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Thread: "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    19

    Question "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

    Server Ubuntu 12.04 running within VirtualBox.

    I wanted to add some more disk for use by the VM. I'm using this page as guidance.

    I created the disk via VirtualBox and booted the VM. I did a `fdisk -l` and it reported that a drive I had been using for months "doesn't contain a valid partition table". It reported the same thing for the new drive which I expected but I thought I had better find out what was going on before I went any further. I've put the output of the `fdisk` below.

    Before I did anything I had cloned the VM so I booted the clone and did a `fdisk` in there and sure enough it too reported that the months old partition "doesn't contain a valid partition table".

    Is this OK ? Can I continue to partition the new drive ? Should I do something about the old drive ?

    The `fdisk` output looks like this :


    Code:
    ~ $ sudo fdisk -l
    [sudo] password for foodoo:
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 8589 MB, 8589934592 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1044 cylinders, total 16777216 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: 0x0004ce84
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *        2048      499711      248832   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2          501758    16775167     8136705    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5          501760    16775167     8136704   8e  Linux LVM
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 8589 MB, 8589934592 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1044 cylinders, total 16777216 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/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table
    
    Disk /dev/mapper/ubserver1-root: 7763 MB, 7763656704 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 943 cylinders, total 15163392 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/mapper/ubserver1-root doesn't contain a valid partition table
    
    Disk /dev/mapper/ubserver1-swap_1: 532 MB, 532676608 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 64 cylinders, total 1040384 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/mapper/ubserver1-swap_1 doesn't contain a valid partition table
    ~ $


    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

    LVM is logical partitions. Fdisk is only showing the physical partitions underneath the logical.

    You need to use LVM tools to edit LVM partitions.

    LVM - Logical Volume Management.
    Advantages/Disadvantages LVM Post #9
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1586328
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lvm
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuDesktopLVM
    2014_02_22_Preparing Logical Volumes For Ubuntu Installations
    http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/...allations.html
    lvm How-To info older:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=141900
    http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/index.html
    http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/benefitsoflvmsmall.html
    sudo apt-get install lvm2
    sudo vgchange -ay
    LVM gui tool:
    http://www.howtogeek.com/127246/linu...ms-with-a-gui/
    sudo apt-get install system-config-lvm
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    19

    Re: "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

    Thanks oldfred.

    I see what you mean about the lvm.

    I don't much care whether it's lvm or not but the page at https://muffinresearch.co.uk/adding-...rtual-machine/ assumes it's not (hence their use there of fdisk) so if you or anyone else knows how to persuade VirtualBox to create a new disk outside of lvm I would appreciate it .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Beans
    19

    Re: "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

    Sorry I meant to say ... I appreciated your list of links about lvm, just for your future reference one of them is broken : http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/...allations.html .

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: "doesn't contain a valid partition table" but it works and has worked for ages ?

    I do not know LVM, but it is a logical partition on top of physical partitions.
    So you use fdisk to create just one partition on a drive and then with LVM tools add that to your logical volume(s).

    I tend towards wanting reliability. As I understand it one of the disadvantages of LVM is if one drive fails, you lose all data. Or really good backups are vital.
    But I would rather just mount partitions and use them, I still have to back up my data, but both drives should not fail at same time so I have less chance of loss with any one failure. But then I have to manage partitions and have to go to more work to resize them.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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