The Fedora installation is making undesired changes to partition tables. It is changing the geometry on the hard drive on which I was not even installing Fedora. This caused errors when partition magic was next run (it is a dual-boot installation with Windows).
What I was expecting was for Fedora to not touch the second hard drive partition table at all. Being a noob to Linux, I'd like some advice, especially as to whether this is a bug that should be reported.
I tried FC2 back in 2004 and it gave the same problem (albeit using a different hard drive). It seems the problem is still present.
I thought that this may be related to the CHS bug (see http://lwn.net/Articles/86835/
), but a) this bug is supposed to be closed and b) I've tried specifying the geometry but I still get the same effect.
The problem seems to be limited to Fedora - I tried a minimal Ubuntu (5.1) install, and that didn't modify the partition table on either drive.
I have two drives, one is a small (1.5Gb) HD connected to the motherboards IDE second channel as a slave. This is formatted with a small DOS/Win3.1 partition and an extended partition with a small Linux swap partition and the rest as Ext2 formatted with partition magic. The BIOS is set for LBA for this drive.
The second drive is a 160Gb drive with multiple partitions (a FAT16 pri (DOS), a FAT32 pri (Win98), an NTFS logical, three FAT and several FAT32 logical partitions). This is connected to an ATA PCI card (Highpoint driverocket 133SB). This has no way to set/change LBA access. I assume it's in some auto mode.
Both drives have XOSL on the MBR and were formatted with Partition Magic.
I installed Fedora, selecting manual partitioning & selecting the preformatted Ext2 as the root mount point.
I performed a minimal FC4 install, and put GRUB in the root partition.
After adding Fedora to the XOSL menu it booted up ok.
The installation of FC4 does not change the partition table of the (small) drive to which FC4 was installed (/dev/hdd). However, it does change the PT of the large (160Gb) hard drive (/dev/hdg).
The changes to the large hard drive started at the first EPBR in the extended partition - that and all subsequent EPBRs had the start head/sector entries changed from [Head 0, Sector 1] to [Head 254, Sector 63].
Booting into Windows (or DOS) and running Partition magic gave error 116 (LBA and CHS values not equal). Partition magic also showed the Ext2 partition (on the first drive) FULLY occupied, with no free space.
I have tried this several times:
- without specifying the disk geometry;
- specifying geometry as reported by fdisk -l for both drives (viz. "linux hdd=787,64,63 hdg=19457,255,63");
- specified the 1.5Gb drive as reported by fdisk -l and specified 160Gb drive as its true physical geometry as determined by the drive manufacturers (Western Digital) s/w (viz. "linux hdd=787,64,63 hdg=310101,16,63")
After each install, the start head/sectors were changed on the large hard drive as described above. Note that I was installing to the small hard drive - so Linux shouldn't have touched the large drive at all.
I'm not going to trust the drive after the partitions values have been changed - I havn't noticed problems with windows - yet, but I don't like the fact that the specific partioning tool is not happy with the changes made. (I can edit the partition table back, I'm just not going to use Linux until I can resolve this).
I've also heard of many people having problems mixing partitioning utilities so I'd like to stick to the one. (I use partition magic as I primarily use windows98 - I'm just sampling linux for the first time).
I think this is related to Fedora since I've tried the Ubuntu install and it didnt change any partition table (other than marking the root as bootable of course). BTW, I couldnt see any way to specify the disk geometry to Ubuntu, so that was a straight minimal install.
Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated as I'd like to give Fedora a go. Any opinions on whether this is a bug that should be reported?
Thanks in advance,