No hard disc to install onto

Forum: HD Install
Topic: No hard disc to install onto
started by: mustard

Posted by mustard on April 07 2008,21:43
I think what I did was try a Hard Disc instal without making a Linux partition first. In any case the Hard Drive is not being 'seen' by DSL, it seems to be listed under /mnt as hd whereas it used to come up as hda1.

What have I done? How to I reformat my hard drive?

Posted by lucky13 on April 07 2008,22:07
You can use cfdisk to partition:
cfdisk /dev/hda

From there it's a matter of how you want to install DSL. See the wiki or search the forums. Frugal install is easier to keep updated, and requires a 55 MB partition for the image and another for /home and MyDSL (and swap is a good idea).

Regardless, the install scripts will format. You just have to set your partitions and direct the scripts to use the partitions you want to use.

Posted by mustard on April 08 2008,13:08
I have tried cfdisk, but dsl reports that there is no disc. I may have damaged the Hard Drive, but I can hear it turning, I will try cfdisk again and report.
Posted by lucky13 on April 08 2008,15:16
cfdisk -z /dev/hda

That ignores the partition table altogether. If that doesn't work, there are a couple more things to try.

Posted by mustard on April 08 2008,16:26
I managed to get the thing to work. But part of the hard drive is corrupted. It seems possible that I will be able to do something with it. I managed to get DSL up and running, but the rest of the hard drive is not accessible. I will run it again and see.

Is there a way I can try to mend the hard drive?

Thanks for the help.

Posted by lucky13 on April 08 2008,19:41
There are several things you can do. Check your hard drive manufacturer's site for their recovery tools. There are probably more remapping tools available if you look around online.

This page has a link of manufacturer sites with the names of their recovery tools.
< >

This one has generic remapping info, suggesting (of course) you check the manufacturer's site:
< >

And here's the SpinRite site. It's not cheap -- $89 for first time buyers -- but comes with a money back guarantee and works with Linux-oriented filesystems as well as FAT (live FreeDOS-based CD). I haven't ever used it because I've had pretty good success with the manufacturer utilities, but I know people who swear by it.
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Posted by lucky13 on April 09 2008,12:56
One other thing I should've added: you can either use the badblocks command in e2fsprogs by itself (presuming you set up ext2) or as part of mke2fs (checks while installing new filesystem). The latter would probably be easier -- albeit more destructive (hopefully you backed up whatever you needed from the drive before committing to install in the first place) -- and you could edit the install script to do that if it needs it; I don't recall if Robert has the install script set with -c (read test for badblocks) at all, but unlikely -cc (read-write test). Depending how you choose to do it, it could only take a few minutes or a bit longer (I would want to make sure I have the bad blocks mapped out so I don't write data to them and end up with headaches down the road). You can also run it before the script if you want and then let the installation script run as normal. But my own preference would be to edit the script if it needs it. This presumes you're checking/formatting /dev/hda1.

just badblocks...
badblocks /dev/hda1

via mke2fs (read only test)...
mke2fs -c /dev/hda1

Or to be a little more cautious, do a read-write test...
mke2fs -cc /dev/hda1

You can throw in other flags if you want ext3 (-j for journaling), etc. See the manpages for e2fsprogs for more information.

It's probably in your best interests to first use a tool from the hard drive manufacturer. If you can detect that your blocks are limited to a certain area of the drive, it's fairly more involved using fdisk to create partitions around larger areas of bad blocks (which I've had to do on one hard drive thanks to playing around with an experimental operating system).

Posted by mustard on April 09 2008,20:17
many thanks lucky13. I have to go away for a few days, but will crack on when I am back. I will post how I get on.
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