how not to initialize HD

JB jb.123abc at
Sat Jul 31 17:43:32 UTC 2010

Paul Cartwright <ale <at>> writes:

> ... 

great job !
I want to do some things with your disk, but in a controlled manner - please
do not get excited, just deliberately follow the instructions.
We will try to save the disk (which seems to have its partition table screwed
up), first "the easy way".
I give you a layout of my disk so you can understand what the problem is by
comparing mine and yours.
[root at localhost jb]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x3db012b3

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        2607    20933608+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            2607        3626     8192000   83  Linux
/dev/sda3            3626        4551     7426960   83  Linux
/dev/sda4            4551        4864     2517480    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            4551        4734     1466608+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6            4734        4864     1050808+  83  Linux
You see, a disk can have max 4 primary partitions, but if you need more
partitions, then you prepare 3 primary partions and one extended partion,
which in turn you will divide into logical partitions as needed. 
On my disk there are 3 primary partions (/dev/sda1 thru /dev/sda3), then you
see the extended partition (/dev/sda4; it is a marker only, like saying here
begins an extended partition to the end of disk). Then that extended
partition is redefined (!) by the logical partitions (/dev/sda5, /dev/sda6;
there is no free space left).
Please get familiar with this.
This was part 1.
I will follow shortly with part 2, where we will change your disk layout.
Do not do anyting with your disk in the meantime (I will need it exactly as
you reported it previously) !
Stay tuned.

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