how not to initialize HD

JB jb.123abc at
Sun Aug 1 06:33:59 UTC 2010

Gregory Hosler <ghosler <at>> writes:

> There is nothing "screwed up" with the partition table.
> There are 3 primary partitions instead of 4. no big deal. the extended
> partition is #3 instead of #4. Again. no big deal. And finally,
> the logicals are out of order. Again, no big deal. None of these are
> a problem.
> The only problem here is that there is no free disk space that can be mappe
> to unused partition id's.
> -Greg

Hi Gregory,
then what is the reason for this ?
# cfdisk -Ps
FATAL ERROR: Bad primary partition 2: Partition ends in the final partial 

I googled for this error, and found that some threads about it go back to
2007, an example of an opinion is:
The main problem here is the use of cfdisk. There are lots of things that
confuse/irritate cfdisk and cause it to crash, particularly with SATA disks,
and especially when partitions appear in other than their logical order. Fdisk
is old, but is far, far more reliable.

Well, she suggests the reason is that "partitions appear in other than their
logical order".
Can she really say then that cfdisk is "reliable" ?
cfdisk is a standard tool used by many (I have been using it since
 I remember).

When seeing an error like that many people will take it seriously.
The OP also reported that he wanted to install Fedora and ... take a look at
Paul Cartwright's first 2 posts of the thread.
He does not say explicitly that he selected a custom layout during anaconda
procedure; it seems he tried multiple other options.

We went thru this lengthy procedure step-by-step in a debugging fashion,
eliminating one or two partitions at a time, and trying to figure out if each
change eliminated the scary cfdisk error.

We still have an option of nuking the extended partion at once and see if that
changes anything. After that there is only Win XP partition left.
I will ask Paul, when he comes back, to run his Fedora installer with selected
Custom Layout option and we will see what happens. Now he will be more
attentive to every step he takes and will report back to us.

Stay tuned.

More information about the users mailing list