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  #1  
Old 17th June 2008, 09:55 PM
RVF16 Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 149
Gparted reports HDD empty and disk label unknown

Hello to all.

I have a Dell inspiron E1505 running both fc6 and f9 systems.
After attempting to install @V$I#S&T*A (sorry about this, i make too many typing errors ) to try out a new tv express card which isn't yet supported on linux a problem appeared in gparted.
Even though everything is working as it should my hdd seams completely empty with no partitions what so ever under both fc6 and f9.
Same thing with gparted run under Fedora 9 LiveCD.
Only with gparted livecd the hdd is seen as is.

fdisk -l under fc6 gives:
Disk /dev/sda: 118.5 GB, 118526284800 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14410 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 25 200781 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 26 50 200812+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 51 75 200812+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 76 14593 116615835 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 2599 6577 31961317+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 6578 9188 20972826 8e Linux LVM
/dev/sda7 9189 11799 20972826 8e Linux LVM
/dev/sda8 14333 14593 2096451 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda9 12636 14332 13631121 83 Linux
/dev/sda10 12623 12635 104391 83 Linux

There are three linux boot partitions (sda1, sda2, sda3) and an extended partition (sda4).
The extended contains a common data partition (sda5), fc6 (sda7) and f9 (sda6). Don't bother about the rest, i created them after the problem appeared.

Also during boot i get several error lines like the following :
buffer I/O error on device sda8, Logical block xxxx

I checked the integrity of the hdd and seams fine.

I noticed though in gparted under fc6 that :
DiskLabelType: Unknown

Under gparted LiveCD, gparted shows:
DiskLabelType: MSDOS

So i can only imagine something happened to the disk label.
Is there a way of fixing this without setting a new label which will delete everything.

Thank you.
Regards.
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  #2  
Old 21st June 2008, 01:25 AM
greco8523 Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 8
I/O buffer error is a common sign of a hard drive failing. Even if diagnostic tests show the drive is ok, it's a early sign that it will fail, but it'll probably last about 8 months before it does. As for the partition it sounds like 2 things could of happened it could be that Vista has changed the headers of the NTFS partition slightly, similar to intel macs HFS+ is sometimes not detected by dated software. The other is a bad sector has developed with the label information causing it to now show up as unknown.

If it's Vista use Vista to rename the partition again. If it's a bad sector then you could try TestDisk to repair any problems. If the file system is corrupt you should be alot more careful if you changing anything. This guide might help you http://www.datarecoveryadvice.org/da...ies_tools.html
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  #3  
Old 21st June 2008, 11:59 AM
RVF16 Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 149
Thanks greco8523 for your reply.

I'll try out TestDisk as soon as i complete my latest backup of everything.
Having said that i noticed in gparted live cd that there is a 1,4 GB partition missing which was a DELL HPA (host protected area) which i never touched. It seems that somehow i have deleted that. Now the funny thing about HPA partitions is that they are not viewable by anything i have come across except for the 0.3.4 gparted live cd. In fc6 or f9 this HPA cannot be seen with gparted, not even with fdisk.
This partiton was positioned last on the hdd (where now stands that sda8 partition with the buffer I/O error) so i guess under the operating systems (invisible HPA) the sda8 partition is concidered to be placed outside the hdd volume while under gparted live cd (previously visible HPA) there is no problem.

So a good question is what makes gparted 0.3.4 live cd capable of viewing HPA partitions.
Another thing, latest gparted 0.3.7 live cd doesn't have this capability and shows hdd empty.

Thanks.
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