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Thread: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Hi,

    I have a 250 GB HDD already running windows XP (~50 GB) and Ubuntu 8.04 (~50 GB) on my desktop along with 3 other NTFS partitions (~50 GB, ~48 GB and ~48 GB) and a 2GB swap. I'm planning to format the 8.04 partition and install 10.04.2 in it.

    When I'm trying to install Ubuntu 10.04.2 the installer is not detecting any of my existing partitions. The funny part is that from the Ubuntu 10.04 desktop launched from the live CD when I select gparted it shows all my existing partitions, also I am able to mount these drives as well. However it does not detect my partitions when I start installing.

    Could anyone let me know how I can fix this without having to lose any of my existing partitions. Do let me know in case you require any additional information on this from my side
    Anand

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  2. #2
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Can you be more specific as to what exactly is happening when you try to install. I have an idea what you mean, but not 100% sure.

    Also, can you take a pic of your partitions in Gparted and "attach" them to your next post using the little paper clip in the toolbar.
    As shown in the pic I included just for the fun of it.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    @panand178, was your 250GB drive once used in a RAID array? Residual raid metadata can cause this problem.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    @Dutch70: Sorry Disk Utility was showing my partitions properly. Gparted isn't showing my partitions. Attaching both the screenshots.

    @coffeecat: My HDD wasnt used in a RAID Array. In fact I havent formatted or played around with it since I installed 8.04 around mid 2008.
    Anand

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  5. #5
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Ah, the screenshots you posted tell a different story from this in your first post:

    Quote Originally Posted by panand178 View Post
    The funny part is that from the Ubuntu 10.04 desktop launched from the live CD when I select gparted it shows all my existing partitions, also I am able to mount these drives as well.
    In your screenshot, Gparted is saying your HD is unallocated. I read your first post to say that the installer didn't detect your partitions which often happens with RAID metadata. Forget the RAID; that's a red-herring. The empty Gparted is almost certainly caused by an inconsistency in your partition table.

    Boot up with the live CD, choose "try Ubuntu" and open a terminal (Applications > Accessories). Post the output of this command:

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    Then we can take it from there.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    @coffeecat: Attached sudo fdisk -lu output.
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    Anand

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  7. #7
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Yup, you have an illegal entry in your partition table. If you look at the figures, your sda4 partition (with a #4 that should be a primary partition) is sitting inside your extended partition sda3. Only logical partitions can exist inside an extended partition and gparted is choking over an impossibility. Rather bizarrely, your installed operating systems are probably carrying on as though nothing is wrong. It's only when you need to use a partitioner or installer that you run into problems.

    There are two ways of fixing this: by editing the partition table with sfdisk or with a new utility called fixparts that forum member srs5694 has developed. Either way it would be useful to have your information posted in a more usable way. Please boot up with the live CD again and run...

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    ... again, but this time copy and paste the output into your post, enclosing it between [CODE] and [/CODE] tags for legibility. You can use the # icon on the message toolbar for this.

    Also, run this:

    Code:
    sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda > Desktop/parts.txt
    A text file called parts.txt will appear on the live desktop. Save this to a safe location. It might be needed. Also post the contents of parts.txt in code tags. The code tags are imperative for formatting. Again, we might need this.

    I'm also going to call for another pair of expert eyes to look at this. This deserves care.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Hi,

    I had saved the output to a txt file as well the last time I did a sudo fdisk -lu. Here's the output (The same one that was in the screenshot).

    Code:
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -lu
    omitting empty partition (5)
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xcf43cf43
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *          63   102398309    51199123+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2       102398310   205760519    51681105   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3       205760520   488375999   141307740    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda4       409593303   488375999    39391348+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda5       205776648   307194929    50709141    7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda6       307194993   405496664    49150836    7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda7       405496728   409593239     2048256   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    I will now go ahead and boot using the live CD again and provide you the output for sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda > Desktop/parts.txt.
    Anand

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  9. #9
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post
    There are two ways of fixing this: by editing the partition table with sfdisk or with a new utility called fixparts that forum member srs5694 has developed. Either way it would be useful to have your information posted in a more usable way. Please boot up with the live CD again and run...
    I concur with coffeecat's analysis. FWIW, this is exactly the sort of problem I wrote fixparts to correct. It's still new, so I strongly recommend you run sfdisk (as coffeecat specified) and save the file on another medium (USB flash drive, floppy disk, CD-R, or whatever). That way, if fixparts trashes the disk, you can still recover your existing partitions. Similar comments apply to using sfdisk to do it manually; you want to have the sfdisk backup available in case of disaster. (Neither fixparts nor sfdisk is likely to trash data within your partitions, but either could theoretically make partitions disappear or create an even more illegal partition table than you've got now. A partition table backup can easily recover such losses.)

    In your case, simply launching fixparts on the disk, checking that all your partitions are present (none are "omitted") by reviewing the output of "p", and writing the partition table back out with "w" should work; however, that will probably keep /dev/sda4, which is at the end of the disk, as a primary partition. There's nothing wrong with this, but it can be a bit confusing. Thus, you might want to reassign /dev/sda4 to be a logical partition using the "l" (letter L, not digit 1) option in fixparts.

    Check the FixParts Web page for more detail on its operation. I've also got a Web page on the problem generally, but it's in bad need of editing -- it's too long and confusing at the moment, I'm afraid.

  10. #10
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    Re: Existing partition not getting detected while installing Ubuntu 10.04.2

    @coffeecat , @srs5694: Here's the output of sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda

    Code:
    # partition table of /dev/sda
    unit: sectors
    
    /dev/sda1 : start=       63, size=102398247, Id= 7, bootable
    /dev/sda2 : start=102398310, size=103362210, Id=83
    /dev/sda3 : start=205760520, size=282615480, Id= f
    /dev/sda4 : start=409593303, size= 78782697, Id= 7
    /dev/sda5 : start=205776648, size=101418282, Id= 7
    /dev/sda6 : start=307194993, size= 98301672, Id= 7
    /dev/sda7 : start=405496728, size=  4096512, Id=82
    Would you recomment me backing up all my data from all the existing partitions to an external Hard drive before going ahead with this?
    Anand

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    Who is John Galt?

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