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

Tim Young Tim.Young at LightSys.org
Thu Aug 5 16:09:24 CDT 2010

  You should have that fdisk on your system.

man 8 fdisk

The above command should give you the directions for fdisk.
But basically:
fdisk /dev/sdb
(where /dev/sdb represents the device you want to destroy)

Then there are a number of one-character commands :
m = help  (it really means, 'M'enu)
d = delete
n = new
p = print
w = write & quit

So, basically, start with pressing p and then enter.  Make SURE this 
is the device you want to toast.
Then, use d to delete ALL the partitions
then, do a "w" to save it.  See if you get one of the errors telling 
you it cannot make the change.  If it gives you an error, send it to us.

If you do not get an error, then you need to go back into fdisk and 
use n to create a new partition table the way you want it.   When you 
are done (press p to verify it looks like you want it to), use w to 
write it back to disk.  Again, look for any error and send it on to 
us if there is one.

You can do:
fdisk -l
(where that is a lower-case L)
to simply print information about the devices and the partitions they 

     - Tim

On 8/5/2010 3:46 PM, davidm at hisfeet.net wrote:
> 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?
>> It's possible that some partition on the drive is being automatically
>> mounted.  If that's the case, then the kernel's sense of the drive
>> partitioning is fixed until the last partition is unmounted.  This is
>> the point where good ol' fdisk(8) mutters, "writing partition table to
>> disc...re-reading partition table," or something thereabouts.
>> Basically, you're screwed in such a situation until you convince the
>> kernel to let go of the last remnant of its belief about the drive.
>> Qparted won't have any idea that this is the problem; it will know only
>> that the ioctl() call that attempts to read the table back gives the
>> same result it used to have.
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Christiansource at ofb.biz
>> http://cs.uninetsolutions.com
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