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Can't Format Linux Hard Disk

 
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khakilang
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:26 am
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:51 am    Post subject: Can't Format Linux Hard Disk Reply with quote

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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Dutch_Master
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:49 am
Posts: 2437

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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ollie
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:26 pm
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Location: Bathurst NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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khakilang
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:26 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Dutch_Master
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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khakilang
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:26 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Dutch_Master
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:49 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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khakilang
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:26 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Ram
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:44 pm
Posts: 1674
Location: Guisborough

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say that " unable to v-sync " points to a video issue, try using the Ubuntu alternative CD.
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lubuntu LXDE 13.10 running on AMD Phenom II*4; ASUS Crosshair III Formula MB; 4 GB Ram.....
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khakilang
LXF regular


Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:26 am
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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