[CS-FSLUG] Hard drive won't format - or maybe stay formatted.

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Thu Aug 5 16:03:29 CDT 2010

davidm at hisfeet.net writes:
> I tried to check what is fdisk(8) thru google Sounds like it's not the
> fdisk included dwith most linux packages.  Where can I get a working copy
> and directions for using it?

Referring to it as "fdisk(8)" is the typical way of saying, "It's the
fdisk command, described in section 8 'administrative commands' of the
manual."  I would doubt that anything calling itself "fdisk" is not the
expected fdisk.  The name was brought over directly from the Microsoft

If you've got fdisk, then run it (as root, of course) thus:
   fdisk -l /dev/sdX
This laptop's disc gets this sort of output:

   Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes
   255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders
   Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
   Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
   I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
   Disk identifier: 0x68e77793
      Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
   /dev/sda1   *           1          26      208813+  83  Linux
   /dev/sda2              27        3943    31463302+  83  Linux
   /dev/sda3            3944        7860    31463302+  83  Linux
   /dev/sda4            7861       77825   561993862+   5  Extended
   /dev/sda5            7861        9950    16787893+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
   /dev/sda6            9951       10995     8393931   83  Linux
   /dev/sda7           10996       77825   536811943+  83  Linux

If you've got any funny-looking partitions, then run it again without
-l.  It'll give you a command line interface for deleting and creating
partitions.  End with the "w" command to induce fdisk to write out the
updated partition table and then read it back again.

Don't forget to mark the partition bootable where /boot will land,
whether it's just a directory in / or a separate partition to be mounted
as /boot.

Generally speaking, I prefer to use fdisk rather than any of the
graphical partition editors; they just seem awfully fiddly compared to
"just make this partition in exactly this way."

I suppose I'm old school.

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