Discussion:
recover from a bad F16 install
(too old to reply)
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 01:40:49 UTC
Permalink
To all:

I have an install DVD that I used to do a fresh install of F16 onto a
i386/686 machine. I then used it to do a fresh install of a second
machine. Midway through the formatting/partitioning, it "popped up a
bug". When I reported it, it pointed me to 743778 which was closed as
"notabug". At that point, the machine was at some unknown state in its
formatting.

I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system on
it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install come
back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress. Nothing could be done in the troubleshoot options except get a
dmesg, which I have attached to this email.

Is this one of these times where I need to get something like
partedmagic and figure out how to format/partition from there? If so,
anyone done this before and can give pointers. If not, what other
options do I have.

The machine in question has two hard drives, if that matters.

For what it is worth, I used the same DVD and am now doing a fresh
install on a third machine. First and third machines are HP x4000 and
the second "brick" is HP xw8000. I'm hard-pressed to believe it is a
difference between x4000 and xw8000, but I thought it ought to mention.

Thanks in advance,
Paul
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Ed Greshko
2012-03-18 01:56:04 UTC
Permalink
For what it is worth, I used the same DVD and am now doing a fresh install on a
third machine. First and third machines are HP x4000 and the second "brick" is HP
xw8000. I'm hard-pressed to believe it is a difference between x4000 and xw8000,
but I thought it ought to mention.
IMO, the easiest thing to do would be to boot a LiveCD and use the disk tools to
examine the partition tables and then to remove them all and relabel the disk.
--
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both
be wrong. -- Dandemis
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 02:21:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Greshko
For what it is worth, I used the same DVD and am now doing a fresh install on a
third machine. First and third machines are HP x4000 and the second "brick" is HP
xw8000. I'm hard-pressed to believe it is a difference between x4000 and xw8000,
but I thought it ought to mention.
IMO, the easiest thing to do would be to boot a LiveCD and use the disk tools to
examine the partition tables and then to remove them all and relabel the disk.
Ed:

Thanks. Let me create a LiveCD and see what I can do.

Paul
Timothy Murphy
2012-03-18 11:32:34 UTC
Permalink
Paul Allen Newell wrote:

=>> IMO, the easiest thing to do would be to boot a LiveCD and use the disk
Post by Paul Allen Newell
tools to examine the partition tables and then to remove them all and
relabel the disk.
Thanks. Let me create a LiveCD and see what I can do.
I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Knoppix.
I am probably old-fashioned, but if I have a new machine or disk
I always start by booting Knoppix from CD or USB,
and then using fdisk to partition the disk.

I learned long ago never, ever, to let Fedora partition a disk.
--
Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College Dublin
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 04:49:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Greshko
For what it is worth, I used the same DVD and am now doing a fresh install on a
third machine. First and third machines are HP x4000 and the second "brick" is HP
xw8000. I'm hard-pressed to believe it is a difference between x4000 and xw8000,
but I thought it ought to mention.
IMO, the easiest thing to do would be to boot a LiveCD and use the disk tools to
examine the partition tables and then to remove them all and relabel the disk.
Ed:

Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress
once I do the install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No
usable disks" message (and therefore no option to try anything).

Tried the troubleshooting options and still no progress. I did see the
memtest86 option and, though it sure looks like its my hard disks that
are out-of-whack as they are only partly formatted, I figured I'd run
the test just so I don't have to say "pilot error" because there's a
problem there.

Paul
Ed Greshko
2012-03-18 04:52:08 UTC
Permalink
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress once I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks" message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....

I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something like parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
--
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both
be wrong. -- Dandemis
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 05:03:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Greshko
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress once I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks" message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something like parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Ed:

Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a Live CD,
I jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was
different than the installation DVD.

PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org or fdisc
will keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I
figured it was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system
and see it (saved myself an email about how I have to be root see it).
As the memtest86 is going to go for a long time, I was under the
impression that the LiveCD user doesn't have "root" access to munge with
the hard drives et al ... am I mistaken?

One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every other
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.

Paul

ps: I've been marching through another install at the same time and
multi-tasking -- even if it is the same task done twice -- is probably
not a good idea (smile?)
T.C. Hollingsworth
2012-03-18 05:37:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed Greshko
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress once I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks" message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something like parted to see
how things are set up.  Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a Live CD, I
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was different
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org or fdisc will
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I figured it
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and see it (saved
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the memtest86 is
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that the LiveCD user
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al ... am I
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever used.

To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every other
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 05:46:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress once I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks" message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something like parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a Live CD, I
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was different
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org or fdisc will
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I figured it
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and see it (saved
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the memtest86 is
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that the LiveCD user
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al ... am I
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever used.
To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every other
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
T.C.:

Thanks for reply. I discovered about 5 minutes ago that memtest86 passed
and, when I use the Live CD, su works as there is no password (as I
mentioned, this is the first time I have been able to get a working
LiveCD created).

On both the LiveCD and the installation DVD troubleshot into a bash
shell, I am getting "parted - Invalid partition table - recursive
partition on /dev/sr0" and I am pretty certain it is looking at the
CD/DVD as that's the device it displays. So I don't know whether I am
even able to get at the hardware via parted/cfdisk (???)

I went through the options on parted and cfdisk and, to be honest,
couldn't make sense of them.

I've never done partitioning before except through successful
installations, so I got alot of reading to do (or accept that I've got a
"brick"). I am also going to look at the sysresccd site and see if it
presents me with easier to understand access.

All I want to do is get it back to a sane minimal state that I can run
the installation DVD and let it do the proper partitioning.

Paul
Pete Travis
2012-03-18 05:50:44 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 17, 2012 11:37 PM, "T.C. Hollingsworth" <tchollingsworth at gmail.com>
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further progress
once
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks" message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something like parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a Live CD, I
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was different
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org or fdisc will
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I figured it
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and see it (saved
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the memtest86 is
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that the LiveCD user
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al ... am I
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever used.
To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every other
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Hey Paul,

I've had anaconda fail to recognize drives due to leftover fake raid
metadata, among other things. Try using dd to zero out the first few megs
of the drive, assuming you don't need the existing partition table, and see
if it helps.

`dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx bs=512 count=512`
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Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 06:04:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete Travis
On Mar 17, 2012 11:37 PM, "T.C. Hollingsworth"
On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM, Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further
progress once
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks"
message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using
something like
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a
Live CD, I
Post by Paul Allen Newell
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was
different
Post by Paul Allen Newell
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email
and it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org
<http://sysresccd.org> or fdisc will
Post by Paul Allen Newell
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I
figured it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and see
it (saved
Post by Paul Allen Newell
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the
memtest86 is
Post by Paul Allen Newell
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that the
LiveCD user
Post by Paul Allen Newell
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al ...
am I
Post by Paul Allen Newell
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever used.
To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every
other
Post by Paul Allen Newell
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org <mailto:users at lists.fedoraproject.org>
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Hey Paul,
I've had anaconda fail to recognize drives due to leftover fake raid
metadata, among other things. Try using dd to zero out the first few
megs of the drive, assuming you don't need the existing partition
table, and see if it helps.
`dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx bs=512 count=512`
Pete:

Thanks for reply. Tried your suggestion and no change to the message. I
did confirm that the window says "Examining Devices" to clarify an
earlier question that was asked.

Am in process of downloading and creating CD of systemrescuecd ... but I
won't try it until tomorrow as I am getting tired and know I will
probably screw things up even worse if I get "too adventuresome in
something I am not familiar with"

Paul
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Pete Travis
2012-03-18 06:09:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
On Mar 17, 2012 11:37 PM, "T.C. Hollingsworth" <tchollingsworth at gmail.com>
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further
progress once
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable disks"
message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using something
like
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by T.C. Hollingsworth
Post by Ed Greshko
parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a Live CD, I
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk was different
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org or fdisc will
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so I figured it
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and see it (saved
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the memtest86 is
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that the LiveCD user
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al ... am I
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever used.
To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works. Every other
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Hey Paul,
I've had anaconda fail to recognize drives due to leftover fake raid
metadata, among other things. Try using dd to zero out the first few megs
of the drive, assuming you don't need the existing partition table, and see
if it helps.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
`dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx bs=512 count=512`
Thanks for reply. Tried your suggestion and no change to the message. I
did confirm that the window says "Examining Devices" to clarify an earlier
question that was asked.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Am in process of downloading and creating CD of systemrescuecd ... but I
won't try it until tomorrow as I am getting tired and know I will probably
screw things up even worse if I get "too adventuresome in something I am
not familiar with"
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Paul
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Worth a try...

Any extra USB storage to remove?
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Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 06:13:10 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 18, 2012 12:04 AM, "Paul Allen Newell" <pnewell at cs.cmu.edu
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
On Mar 17, 2012 11:37 PM, "T.C. Hollingsworth"
On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM, Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Though I appreciate the suggestion, I can't get any further
progress once
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I do the
install to hard drive option ... its does the same "No usable
disks"
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
Post by Paul Allen Newell
message (and
therefore no option to try anything).
I don't think I ever suggested doing an install to hard drive....
I was suggesting you check out the disk partitions using
something like
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Ed Greshko
parted to see
how things are set up. Did you do that?
Oh, I did misread you and I apologize. Since I had never used a
Live CD, I
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
jumped to the faulty conclusion that its install to hard disk
was different
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
than the installation DVD.
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original
email and it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
looks like that or the other two suggestions of sysresccd.org
<http://sysresccd.org> or fdisc will
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
keep me busy tomorrow. I don't see parted when I did a which so
I figured it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
was PartedMagic. I just tried as root on my working system and
see it (saved
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
myself an email about how I have to be root see it). As the
memtest86 is
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
going to go for a long time, I was under the impression that
the LiveCD user
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
doesn't have "root" access to munge with the hard drives et al
... am I
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
mistaken?
Odd, `parted` has been included on every Fedora LiveCD I've ever
used.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
To get root on a LiveCD just open a terminal and run `su -`, no
password required.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
One good thing is I finally have a Live CD image that works.
Every other
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
Post by Paul Allen Newell
time I've tried to create one it has been a horrible failure.
Paul
-T.C.
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org <mailto:users at lists.fedoraproject.org>
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Hey Paul,
I've had anaconda fail to recognize drives due to leftover fake
raid metadata, among other things. Try using dd to zero out the first
few megs of the drive, assuming you don't need the existing partition
table, and see if it helps.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Pete Travis
`dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx bs=512 count=512`
Thanks for reply. Tried your suggestion and no change to the
message. I did confirm that the window says "Examining Devices" to
clarify an earlier question that was asked.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Am in process of downloading and creating CD of systemrescuecd ...
but I won't try it until tomorrow as I am getting tired and know I
will probably screw things up even worse if I get "too adventuresome
in something I am not familiar with"
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Paul
--
users mailing list
users at lists.fedoraproject.org <mailto:users at lists.fedoraproject.org>
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
Have a question? Ask away: http://ask.fedoraproject.org
Worth a try...
Any extra USB storage to remove?
Not certain what you mean ...

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R. G. Newbury
2012-03-18 03:03:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I have an install DVD that I used to do a fresh install of F16 onto a
i386/686 machine. I then used it to do a fresh install of a second
machine. Midway through the formatting/partitioning, it "popped up a
bug". When I reported it, it pointed me to 743778 which was closed as
"notabug". At that point, the machine was at some unknown state in its
formatting.
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system on
it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install come
back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress. Nothing could be done in the troubleshoot options except get a
dmesg, which I have attached to this email.
Is this one of these times where I need to get something like
partedmagic and figure out how to format/partition from there? If so,
anyone done this before and can give pointers. If not, what other
options do I have.
You need to visit www.sysresccd.org and download the iso. Burn to a CD
or install unto a USB drive (instructions on the website). It has all of
the nice tools you need and runs as a 'live-cd' to allow you to fix things.

Note that if you got to the partitioning portion of the Fedora16
install, and let anaconda set the partitioning, then it is now using gpt
and not the usual mbr scheme. Recovery back to an ms-dos style mbr is
not difficult but takes a number of steps.

G.
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 04:53:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. G. Newbury
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I have an install DVD that I used to do a fresh install of F16 onto a
i386/686 machine. I then used it to do a fresh install of a second
machine. Midway through the formatting/partitioning, it "popped up a
bug". When I reported it, it pointed me to 743778 which was closed as
"notabug". At that point, the machine was at some unknown state in its
formatting.
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system on
it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install come
back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress. Nothing could be done in the troubleshoot options except get a
dmesg, which I have attached to this email.
Is this one of these times where I need to get something like
partedmagic and figure out how to format/partition from there? If so,
anyone done this before and can give pointers. If not, what other
options do I have.
You need to visit www.sysresccd.org and download the iso. Burn to a
CD or install unto a USB drive (instructions on the website). It has
all of the nice tools you need and runs as a 'live-cd' to allow you to
fix things.
Note that if you got to the partitioning portion of the Fedora16
install, and let anaconda set the partitioning, then it is now using
gpt and not the usual mbr scheme. Recovery back to an ms-dos style mbr
is not difficult but takes a number of steps.
G.
G.:

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to look into it and Tim's fdisc
suggestion.

You would think an installation DVD which runs the risk of failure
during format/partitioning would have an "emergency" troubleshooting
option to get the machine back to a minimal sane state (assuming there
is not a hardware failure .... and if that is what happened to me it is
pretty amazing timing and you can obviously tell I have a choice way of
defining "amazing")

Paul
Tim
2012-03-18 03:50:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system
on it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install
come back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress.
Is that at a stage where you're asked whether to use whole discs, free
space on a disc, etc., or before that sort of question.

I ask because people often get caught at this stage. "Free space" is
unpartitioned space on a drive, not an unused partition.

If the problem is not that, or before then, chances are that you can
CTRL+ALT+F (one of the function keys, try one until you get to a shell).
Where you could run partitioning software from the command line. If you
simply want to make a whole disc blank for the install to use the whole
thing, you could use something like fdisc to install an empty partition
table to the drive.
--
[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 04:45:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system
on it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install
come back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress.
Is that at a stage where you're asked whether to use whole discs, free
space on a disc, etc., or before that sort of question.
I ask because people often get caught at this stage. "Free space" is
unpartitioned space on a drive, not an unused partition.
If the problem is not that, or before then, chances are that you can
CTRL+ALT+F (one of the function keys, try one until you get to a shell).
Where you could run partitioning software from the command line. If you
simply want to make a whole disc blank for the install to use the whole
thing, you could use something like fdisc to install an empty partition
table to the drive.
Tim:

Thanks for reply.

It asks me for language, then keyboard, then whether I want a basic
install or whatever the other option is. I select basic and it goes to
"examine the system" (I can't remember the exact thing it says it
examines) and that's when I get the "No usable disks".

As I can get to bash shell via the trouble shooting option, let me do
some research on fdisc and see what's there

Paul
Aaron Konstam
2012-03-18 13:54:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Tim
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system
on it as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install
come back with "No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any
progress.
Is that at a stage where you're asked whether to use whole discs, free
space on a disc, etc., or before that sort of question.
I ask because people often get caught at this stage. "Free space" is
unpartitioned space on a drive, not an unused partition.
If the problem is not that, or before then, chances are that you can
CTRL+ALT+F (one of the function keys, try one until you get to a shell).
Where you could run partitioning software from the command line. If you
simply want to make a whole disc blank for the install to use the whole
thing, you could use something like fdisc to install an empty partition
table to the drive.
Thanks for reply.
It asks me for language, then keyboard, then whether I want a basic
install or whatever the other option is. I select basic and it goes to
"examine the system" (I can't remember the exact thing it says it
examines) and that's when I get the "No usable disks".
As I can get to bash shell via the trouble shooting option, let me do
some research on fdisc and see what's there
Paul
The program is really fdisk
--
=======================================================================
filibuster, n.: Throwing your wait around.
=======================================================================
Aaron Konstam telephone: (210) 656-0355 e-mail: akonstam at sbcglobal.net
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 20:18:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aaron Konstam
The program is really fdisk
Yeah, man fdisc wasn't getting me anywhere (smile)
Edward M.
2012-03-18 06:47:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
come back with "No usable disks have been found"
Have you tried booting to desktop with the livecd and issue 'fdisk
-l' as root from the terminal
to see if it detects any drives.?
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 06:55:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward M.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
come back with "No usable disks have been found"
Have you tried booting to desktop with the livecd and issue 'fdisk
-l' as root from the terminal
to see if it detects any drives.?
Edward:

Thanks for the reply. No, I haven't tried this as I am still trying to
figure out fdisk/cfdisk and parted. This is a whole new area to me and
I've got alot of learning/understanding about what I should or can do
... and shouldn't do.

I will try tomorrow ... I've had enough Fedora for the day and want a
bit of time to be Irish (said with a sip of appropriate celebration liquid)

Paul
R. G. Newbury
2012-03-18 19:05:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
its does the same "No usable disks"
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email and it
On both the LiveCD and the installation DVD troubleshot into a bash
shell, I am getting "parted - Invalid partition table - recursive
partition on /dev/sr0" and I am pretty certain it is looking at the
CD/DVD as that's the device it displays. So I don't know whether I am
even able to get at the hardware via parted/cfdisk (???)
dn't make sense of them.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I am also going to look at the sysresccd site and see if it
presents me with easier to understand access.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
All I want to do is get it back to a sane minimal state that I can run
the installation DVD and let it do the proper partitioning.

Paul, you really do need the system rescue disk. Grab the cd iso and
read the instructions to make a usb stick from the iso. The iso is
84Meg. I carry one of my oldest memory sticks in my briefcase with this
installed. Then it is a quick matter to interrupt a boot and select the
usb stick as the boot medium (F12 on my Thinkpad). Or change the boot
order in the bios on the desktop.

Also, there is a good explanation of GPT vs MBR boot processes on the
sysrescue site. I STRONGLY suspect that your prior attempt at
installation failed with the disk prepared for, but not yet partitioned
as GPT.

And no software not GPT-aware can deal with that. Thus 'no usable
disks'. (The F16 repos now carry the 'gdisk' package which is a
gpt-aware version of fdisk but I am not sure that the install uses that
capability.)

The system rescue cd is based on the 3.2 kernel and has gparted .12,
which should be gpt aware. It should allow you to change back to a blank
MBR setup drive.

If that does not work, then use gdisk from the the Fedora16 LiveCD. You
will need to use the -x option and then -z to zap the (wrong) gpt
structures. Again, luckily you need not worry about zapping any data or
even an mbr setup.

How did this happen? The anaconda installer will leave an mbr
partitioned disk as is, but will use gpt if the disk is blank or if you
let *it* partition the drive. Thus another poster's comment: 'never let
fedora partition your disk.' Always pre-partition, and select 'Custom',
so you are in control of the partition sizes and names.

HTH

G.
-
R. Geoffrey Newbury
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-18 20:22:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
its does the same "No usable disks"
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email
and it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
On both the LiveCD and the installation DVD troubleshot into a bash
shell, I am getting "parted - Invalid partition table - recursive
partition on /dev/sr0" and I am pretty certain it is looking at the
CD/DVD as that's the device it displays. So I don't know whether I am
even able to get at the hardware via parted/cfdisk (???)
dn't make sense of them.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I am also going to look at the sysresccd site and see if it
presents me with easier to understand access.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
All I want to do is get it back to a sane minimal state that I can run
the installation DVD and let it do the proper partitioning.
Paul, you really do need the system rescue disk. Grab the cd iso and
read the instructions to make a usb stick from the iso. The iso is
84Meg. I carry one of my oldest memory sticks in my briefcase with
this installed. Then it is a quick matter to interrupt a boot and
select the usb stick as the boot medium (F12 on my Thinkpad). Or
change the boot order in the bios on the desktop.
Also, there is a good explanation of GPT vs MBR boot processes on the
sysrescue site. I STRONGLY suspect that your prior attempt at
installation failed with the disk prepared for, but not yet
partitioned as GPT.
And no software not GPT-aware can deal with that. Thus 'no usable
disks'. (The F16 repos now carry the 'gdisk' package which is a
gpt-aware version of fdisk but I am not sure that the install uses
that capability.)
The system rescue cd is based on the 3.2 kernel and has gparted .12,
which should be gpt aware. It should allow you to change back to a
blank MBR setup drive.
If that does not work, then use gdisk from the the Fedora16 LiveCD.
You will need to use the -x option and then -z to zap the (wrong) gpt
structures. Again, luckily you need not worry about zapping any data
or even an mbr setup.
How did this happen? The anaconda installer will leave an mbr
partitioned disk as is, but will use gpt if the disk is blank or if
'never let fedora partition your disk.' Always pre-partition, and
select 'Custom', so you are in control of the partition sizes and names.
HTH
G.
-
R. Geoffrey Newbury
G.:

I downloaded and burned last night, testing to make sure that it ran on
the brick in question. Today I am reading up on the program (and
partitioning in general) as I want to make sure I have some idea what I
am doing before running the program.

As for "never let fedora partition your disk", I might end up knowing
enough about partitioning by the time I finish this that such might be
an option in the future.

Appreciate the help,
Paul
Aaron Konstam
2012-03-18 20:43:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Post by Paul Allen Newell
its does the same "No usable disks"
PartedMagic was the one option I asked about in my original email
and it
Post by Paul Allen Newell
On both the LiveCD and the installation DVD troubleshot into a bash
shell, I am getting "parted - Invalid partition table - recursive
partition on /dev/sr0" and I am pretty certain it is looking at the
CD/DVD as that's the device it displays. So I don't know whether I am
even able to get at the hardware via parted/cfdisk (???)
dn't make sense of them.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I am also going to look at the sysresccd site and see if it
presents me with easier to understand access.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
All I want to do is get it back to a sane minimal state that I can run
the installation DVD and let it do the proper partitioning.
Paul, you really do need the system rescue disk. Grab the cd iso and
read the instructions to make a usb stick from the iso. The iso is
84Meg. I carry one of my oldest memory sticks in my briefcase with
this installed. Then it is a quick matter to interrupt a boot and
select the usb stick as the boot medium (F12 on my Thinkpad). Or
change the boot order in the bios on the desktop.
Also, there is a good explanation of GPT vs MBR boot processes on the
sysrescue site. I STRONGLY suspect that your prior attempt at
installation failed with the disk prepared for, but not yet
partitioned as GPT.
And no software not GPT-aware can deal with that. Thus 'no usable
disks'. (The F16 repos now carry the 'gdisk' package which is a
gpt-aware version of fdisk but I am not sure that the install uses
that capability.)
The system rescue cd is based on the 3.2 kernel and has gparted .12,
which should be gpt aware. It should allow you to change back to a
blank MBR setup drive.
If that does not work, then use gdisk from the the Fedora16 LiveCD.
You will need to use the -x option and then -z to zap the (wrong) gpt
structures. Again, luckily you need not worry about zapping any data
or even an mbr setup.
How did this happen? The anaconda installer will leave an mbr
partitioned disk as is, but will use gpt if the disk is blank or if
'never let fedora partition your disk.' Always pre-partition, and
select 'Custom', so you are in control of the partition sizes and names.
HTH
G.
-
R. Geoffrey Newbury
I downloaded and burned last night, testing to make sure that it ran on
the brick in question. Today I am reading up on the program (and
partitioning in general) as I want to make sure I have some idea what I
am doing before running the program.
As for "never let fedora partition your disk", I might end up knowing
enough about partitioning by the time I finish this that such might be
an option in the future.
Appreciate the help,
Paul
For what you are doing all you need is a LiveCD and fdisk applied to a
unmounted disk. There is a option inn fdisk to clear all partitions from
the disk which will leave you in a position to partition the disk from
scratch. parted and/or partitionmagic are not needed. I assume that your
disk will be something like /dev/sda so you would run the command :
fdisk /dev/sda,
and away you go.
--
=======================================================================
Interfere? Of course we should interfere! Always do what you're best at,
that's what I say. -- Doctor Who
=======================================================================
Aaron Konstam telephone: (210) 656-0355 e-mail: akonstam at sbcglobal.net
William Hooper
2012-03-19 13:54:33 UTC
Permalink
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system on it
as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install come back with
"No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any progress. Nothing
could be done in the troubleshoot options except get a dmesg, which I have
attached to this email.
I don't believe anyone has suggested it, but are your sure your hard
drive is still functioning? The file you attached doesn't detect any
hard disks, just two optical drives:

[ 2.245311] ata2.00: ATAPI: ATAPI DVD A DH20A4H, QP53, max UDMA/66
[ 2.245321] ata2.01: ATAPI: HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8480B, 1.03, max MWDMA2
[ 2.245327] ata2.00: limited to UDMA/33 due to 40-wire cable
[ 2.267187] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 2.289186] ata2.01: configured for MWDMA2
[ 2.292540] scsi 1:0:0:0: CD-ROM ATAPI DVD A DH20A4H
QP53 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.295848] sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 47x/125x writer dvd-ram cd/rw
xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 2.295853] cdrom: Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
[ 2.296064] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[ 2.296192] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 5
[ 2.297320] scsi 1:0:1:0: CD-ROM HL-DT-ST CD-ROM
GCR-8480B 1.03 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.300388] sr1: scsi3-mmc drive: 48x/48x cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 2.300567] sr 1:0:1:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
[ 2.300695] sr 1:0:1:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
--
William Hooper
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-19 17:21:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hooper
I now have a machine that is "a brick". There is no operating system on it
as that got destroyed and any attempts to do a fresh install come back with
"No usable disks have been found" and I can't make any progress. Nothing
could be done in the troubleshoot options except get a dmesg, which I have
attached to this email.
I don't believe anyone has suggested it, but are your sure your hard
drive is still functioning? The file you attached doesn't detect any
[ 2.245311] ata2.00: ATAPI: ATAPI DVD A DH20A4H, QP53, max UDMA/66
[ 2.245321] ata2.01: ATAPI: HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8480B, 1.03, max MWDMA2
[ 2.245327] ata2.00: limited to UDMA/33 due to 40-wire cable
[ 2.267187] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 2.289186] ata2.01: configured for MWDMA2
[ 2.292540] scsi 1:0:0:0: CD-ROM ATAPI DVD A DH20A4H
QP53 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.295848] sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 47x/125x writer dvd-ram cd/rw
xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 2.295853] cdrom: Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
[ 2.296064] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[ 2.296192] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 5
[ 2.297320] scsi 1:0:1:0: CD-ROM HL-DT-ST CD-ROM
GCR-8480B 1.03 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 2.300388] sr1: scsi3-mmc drive: 48x/48x cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 2.300567] sr 1:0:1:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
[ 2.300695] sr 1:0:1:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
William:

Thanks for reply. Nobody has suggested it and I think the only mention
might have been my comment about "amazing timing" if it was a hardware
failure at the exact time of the install / partition. I appreciate your
pointing this out!

Your email reminded me that I think I have a CD from HP for diagnostics
on the xw8000 (its been a long time since I needed it -- over a decade),
so I will see if I can find it and see if it shows any more light on
what is happening.

I spent yesterday reading up about partitioning et al and hopefully will
get the courage to try playing with the "brick" today.

Paul
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-19 22:17:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hooper
I don't believe anyone has suggested it, but are your sure your hard
drive is still functioning? The file you attached doesn't detect any
Well, this seems to be it. I found my xw8000 diagnostic cd and it says
the machine has two optical drives.

The rescue disk won't let me do a sfdisk to archive what's there and,
looking in /dev, I don't see any sda/sdb/hda/hdb entries.

Testdisk says there is nothing to test. GParted says there are no devs.

Since I have two harddrives, the odds that both of them went out at the
exact same time is unusual. Looking on the web, I am seeing indicates
that a lack of detection of hard drives could be a motherboard issue.

Opened the box up, cleaned and reseated cables ... still no hard drives.

I am inclined to think that I have a hardware failure regarding the
computer seeing any hard drives and therefore it is a dead computer
whose demise was not caused by an installation of F16.

Unless someone has a suggestion, I think I'll salvage for parts and let
it go at that. Its a 10+ year old 32bit machine that I got for @$300 and
I just can't see the value in throwing cash at it.

Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions ... I know more about
partitioning / formatting after this exercise.

Paul
Tim
2012-03-20 10:05:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Unless someone has a suggestion, I think I'll salvage for parts and
let it go at that.
Long shot: Power supply going bad, and became insufficient for your
hard drives to power up properly?
--
[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-20 19:59:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Unless someone has a suggestion, I think I'll salvage for parts and
let it go at that.
Long shot: Power supply going bad, and became insufficient for your
hard drives to power up properly?
Tim:

Thanks for the reply.

I hadn't thought of the power supply as I assumed that if that were the
problem, everything would go down rather than selective components as it
got worse and worse. Took a look on eBay and pwoer supplies and
certainly cheaper than motherboards --- I'm seeing $60-$90 range. I can
see a whole lot of xw8000 stuff and it doesn't look like any of them
have a bid.

Given its age and that I have two other older machines (HP x4000 ...
both happily on F16 Xfce), I'm still thinking that I'm better off
putting any money into a new 64bit system. But I'm going to think about
it for a day as "under $100" warrants consideration.

If I knew someone with a spare that I could test to verify that it was,
in fact, the power supply (or motherboard or whatever), it would certain
make the gamble better.

Paul
Michael Hennebry
2012-03-20 22:29:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I hadn't thought of the power supply as I assumed that if that were the
problem, everything would go down rather than selective components as it
got worse and worse. Took a look on eBay and pwoer supplies and
certainly cheaper than motherboards --- I'm seeing $60-$90 range. I can
see a whole lot of xw8000 stuff and it doesn't look like any of them
have a bid.
If the power supply almost works,
you might get a running system by taking something out.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Given its age and that I have two other older machines (HP x4000 ...
both happily on F16 Xfce), I'm still thinking that I'm better off
putting any money into a new 64bit system. But I'm going to think about
it for a day as "under $100" warrants consideration.
If I knew someone with a spare that I could test to verify that it was,
in fact, the power supply (or motherboard or whatever), it would certain
make the gamble better.
--
Michael hennebry at web.cs.ndsu.NoDak.edu
"On Monday, I'm gonna have to tell my kindergarten class,
whom I teach not to run with scissors,
that my fiance ran me through with a broadsword." -- Lily
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-20 22:39:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Hennebry
If the power supply almost works,
you might get a running system by taking something out.
Michael:

Thanks for the reply. I am going to sheepishly admit that your "obvious
suggestion" never crossed my mind.

Given I have two cd/dvd drives and two hard drives, I suppose I could
try reducing it to one and one. Can't think of much else I could take
out ... maybe some RAM. If I got a running system that way, then I would
at least be able to confirm its the power supply ... which as I said
before makes it a better gamble to consider keeping it alive.

Paul
Tim
2012-03-21 11:58:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I hadn't thought of the power supply as I assumed that if that were
the problem, everything would go down rather than selective components
as it got worse and worse.
If a power supply is sagging, other things may have started working,
*then* a drive may try starting up, afterwards. This changes the load
on the power supply, and the output from a failing power supply may drop
(voltage go down, as it's less able to supply current).

Hard drives do some self tests as they start up, and may abort working,
all by themselves. Various bits of hardware are quite dumb, and simply
do what they can when power is applied. They may error, at some time,
if the power supply goes really bad. But if the supply is marginal, it
may be good enough for some things, but not for other things. It can
also be that a power supply is good enough to run the drive, but not
good enough for getting it to start up. So the drive may start
sometimes, but not others.

Marginally good supplies are one of those things that can be hard to
measure, if you're just going to poke around with a voltmeter, not
really knowing much about what you're doing. The meter can show the
average, or steady-state, voltages, which may be okay readings. It's a
bit harder to see how things go momentarily bad, when a drive tries to
start up.

Of course, some users may not attribute things occasionally failing to
being any particular fault. e.g. The average Windows user are used to
the system randomly doing stupid things, and do nothing about trying to
fix the problem, thinking that, "computers are just like that."

Power supplies need to be able to supply more watts than the
steady-state demand of a running system (that's if you even know what
the requirements of the parts are, most don't list them, so you may have
to make guesses - there are on-line calculators for estimating this).
They need to be able supply more than the average requirement of the
hardware, so the supply isn't always working hard to produce the normal
amount of power to run the hardware, and to account for the turn-on
current (which is higher). On the other hand, putting a 500 watt supply
into a computer that only needs 150 watts is a bit ridiculous, and a
waste of money.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Took a look on eBay and pwoer supplies and certainly cheaper than
motherboards --- I'm seeing $60-$90 range. I can see a whole lot of
xw8000 stuff and it doesn't look like any of them have a bid.
It can be hard to justify buying parts for a system you don't think is
worth maintaining, but it's handy to accumulate spare bits and pieces.
You probably will want to fault-find something, at some stage, or for a
friend. On that note, you don't have to get a spare power supply, you
could unplug one from some other computer, try it out, then put it back
in. Or, it may be the easier solution to unplug the hard drive and try
that out on another computer. And, as another message brought up, you
may be able to temporarily remove one or two thing in your computer, to
reduce the load on the power supply. Though, if it works, it does point
a finger at the power supply. But, if the fault doesn't clear, you
could still have a power supply problem. It depends on whether what you
removed reduced the load on the supply sufficiently to make a
significant difference.

I'm lucky, in one sense, that people tend to give me old bits of
electronic junk, knowing that I work in that field, and I get to
accumulate some spares. On the other hand, I often get given stuff
that's complete junk, and have to find space for it, or ditch it. ;-)
--
[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-22 04:59:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim
Post by Paul Allen Newell
I hadn't thought of the power supply as I assumed that if that were
the problem, everything would go down rather than selective components
as it got worse and worse.
If a power supply is sagging, other things may have started working,
*then* a drive may try starting up, afterwards. This changes the load
on the power supply, and the output from a failing power supply may drop
(voltage go down, as it's less able to supply current).
Hard drives do some self tests as they start up, and may abort working,
all by themselves. Various bits of hardware are quite dumb, and simply
do what they can when power is applied. They may error, at some time,
if the power supply goes really bad. But if the supply is marginal, it
may be good enough for some things, but not for other things. It can
also be that a power supply is good enough to run the drive, but not
good enough for getting it to start up. So the drive may start
sometimes, but not others.
Marginally good supplies are one of those things that can be hard to
measure, if you're just going to poke around with a voltmeter, not
really knowing much about what you're doing. The meter can show the
average, or steady-state, voltages, which may be okay readings. It's a
bit harder to see how things go momentarily bad, when a drive tries to
start up.
Of course, some users may not attribute things occasionally failing to
being any particular fault. e.g. The average Windows user are used to
the system randomly doing stupid things, and do nothing about trying to
fix the problem, thinking that, "computers are just like that."
Power supplies need to be able to supply more watts than the
steady-state demand of a running system (that's if you even know what
the requirements of the parts are, most don't list them, so you may have
to make guesses - there are on-line calculators for estimating this).
They need to be able supply more than the average requirement of the
hardware, so the supply isn't always working hard to produce the normal
amount of power to run the hardware, and to account for the turn-on
current (which is higher). On the other hand, putting a 500 watt supply
into a computer that only needs 150 watts is a bit ridiculous, and a
waste of money.
Post by Paul Allen Newell
Took a look on eBay and pwoer supplies and certainly cheaper than
motherboards --- I'm seeing $60-$90 range. I can see a whole lot of
xw8000 stuff and it doesn't look like any of them have a bid.
It can be hard to justify buying parts for a system you don't think is
worth maintaining, but it's handy to accumulate spare bits and pieces.
You probably will want to fault-find something, at some stage, or for a
friend. On that note, you don't have to get a spare power supply, you
could unplug one from some other computer, try it out, then put it back
in. Or, it may be the easier solution to unplug the hard drive and try
that out on another computer. And, as another message brought up, you
may be able to temporarily remove one or two thing in your computer, to
reduce the load on the power supply. Though, if it works, it does point
a finger at the power supply. But, if the fault doesn't clear, you
could still have a power supply problem. It depends on whether what you
removed reduced the load on the supply sufficiently to make a
significant difference.
I'm lucky, in one sense, that people tend to give me old bits of
electronic junk, knowing that I work in that field, and I get to
accumulate some spares. On the other hand, I often get given stuff
that's complete junk, and have to find space for it, or ditch it. ;-)
Tim:

Thanks for the reply. I'm still looking for my xw8000 manual to figure
out how to yank things one by one (I remember something about there
being a particular socket to use when there is only one of something).
The fact that it is taking this long to do is due to my conviction that
losing the machine is looking like less and less of an issue each day.

The hard drives are circa early 2000's, which means they are small size
(among other things). One DVD drive is probably worth recovering, the
other is CD only. I could use the graphics card as a backup for my two
x4000's ... aside from that it is so old that I wouldn't bring into a
newer machine. This box is the only one I have that uses DIMM (?)
memory, so the RAM is useless to me.

I'll get around to testing ... but reality says that once the thought of
a hardware failure entered into the equation, the interest level just
plunged.

Paul
Paul Allen Newell
2012-03-23 22:13:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim
If a power supply is sagging, other things may have started working,
*then* a drive may try starting up, afterwards. This changes the load
on the power supply, and the output from a failing power supply may drop
(voltage go down, as it's less able to supply current).
Tim:

A tip of the proverbial hat to you.

Removed one hard drive and I was able to redo the install. It complained
about "Error processing LVM" but a reinit all fixed that.

Once I get a "bare minimum install", I'll swap hard drives to make
certain that it isn't a problem with the other one. Of course, given
that it looks like power supply is sagging, at some point I will assume
that it might not like "only one hard drive". Whether I spring for a
new/used power supply to nurse this old beast along is a separate
question (probably answered with a "no").

I really appreciate the suggestion to consider the power supply.

Once again, thanks (and thanks to everyone else who offered help)
Paul

R. G. Newbury
2012-03-19 17:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Aaron wroteL
For what you are doing all you need is a LiveCD and fdisk applied to a
unmounted disk. There is a option inn fdisk to clear all partitions from
the disk which will leave you in a position to partition the disk from
scratch. parted and/or partitionmagic are not needed. I assume that your
fdisk /dev/sda,
and away you go.
From my experience, fdisk alone will not do the job as it is not gpt
aware. I recently purchased a new SSD and started a really bare-metal
install of F16. And I was unable to partition the disk as I desired,
since ananconda had decided that it would be gpt.

It took quite a while for me to recover from that, as I had no idea
about gpt, and my first tries involved non-gpt aware methods. gpt writes
to different places on the disk and ALL of those spots must be cleared.
I ended up using dd to overwrite the first and last couple of megs of
the disk, to get the gpt traces expunged.
Until I did that, I got errors.
Geoff
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