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Thread: Bad magic number in superblock

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  1. #1
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    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
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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
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Should read it is late here...

  7. #7
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    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

  8. #8
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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

  9. #9
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    Feb 2013
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    After zeroing I get the same result:
    I am asked to create a partition table, but that does not give any result.
    What now?
    Regards
    Eigil

  10. #10
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    Re: Bad magic number in superblock

    Quote Originally Posted by eigilw View Post
    After zeroing I get the same result:
    I am asked to create a partition table, but that does not give any result.
    What now?
    Regards
    Eigil
    Did you remember to click on the tick icon at the top of the gparted window to confirm (and start) the actions?

    If the drive cannot be edited with gparted after zeroing, I think something is wrong with the drive.
    Afterthought:
    Maybe I could clone another disk with the dd command?
    Yes it only costs your time to try
    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/sdx of=/dev/sdy bs=4096
    But in order to succeed, the data to be cloned should not extend the size of the target drive,160 GB. So make sure that the partitions on the source disk are not beyond that limit. And after the cloning you need to adjust the linux file systems with e2fsck and windows file systems from windows with chkdsk /f

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