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Thread: Using fdisk on a large device

  1. #1
    Member registered user
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    Dec 2006
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    Using fdisk on a large device

    Hello,
    Yesterday I tried to format a 2TB drive using fdisk. There are 243201 cylinders and I wanted to set
    /dev/sdd1 cyls 1 - 243000 type 83 Linux
    /dev/sdd2 cyls 243001 - 243201 type 82 swap
    and went through the usual fdisk n (new) p (primary) 1 (partition no) 1 (start) 243000 (finish) n (new) p (primary) hoping to set up a 2nd partition starting at 243001 but got the message "no available sectors".
    I've used fdisk many times (on smaller devices up to 640G) and never got this before. It's as though fdisk is defeated by the large numbers?
    I guess I could try setting up the swap partition on /dev/sdd1 using cylinders 1 to 200 and then use 201 to 243201 for /dev/sdd2 but it would be quaint that fdisk allows one architecture but not another, almost equivalent.
    Anybody seen this before? Should I have anticipated it?
    Thank you.
    Fergus

  2. #2
    Moderator Moderator
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    Asheville, NC, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by fergus View Post
    Hello,
    Yesterday I tried to format a 2TB drive using fdisk. There are 243201 cylinders and I wanted to set
    /dev/sdd1 cyls 1 - 243000 type 83 Linux
    /dev/sdd2 cyls 243001 - 243201 type 82 swap
    and went through the usual fdisk n (new) p (primary) 1 (partition no) 1 (start) 243000 (finish) n (new) p (primary) hoping to set up a 2nd partition starting at 243001 but got the message "no available sectors".
    I've used fdisk many times (on smaller devices up to 640G) and never got this before. It's as though fdisk is defeated by the large numbers?
    I guess I could try setting up the swap partition on /dev/sdd1 using cylinders 1 to 200 and then use 201 to 243201 for /dev/sdd2 but it would be quaint that fdisk allows one architecture but not another, almost equivalent.
    Anybody seen this before? Should I have anticipated it?
    Thank you.
    Fergus
    Why not try it as you laid it out? No downside I can see. Personally, I'd probably be in a hurry to USE my 2TB drive and just run the GParted program on the Preferences menu...

    Cheers, and let us know what you find!
    Krishna

  3. #3
    Member registered user
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    45
    QTParted did not work: I got an error message objecting to my apparent intention to define a partition with "-1 sectors". Curiouser and curiouser.
    In the end I used cfdisk NOT fdisk to set partitions of the required size; it all worked immediately, easily and without generating any errors (or error messages).
    Fergus

  4. #4
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    348
    Hi Fergus,

    You didn't say what drive you are attempting to use. If it is one of the "New" Western Digital Advanced Format drives, you may very well need to do some research at the WDC site. Windows XP and some versions of Linux would need special handling. Here's a link to a thread in their forum. http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/...EARS/td-p/6395 If it applies to your drive, it may solve the issue. The one in the thread is a 1.5 TB drive, but the same issues pretty much apply to the 2TB drives as well. There is an issue that the Drive does not report it's correct sector size, etc, to the operating system. It's Western Digital's choice, since it appears that a firmware update could fix it, IF they decided to provide one.
    Last edited by ckamin; 06-06-2010 at 03:01 AM.

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