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Thread: Bad magic number in superblock

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Question Bad magic number in superblock

    Hi, I am new to this forum.
    I have tried to format a 2,5 inch IDE HD that stems from a satellite receiver. It is rated as 160 GB but shows up as 137 GB.
    I have tried Parted Magic, but it wont allow to make a new partition.
    With command sudo e2label /dev/sdd name I get the message:
    Bad magic number in superblock
    Couldn't find valid filesystem superblock.
    I have wiped all data with HDD LLL.
    I suspect the disk has a physical error, but will give it a try if you have any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums

    Try with a linux boot drive, that comes with gparted, for example your Ubuntu install CD/USB drive.

    In gparted, select the drive you want to edit, select

    Device -- Create Partition Table

    and I suggest that you select the default (MS-DOS partition table, where the boot sector is called MBR).

    Next step is to create or or several partitions. If you want to boot Windows, you need at least one primary partition. The rest of the drive can be an extended partition, with one or several logical partitions inside. (There can be maximum 4 primary partitions, which can be a problem, if you want a multi-boot drive.)

    While in gparted it is a good idea to add labels to the partitions. Use descriptive labels, for example Ubuntu, Home, Data, Windows.

    Finally click on the tick icon at the top of the gparted window to perform the changes.

    If you still can't do it, start looking for errors, for example check for S.M.A.R.T. information of the drive!

  3. #3
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    Feb 2013
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Hi sudodus.
    Tahnk you for your reply, sorry for the delay.
    gparted will not let me make a partition.
    When I try I get a warning. I am prompted to make a partition table first, when trying to do that I get an exclamation mark and a warning : Unrecognised Partition table.
    Which programs can I use in command mode?

  4. #4
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    It's too early to say if the drive is good or bad.

    You can prepare to overwrite with zeros, but first you must be 100% sure about the device name, otherwise you might overwrite another drive and lose all your data.

    So, please post the output of the following commands

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    Code:
    sudo blkid

  5. #5
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    Feb 2013
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Thx, much obliged.
    It is late here in Denmark, i will run to-morrow and post the answers. I had nearly abandoned th HD, but is still interested to save it. I have a small reader, that originally was meant for transferring SD cards to harddisk.
    Last edited by eigilw; February 28th, 2013 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Spelling errors

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    10

    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Should read it is late here...

  7. #7
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    OK, here goes:
    eigil@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -lu

    Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 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: 0x986239b0

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 63 1953520064 976760001 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

    Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0001cdfd

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 63 1953503999 976751968+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary.

    Disk /dev/sdc: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 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: 0x939b90c1

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 * 63 1953520064 976760001 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

    Disk /dev/sdd: 137.4 GB, 137422175744 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 16707 cylinders, total 268402687 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: 0x00000000

    Disk /dev/sdd doesn't contain a valid partition table

    /dev/sdd (Nominal 160 GB, WD Scorpio Blue, IDE


    eigil@ubuntu:~$ sudo parted -l
    Model: ATA WDC WD10EALS-00Z (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
    Partition Table: msdos

    Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
    1 32.3kB 1000GB 1000GB primary ntfs


    Model: ATA ST1000DM003-9YN1 (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
    Partition Table: msdos

    Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
    1 32.3kB 1000GB 1000GB primary ntfs boot


    Model: ATA WDC WD10EALS-00Z (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdc: 1000GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
    Partition Table: msdos

    Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
    1 32.3kB 1000GB 1000GB primary ntfs boot


    Error: /dev/sdd: unrecognised disk label

    Warning: Unable to open /dev/sr0 read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sr0
    has been opened read-only.
    Error: /dev/sr0: unrecognised disk label

    I have not submitted
    sudo blkid
    I am in doubt of the device identification /dev/sdd or /dev/sr0
    What is the syntax of blkid?

    Regards
    Eigil

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Warning: This is a one-off instruction taylor made for eigilw's computer with the present configuration. Do not use this dd command line for any other case, because you could easily overwrite valuable data. And there would be no way to recover it. dd is nick-named 'disk destroyer' because it does what you tell it to do, which might be different from what you think. And it asks no questions, even if it is a bad idea.

    Code:
    eigil@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -lu
    ... 
     Disk /dev/sdd: 137.4 GB, 137422175744 bytes
     255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 16707 cylinders, total 268402687 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: 0x00000000
     
     Disk /dev/sdd doesn't contain a valid partition table
     
     /dev/sdd (Nominal 160 GB, WD Scorpio Blue, IDE
    Your 2,5 inch IDE HD that stems from a satellite receiver is recognized as

    /dev/sdd

    and as long as you don't change anything (for example remove or re-connect or add any drive, it should remain there). But check with
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    anyway! Identify the drive using its size.

    I suggest that you use dd to overwrite it with zeros. After that gparted should be able to make a new partition table, one or more partitions and file systems (or swap) in those partitions. I think dd would stop with a write error, if there is something wrong with the drive.

    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdd bs=4096
    It will take hours, and there will be no output until dd has overwritten the whole drive, unless you kick on it with the following kill command. Then it will print a few lines showing how much and how fast it has written. So if you want to know what is happening, run these commands from another terminal window.

    Code:
    ps -A|grep " dd$"
    This command prints a line starting with the process ID of dd (a four digit number). Use that number in the following command (use your current number instead of 1234).
    Code:
    sudo kill -USR1 1234
    dd will print a few lines and continue until the whole drive is written.
    --
    Shortcut

    You might succeed if you overwrite only the first megabyte of the drive, which is done in an instant.

    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdd bs=1024 count=1024
    So try this and see if gparted will be happy to make a partition table
    Code:
    gksudo gparted
    Device -- Make partition table

    and then create partition(s) and file system(s)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    10

    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Thx a lot.
    Presently I am making a backup on another drive, but I have a question of a more general nature, referring to tour recommendations
    I have tried to find blkid at no avail.
    How do I find the program and install it?
    I will come back on zeroing the device

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Quote Originally Posted by eigilw View Post
    Thx a lot.
    Presently I am making a backup on another drive, but I have a question of a more general nature, referring to tour recommendations
    I have tried to find blkid at no avail.
    How do I find the program and install it?
    I will come back on zeroing the device
    The blkid command is part of the util-linux package and is available from ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/. This means that blkid should be available by default, but you need sudo to run it.

    If for some strange reason you don't have that package, install it with
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install util-linux
    and learn about blkid with
    Code:
    man blkid
    Code:
    which blkid
    Code:
    sudo blkid

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