Install not working, bios settings?

thefear78thefear78 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi I've been trying for weeks now to try and install a few different distros to two different 40GB IDE drives without luck.

I have tried fdisk, cfdisk, mke2fs and qtparted. No matter what I use there appears to be 1.69GB of used space on /dev/hda1 when I restart qtparted, this just after reformatting it as ext2 or ext3.

I am trying to create /dev/hda1 as a 34 GB partition and /dev/hda2 as a 6 GB swap partition.

This leads me to believe this has something to do with my Bios not 'seeing' /dev/hda properly. But I have tried the install using LBA, Large Disk, Auto and Normal all without luck.

I've also done a

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda

on both hard drives to make sure it's not some screwy mbr issue. No luck either. Seriously running out of ideas. Both drives previously had XP running fine on them so it's safe to say they're not hooped either.

Any advice is appreciated!!

Comments

  • TalicTalic Posts: 423Member
    Are you dual-booting with xp or is it standalone? If you have xp on it then I would probably try to format it with a full ntfs and try running something that checks the drive's health, I believe HD Tune does this.

    What distros did you try to install?
  • thefear78thefear78 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    there is no XP or Windows involved in this scenario

    Tried Slax, Knoppix, Fedora, Kanotix, Debian.
  • livenliven Posts: 918Member
    Why do you need so much swap space? Try the old trick of making swap equal the amount of ram in the box. Massive swap files will create a lot of paging and this will probably not help performance.

    Have you tried letting the installers just auto partition the devices? Unless I have a very specific need for a partition layout I just go with the defaults. Typically this works flawlessly.

    What type of errors are you getting?


    Also if the drive says it is 40 gigs, you probably only getting in the high 30's. So perhaps try something like 34 gigs for the main partition and 3 or 4 for the swap.
    encrypt the encryption, never mind my brain hurts.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Can you boot to a live CD and check to see what might be there by mounting it read only?
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    liven wrote:
    Why do you need so much swap space? Try the old trick of making swap equal the amount of ram in the box. Massive swap files will create a lot of paging and this will probably not help performance.
    I was thinking the same thing.
    liven wrote:
    Have you tried letting the installers just auto partition the devices? Unless I have a very specific need for a partition layout I just go with the defaults. Typically this works flawlessly.
    +1
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • thefear78thefear78 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have tried the default install that allocates 1GB of swap, didn't work

    When I do a:

    mke2fs -t ext3 /dev/hda1

    It returns an "invalid block count". fsck and mkfs report no such errors. When I use qtparted it shows a strange 1.69GB space being used in /dev/hda1 and says that it formats everything until I run it again and there's that 1.69GB again!!

    I have all boot virus disabled, all shadow memory is disabled, PnP is disabled.

    Strangely, when I use a live Knoppix CD to mount /dev/hda1 after it seems everything is where it should be. On some attempts if will give me a prompt to load the kernel after Grub stage 2 but that fails with hd0 not found errors.

    So this has me thinking it has something to do with the BIOS settings or Grub. LBA does seem to report the right number of sectors and tracks though....

    Any other ideas? Thanks for the help!
  • thefear78thefear78 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is it possible my dd'ing /dev/hda has somehow permanently hooped these three hard drives I've now tried??
  • seuss_ssuesseuss_ssues Posts: 629Member
    i have never seen dd damage a drive.

    You are likely not going to get the full amount of space listed on your drive for access. ie a 40 gig drive may only give you 37 gigs once partitioned

    The normal rull of thumb is swap = 200% the amount of ram you have (twice) <--also a normal lpic question people get
  • thefear78thefear78 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Not sure what it was I did differently on that try but Grub successfully loads Knoppix now on a 38GB partition with 1GB swap!

    Thanks for the help guys!
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    thefear78 wrote:
    Not sure what it was I did differently on that try but Grub successfully loads Knoppix now on a 38GB partition with 1GB swap!

    Thanks for the help guys!

    No problem, glad we were able to, uhhhmm, help. icon_confused.gif

    Glad you got it going. :)
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • livenliven Posts: 918Member
    hey out of curiosity were these sata drives?
    encrypt the encryption, never mind my brain hurts.
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