View Full Version : [ubuntu] Formatting HDD

February 15th, 2012, 01:33 PM

I used ddrescue to clone a disk to keep as a backup.

root@ubuntu:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000c0d0c

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 9365 75216896 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 9365 9726 2905089 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 9365 9726 2905088 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80000000000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9726 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 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

As you can see, the original disk (sda) is showing up as 80026361856 bytes
while the backup disk (sdb) is showing up as 80000000000 bytes.

How do I format sdb correctly to make the full 80026361856 bytes available.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

February 15th, 2012, 01:46 PM
9729 cylinders

9726 cylinders

Based on that it looks like sdb is simply a tad smaller than sda.
You may want to use filesystem-aware tools (e.g. fsarchiver) instead of dd, in combination with mbr+table backups to do the cloning; much more effective and flexible (e.g. can go from large to small devices).

February 15th, 2012, 02:07 PM
Hi thanks for the speedy reply and good eye, I missed the cylinder difference.

If I were to continue using ddrescue. would the write fail at the end of the disk cause me problems? The disk will never reach full capacity as it is only running Ubuntu server and a small installation of nagios.

February 15th, 2012, 02:23 PM
You have a swap area at the 'end' of the drive, so

- either you change its size on the source, so that it will be within the boundaries of the target (and after that do the same with the extended partition),

- or you delete it, and change the size of the extended partition, make a new swap area. But it will get a new UUID, so you have to edit the file /etc/fstab

sudo nano /etc/fstab
You can find the UUID with the command

sudo blkid but do not use any citation marks (")

February 20th, 2012, 03:26 AM
Yes, I did the same thing once, clone a larger drive to a smaller one with ddresue. It causes major problems if the partition tables says the partition goes farther than the physical disk. Not sure my solution works with every type of filesystem, some may have metadata issues that still says its file system is certain size. What I did was delete the partition from the partition table, it can be done with fdisk or cfdisk. Then I used Testdisk scan the drive and it rebuilt a new table that fit the drive. Even if the filesystem freaks out, if may be fixed with the appropriate filesystem repair tool, like fsck. Personally I would boot my disk of Partition Manager Pro and have it fix it. Of course its not open source and costs good money, but it is the best tool I have for partition and cloning issues. Also, good for correcting hdd interface drivers on Windows when switched to other hardware.