Fun and games with 3TB hard drives.

Craig White craigwhite at
Sat Oct 1 00:57:39 UTC 2011

On Fri, 2011-09-30 at 15:12 -0300, Fernando Cassia wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 14:54, linux guy <linuxguy123 at> wrote:
> > Lets be clear here.   There isn't really a bug in fdisk.
> If it doesn't want the user about this, I consider it a bug. lack of
> documentation and human-readable feedback is a bug. :)
I suppose if you ignore the fdisk man page your argument would have some
weight but alas...

In a DOS-type partition table the starting offset and the size of each
partition is stored in two ways: as an absolute number of sectors (given
in 32 bits), and as a Cylinders/Heads/Sectors triple (given in 10+8+6
bits). The former is OK -- with 512-byte sectors this will work up to  2

you also wrote...

> This exemplifies the problem with FOSS software and the "here's the
> recipe on how to fix it" culture, . Don't get me wrong, I'm not
> throwing blame around, I just want to say that:
> 1. Instead of posting "recipes" on how to fix limitations of the
> software, it'd be MUCH MORE helpful to FIX THE UNDERLYING PROBLEMS
> with the software, so that:
> a. A BUG REPORT ON FDISK is entered, so that:
>    * It works correctly on drives bigger than 2TB, or...

I think it actually does work on drives bigger than 2TB but not
partitions bigger than 2TB... there is a distinction that seems to be
getting lost here - and again, there's the man page for fdisk that does
actually attempt to explain it for those that actually bother to read

I don't think this exemplifies the problem with FOSS software except for
maybe indicating that sometimes the information is there for all to see
but some people don't actually look and rely upon misinformed web pages,
people, etc.
> Like you say, firing fdisk on a >2TB disk should give users SOME
> WARNING about it not being able to do everything users otherwise
> expect it to do. :)
Again, you could use fdisk to create smaller than 2TB partitions so I
think the issue is muddy at best.
> And when I sad "file a bug" I meant "file a report" on Bugzilla or
> whatever is used for bug tracking and RFEs by the particular project /
> component.
never hurts to file a bug report I guess but I would think that reading
the man page before doing so would be rather useful.


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