07
    2 00 0 1 1023 254 63 1023 30716280 86477895 0f
    3 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00
    4 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00
    5 00 1 1 1023 254 63 1023 63 40965687 0b
    6 00 1 1 1023 254 63 1
    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Vasanth

  3. #3
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    Hi there, for a Windows FS, I recommend you use a native Windows tool, that's always safer. I have a USB stick here that isn't readable under Windows, but has been formatted (and is readable) under Linux...

    And USB disks are not always the easiest ones to format . I had to put them in my compo several times when formatting over usb didn't work.
    ** Registered Linux User # 393717 and proud of it ** Check out www.zenwalk.org
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  5. #4
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    Hi Borromini,
    The reason y i am not using windows partitioning tools is because the application just hangs and the explorer does not even show the drives. I feel the partition table is screwed up. Is this partition information feasible:

    Disk /dev/sda: 60.0 GB, 60011642880 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7296 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 1912 15358108+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 1913 7295 43238947+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 1913 4462 20482843+ b W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda6 4463 7295 22756041 b W95 FAT32

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Disk /dev/sda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 7296 cylinders

    Nr AF Hd Sec Cyl Hd Sec Cyl Start Size ID
    1 80 1 1 0 254 63 1023 63 30716217 07
    2 00 0 1 1023 254 63 1023 30716280 86477895 0f
    3 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00
    4 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00
    5 00 1 1 1023 254 63 1023 63 40965687 0b
    6 00 1 1 1023 254 63 1


    I was thinkin y would the cylinder values be so high..though i have zero knowledge abt that. Is there any other way to edit a partition table values in linux?

    --Vasanth

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    If you can remove the drive from the case, here's the way I formatted my external (USB) 120GB drive.

    You need a Win9x bootdisk, if you don't have Windows you can get someone to make the bootdisk. They can be downloaded from www.bootdisk.com

    Get Gdisk and extract it to the bootdisk.
    http://www.arte.unipi.it/Public/DOS/gdisk.zip

    Write a batch file with the following entries and name it gdisk1.bat and place it on the bootdisk.

    Code:
    gdisk 1 /y /del /all
    gdisk 1 /mbr
    gdisk 1 /y /cre /pri /for /q
    The first line removes all the partitions, second line restores the MBR, and the last line creates a primary parttition using the whole disk, and formats it FAT32.

    Remove the drive from the USB enclosure, make sure the jumper is set to master, now disconnect your normal drive on IDE1, connect the USB drive, boot the computer using the bootdisk, and run gdisk1 at the A:\ prompt. Once you've done this shut down your computer, restore the internal harddrive, place the harddrive back in the USB enclosure and you should be good to go.

  7. #6
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    Hi LondoJowo,
    For a moment I was thrilled...
    - Yes I can open my case
    - The steps seems so simple and straight

    BUT I dont have a floppy drive to make a boot disk . Is there any bootable CD available?

    --Vasanth

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    Though I've never used it, I know some people that have used Bart's Boot CD with success. Don't forget to insert gdisk and batch files on the CD. Good luck

    http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/cdrom/

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