how not to initialize HD

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at
Sat Jul 31 18:52:00 UTC 2010

On Saturday, July 31, 2010 19:25:50 JB wrote:
> JB <jb.123abc <at>> writes:
> > ...
> # fdisk -l
> Disk /dev/sda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
> 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 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: 0xa8a8a8a8
>    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sda1   *           1        4462    35840983+   7  HPFS/NTFS
> /dev/sda2            4463        4717     2048287+   e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
> /dev/sda3            4718       12162    59793409    5  Extended
> Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
> /dev/sda5            4718        5961     9989120   83  Linux
> /dev/sda6            5962        8094    17133291   83  Linux
> /dev/sda7           11919       12162     1951744   82  Linux swap /
> Solaris /dev/sda8            8095       11918    30716248+   c  W95 FAT32
> (LBA)
> Hi,
> this is part 2.
> Above you see your disk layout.
> You have noticed that there is one primary partition missing - the sda3
> should be a primary partition (even if unused free space), the extended
> partition would be sda4, and the logical partitions would be sda5, sda6,

I don't see a problem with extended partition being sda3. You don't need to 
have all partition slots filled --- once I had one primary and one extended 
partition on my drive (sda1 and sda2), and this usually works without any 

I understand the OP has a problem with Anaconda insisting(??) to reinitialize 
the partition table of the sda drive, as if the drive was never used before. 
Other than the warning that sda3 doesn't end on cylinder boundary, I see 
nothing wrong with the partition table above. And I'm not convinced that the 
cylinder boundary thing could confuse Anaconda that much.

Since the OP claims that this setup works well with both Windows and Ubuntu 
but not with Fedora, my advice would be to burn a Fedora Live CD, boot it, and 
do a fdisk -l again to see if Fedora provides some different kind of output. 
That might give a clue to what is going on.

For the OP --- during the Fedora installation, are you sure to have selected 
"create custom layout" on the partitioning screen of Anaconda? There are 
typically several choices there, and if you choose custom layout, you will be 
given an option to manually select which partition is to be mounted where, 
will they be formatted or not, etc. I guess that is what you want to use, in 
order to have full control over the partition layout.

If Anaconda forces you to reinitialize the partition table (ie. delete all 
partition information and start from scratch) on a perfectly well-behaving 
drive, then it either means there is a serious bug/corner case in Anaconda 
somewhere, or that you have a hardware or bios problem.

The above partition table looks completely OK, AFAIK. And I have never seen 
Anaconda insisting on reinitializing the partition table except on a brand 
new, unformatted drive.

HTH, :-)

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