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iMike
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 208
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:01 pm    Post subject: fdisk odd cylinder choice Reply with quote

I figured fdisk would be the least of my worries in trying Gentoo on an O2.... Perhaps I should be called "curious george" for all the problems I get into.

In any event, I now have successfully netbooted an O2, R5000 with this kernel:

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/netboot/ip32/ip32-r5k-20050530.img.bz2

fdisk -l /dev/sda on the original untouched disk gives:
Code:

Pt#   Device       Info   Start     End  Sectors  Id  System
1     /dev/sda1    boot      65    1010  3931165   a  SGI xfs
2     /dev/sda2    swap       1      64   262144   3  SGI raw
9     /dev/sda3               0       0     4096   0  SGI volhdr
11    /dev/sda4               0    1010  4197405   6  SGI volume
Bootinfo
Bootfile: /unix
Directory entries
0: sgilabel sector    2  size    512
1: sash     sector    3  size 342528
2: ide      sector 1337  size 342528

Unlike the MIPS handbook documentation, I see there is no "x" (expert) mode for my fdisk. Also, there is no option "g" (create an IRIX partition table). Given that, and the advice later in the handbook "just remember to leave the volume header and whole disk paritions alone", I decide to only delete partition 1 and 2 and proceed from there.

(begin sidenote)
It seems a little fishy to me that /dev/sda3 begins and ends and at 0, and I have no idea what the "Directory entries" are about. That makes me want to wipe the whole mess, but without a "g" option, perhaps that would be rash. I see that the "l" options lists SGI volhdr and SGI volume as types, but could one successfully build their own IRIX partition table with them? How? I am also unclear on how the "Pt#" relates to the number after sda. I always figured the number after sda is the partition number as far as Linux goes. So what, if any, significance does Pt# have?
(end sidenote)


1 and 2 delete fine. I press "n" and create a new partition number 1 of 32M. I notice unlike the MIPS handbook, this fdisk does not have the option of creating by MB, etc., only cylinders (and I suppose sectors). For partition 1 I enter starting cylinder 1, ending cylinder 16. It goes OK. Something like

Code:

Pt#   Device       Info   Start     End  Sectors  Id  System
1     /dev/sda1               1      16    66464  83  Linux native


I figure that will be my boot partition. Now when I try to create the second partition, for swap, I get:
Code:

Command: n
Partition number (1-16): 2
First cylinder (1-0):

But anything entered at this last prompt is rejected. What am I missing here? I just don't see it.

Best regards,
/Mike
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dj604
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Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 26
Location: milwaukee

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen this too- the handbook doesn't entirely match what you get with fdisk..

After spending a few hours swearing at the computer with the exact same problem you had, I found a workaround..

partition the disk backwards- ie partition sda3 first (or whatever your last one will be), and partition cylinders 100-1010 (or whatever you want it to be). Then work your way forwards (so that the last one you're partitioning is sda1- with cylinders 1-16).

Anyone know why fdisk is acting like this? It's pretty annoying.
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iMike
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 208
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: fdisk odd cylinder choice Reply with quote

Dear dj604,

Brilliant idea! And it worked for me too...at least so far. I am in the process of compiling a kernel. Should be able to say for sure shortly.

I congratulate you on your ingenuity and thank you for your help! :D I hope someone answers the question you asked too. I certainly agree it's an annoying way for fdisk to work.

/Mike
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