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Thread: Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    34

    Red face Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

    Hey,
    I recently resurrected an ipod that had been in the wash, and I want to use it as a persistent Ubuntu live usb. I went through the process, and got stuck at the last step,
    Code:
    sudo syslinux -f /dev/sdb1
    my problem is sector size
    according to fdisk -l, it is 4096 and syslinux can only handle 512...


    I assume that this is because it is an apple product...

    still, can I change the sector size? (or make the computer think it has a smaller sector size?)

    Code:
    sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
    x
    looked promising to me. but I don't trust myself with changing sectors per track, number of cylinders, number of heads, and so on...

    Help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Beans
    8,111

    Re: Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

    With fdisk you can change the number of bytes/sector for how fdisk reads the drive, but that doesn't actually change the bytes/sector of the drive as far as I know; I know that the bytes/sector number is not stored anywhere in the MBR (Master Boot Record), so I would assume that fdisk, syslinux, and other commands get that information from the device itself. In other words, I don't think you can change it. As a workaround though, you might try:
    Code:
    sudo syslinux -sf /dev/sdb1
    In the syslinux man page, it talks about using the "s" option when installing to a CD-ROM, which also uses 2048 bytes/sector. So you might give that a try and see if it works, and let me know how that goes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

    Quote Originally Posted by kesre View Post
    ........
    still, can I change the sector size? (or make the computer think it has a smaller sector size?)
    ........
    Only by reformatting.
    Regards, David.
    Please use the Forum search and Wiki search for immediate help
    Please mark your thread as Solved when appropriate
    New to technical forums?: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    34

    Re: Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

    Ok,
    I have already tried the -sf option, and got the same message.

    dcstar, could you give an example / step process for the code to set the sector size? - I don't mind reformatting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Beans
    13,505
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I change a USB sector size? Need an 'expert' with fdisk

    Quote Originally Posted by kesre View Post
    ........
    dcstar, could you give an example / step process for the code to set the sector size? - I don't mind reformatting
    Just use the partition editor and whatever options it gives you for the particular filetype you select.
    Regards, David.
    Please use the Forum search and Wiki search for immediate help
    Please mark your thread as Solved when appropriate
    New to technical forums?: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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