Can't Format Linux Hard Disk

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Can't Format Linux Hard Disk

Postby khakilang » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:51 am

Recently, I was given 2 unit of Dell PowerEdge computer with Intel Pentium 4 at 2.4GHz, 256MB RAM and a 40GB hard disk. Somehow it was install with a Linux OS (couldn't tell from which Distro). Upon power up it load a bunch of text and hang half way with a message like Kernel panic. Try to reinstall with other Distro but only come out blank screen. Try to delete the partition with Window XP but fail. So is there a Linux that prevent the hard disk from being format or the hard disk just simply fail? Appreciated to anyone who help.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:33 am

Boot a live-cd and start cfdisk from the terminal. Remove all partitions, then make sure you let it write the altered table to the disk. Reboot with install-cd. If cfdisk can't do this, consider dumping the disk(s) and purchase new ones.
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Postby ollie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:56 am

Windows doesn't recognise Linux formatted partitions, so sometimes it refuses to delete partitions. If you need a more graphical interface to manage partitions you can download the GParted LiveCD.
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Postby khakilang » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:54 am

Thanks guys! I just found out that this has been formerly use as a server. I was wondering whether the Linux server had some sort of disk write protection. I have try Live CD but it just hang when booting half way. Just a splash screen. I feel its a bit of a waste for a good hard disk. I will not dump until I have try every means to revive it again. Once again thanks!
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Postby Dutch_Master » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:27 pm

Disconnect the drive(s) then boot again. If the system boots the drives may have failed, otherwise chances are high the mainboard is toast...
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Postby khakilang » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:08 am

I have disconnect the drives and use on another computer to scan and try to format the drives but same thing happen. The computer was install with another hard disk and its already working so it cannot be the computer motherboard. I feel the hard drives had some sort of write protection or something. Any ideas. Thanks!
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Postby Dutch_Master » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:56 am

What type of harddrive are they? IDE, SATA, SCSI? If they are IDE, make sure the master/slave jumpers are set correctly. Examine the drives carefully, or better yet: make some photo's and post them here (detailing brand/type and connectors/jumpers)
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Postby khakilang » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:25 am

Its actually Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 40GB IDE hard disk, model no. ST340014A OEM to Dell PowerEdge. The jumper was set as a master on IDE port 1 and CD ROM at IDE port 2. It was use as a server before. Since they no longer have any use for the computer. Thought I format it to run other Distros. The hard disk was able to boot with the older Linux server which I have no idea what version it was as it hang half way with an error message, Kernel panic - unable to v-sync....I like to be able to use the hard disk again. The computer is working with other hard disk install which is a Seagate 20GB IDE hard disk. I hope to have more ideas. Thanks for all your help.
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Postby Ram » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:17 pm

I'd say that " unable to v-sync " points to a video issue, try using the Ubuntu alternative CD.

lubuntu LXDE 13.10 running on AMD Phenom II*4; ASUS Crosshair III Formula MB; 4 GB Ram.....
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Postby khakilang » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:06 am

I've gone through the error message. It actually it read as below.

ide: fail opcode was: unknown
end_request: I/O error, dev hda, sector 65
EXT2-fs: unable to read superblock
Kernel panic - not syncing : VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,1)

The cursor was blinking at the bottom left. I don't know what it was. Anybody got any ideas? What shall I do? Is the hard disk end of life? Appreciate to anyone who help.
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