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Thread: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Hi there,
    since a long time I'm having troubles to install Ubuntu on my notebook.
    I used Ubuntu before, without problems but since the 10.04 version it won't recognize my partitions.
    I formated my laptop and partitioned it, installed Windows 7 64bit, which I need for my work, and wanted now to install Ubuntu 10.04/10.
    I then used GParted to check my Harddisk and it is having troubles to recognize my partitions, too while Windows finds them. GParted is giving me an error message saying my partitions are oversized. I am still in the beginning of my Linux experiences and so I don't know what to do.
    I have two 250GB harddisks (how Windows recognizes them),
    Code:
    Disk0:
    System Reserved 100MB
    C:                                          69,90 GB  NTFS                  -> System (Windows7)
    D:                                          125,00 GB FAT 32                                                      ext. Partition                          
                             33,88 GB                                 -> ext3 for Linux                                                    "                "
                                                        4,00 GB                                    -> free to create a swap partition     "        "    
    Disk1:
    E:                      50,01 GB FAT 32      ext. Partition
    F:                      182,26 GB FAt 32               "             "
    Here is the fdisk -lu and the sfdisk -d:


    Code:
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0e5f0e5f
          Device     Boot            Start         End                     Blocks             Id         System
    /dev/sda1      *                    2048              206847              102400         7          HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2                        206848    146800639        73296896        7          HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3                146801970    488392064   170795047+    f           W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda4          408950640    480006134   35527747+   83       Linux
    /dev/sda5                146802033    408950639    131074303+   b         W95 FAT32Disk
    Code:
    /dev/sdb: 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: 0xa08c3a0e
           Device    Boot          Start               End                          Blocks             Id      System
    /dev/sdb2        *            16065         488392064       244188000      f        W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sdb5                        16128         104904449       52444161       b       W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdb6               104904513     488392064      191743776    b     W95 FAT32# 
    
    partition table of /dev/sdaunit: 
    sectors
    /dev/sda1 : start=     2048,          size=   204800,         Id= 7, bootable
    /dev/sda2 : start=   206848,      size=146593792,   Id= 7
    /dev/sda3 : start=146801970, size=341590095,   Id= f
    /dev/sda4 : start=408950640, size= 71055495,    Id=83
    /dev/sda5 : start=146802033, size=262148607,   Id= b# 
    
    partition table of /dev/sdbunit: 
    sectors
    /dev/sdb1 : start=        0,                   size=             0,               Id= 0
    /dev/sdb2 : start=    16065,        size=488376000,  Id= f, bootable
    /dev/sdb3 : start=        0,                  size=             0,               Id= 0
    /dev/sdb4 : start=        0,               size=             0,              Id= 0
    /dev/sdb5 : start=    16128,        size=104888322,   Id= b
    /dev/sdb6 : start=104904513,  size=383487552,  Id= b
    Last edited by AND1; March 22nd, 2011 at 02:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    gparted can't see your partitions because you have an "illegal" partition table.
    As you will see from the red entry, you have a primary partition (sda4)inside an extended partition (sda3). This is illegal in the mbr partitioning system. In fact, it should not be possible, however, we have seen it once or twice, lately.
    It seems that the Windows installer can cause it sometimes, when partitions already exist before Windows is re-installed. I'm sure there are other possibilities too, sadly.

    Code:
    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 2048 206847 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 206848 146800639 73296896 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 146801970 488392064 170795047+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda4 408950640 480006134 35527747+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda5 146802033 408950639 131074303+ b W95 FAT32Disk
    I am not certain what should (or could) be done about that, but I know a man who may do
    I will ask him to take a look. I don't know if he is online at the moment, but I would recommend that you wait for further advice before doing any partitioning or installing.
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Are you able to boot to the Live CD and choose "Try Ubuntu without installing"?

    If so, boot into Ubuntu Live, and come back here to the forums

    and oh, Welcome
    boot_info_script by meierfra & Gert Hulselmans
    unetbootin to burn liveCD/USB
    Repair Windows7 Boot
    Partitioning

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    I don't know if he is online at the moment,
    Yep, here I am.

    @AND1, I agree with Quackers' diagnosis but I'm going to ask you to boot the live CD up again and run those terminal commands again. Something has happened to the formatting. That makes it difficult to read but, more importantly, bits of one line seem to have become appended to the end of a previous line. Examples:

    W95 FAT32Disk
    W95 FAT32#
    partition table of /dev/sdaunit:
    Id= b#
    Since you'll probably need to edit the partition table with one of two utilities, we need to see exactly what those terminal commands are outputting, so as not to make any mistakes. I suspect you may have used a Windows text editor somewhere along the line. Unfortunately, Windows and Linux text editors use different conventions for line endings, and I think this is where the output has gone wrong. Don't use a Windows text editor but do this:

    Boot up the Ubuntu live CD and choose "try Ubuntu". Open a terminal and run these three commands:

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu > Desktop/fdisk.txt
    sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda > Desktop/parts_sda.txt
    sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sdb > Desktop/parts_sdb.txt
    That will produce three text files on the live Desktop. Either post them from the live CD session, or if you have to use Windows to connect to the internet, copy them to a USB external drive from the Ubuntu session, and then attach them to your post using the 'Manage Attachments' button you can find below the message field. Above all, don't open them with a Windows text editor.

    I've asked you to include details of your sdb (second) drive since you posted partial information for that in your first post. It may not be relevant, but let's see it anyway.
    Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop Guide - Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop Guide - Forum Guide to BBCode - Using BBCode code tags - IRC #ubuntuforums

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  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Hey thanks for the fast reply and sorry for the format.
    I am now online using the life CD. Here is the data:
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Quote Originally Posted by AND1 View Post
    Hey thanks for the fast reply and sorry for the format.
    I am now online using the life CD. Here is the data:
    Thanks. I'll just post them in code tags so that others can see, and I'll post back again when I've had a think.

    fdisk -lu

    Code:
    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: 0x0e5f0e5f
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *        2048      206847      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2          206848   146800639    73296896    7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3       146801970   488392064   170795047+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda4       408950640   480006134    35527747+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda5       146802033   408950639   131074303+   b  W95 FAT32
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 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: 0xa08c3a0e
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb2   *       16065   488392064   244188000    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sdb5           16128   104904449    52444161    b  W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdb6       104904513   488392064   191743776    b  W95 FAT32
    sfdisk /dev/sda

    Code:
    # partition table of /dev/sda
    unit: sectors
    
    /dev/sda1 : start=     2048, size=   204800, Id= 7, bootable
    /dev/sda2 : start=   206848, size=146593792, Id= 7
    /dev/sda3 : start=146801970, size=341590095, Id= f
    /dev/sda4 : start=408950640, size= 71055495, Id=83
    /dev/sda5 : start=146802033, size=262148607, Id= b
    sfdisk /dev/sdb

    Code:
    # partition table of /dev/sdb
    unit: sectors
    
    /dev/sdb1 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
    /dev/sdb2 : start=    16065, size=488376000, Id= f, bootable
    /dev/sdb3 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
    /dev/sdb4 : start=        0, size=        0, Id= 0
    /dev/sdb5 : start=    16128, size=104888322, Id= b
    /dev/sdb6 : start=104904513, size=383487552, Id= b
    Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop Guide - Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop Guide - Forum Guide to BBCode - Using BBCode code tags - IRC #ubuntuforums

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  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    OK. The problem is that your Linux partition, currently identified as sda4 should be a logical partition because it's inside the extended partition sda3. However, logical partitions are always numbered 5 and upwards, even if there is a gap between 1 and 4. A partition numbered sda4 is, by definition, either a primary partition or an extended partition (which is simply a special type of primary used solely as a container for logical partitions. Since your sda3 is an extended partition, and since you can only have one extended partition on a drive, a partition numbered sda4 must be a primary partition. Except yours can't be, because.... This is why Gparted doesn't see anything - it's a known issue that Gparted will show the whole drive as "unallocated" when there's a partition table illegality.

    The answer is to edit the partition table, either with sfdisk or with a new utility written by forum member srs5694. See here:

    http://www.rodsbooks.com/fixparts/

    I have to go offline shortly for a few hours. It will be a good idea to involve srs5694 himself. Either Quackers or I will contact him so if you're prepared to be patient, that would be great.

    In the meantime, a couple of questions. Do you know what the purpose of the FAT32 sda5 partition is? And, did you realise that you will need a swap partition as well as a Linux root partition? Also - there is a approximately 4GB unallocated gap in the extended partition that comes after your problem "sda4" partition. This might have been a swap partition that was taken out by whatever corrupted the partition table. Possibly the Windows installer as Quackers suggested. I've been doing some experiments with Windows installers working on HDs with Linux logical partitions. You don't want to know what can happen sometimes!
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  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    You're absolutely right, the 4GB FAT32 (sda5) has been the swap partition. It is astonishing what you guys can read out of this numbers!
    And I can be patient, no problem. Have been trying to solve the problem on my own for quiet a while and I will start to save my data right now, just in case...

    Thanks again for you efforts!

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    Thanks coffeecat
    AND1, I was unsure whether coffeecat has asked the author of fixparts for guidance, so I've asked him to have a look.
    You've got plenty of reading to do, so a wait for him is probably not a problem
    I'm sure he'll be along when he can.
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu Installer won't recognize Partitions

    I'm the guy that Quackers and coffeecat contacted, and I agree with their analysis. You should either edit the partitions using sfdisk or use FixParts to fix the problem. FixParts is easier to use, but if you're comfortable editing the sfdisk output, it might be safer, since FixParts is still pretty new and relatively untested. Whatever you do, keep a copy of your current sfdisk output somewhere other than the hard disk you're modifying; if your efforts make things worse, you can use the sfdisk output to restore your partitions to the way they are now and start over again.

    Good luck!

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