Re: can't boot fresh install

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On Wed, 2009-08-12 at 03:15 -0700, Alan Evans wrote:
> So I tried your suggested of writing zeros over the beginning of the
> drive, not very hopeful. But it worked! The install proceeded without
> a hitch and the PC booted the installed OS. (Add fanfare.)
> However, now that the system is running, fdisk reports:
>    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sda1   *           1          26      204800   83  Linux
> Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.

That's a common thing, and doesn't usually matter.  It can be a problem
if you use different partitioning programs on the same drive, though.
It's usually not a good thing to do, for various reasons, and it might
be the problem that you're having (previously Macintosh partitioned,
later Linux modified, but not cleanly).

> So I'm still confused about the disagreement between fdisk and
> anaconda regarding how to lay down a partition table. Being an
> old-school kind of guy, I'm inclined to believe fdisk, but I don't
> really know how to confirm it one way or the other.

I seem to recall reading a few reports that denigrated fdisk for not
being as good as it should be, that being about how it does its job, nor
the user interface that we work with.  I also seem to recall that cfdisk
was supposed to be better, but I've never tried it.

Read the fdisk man file, this is from the end of it:

       There  are  several  *fdisk programs around.  Each has its problems and
       strengths.  Try them in the  order  cfdisk,  fdisk,  sfdisk.   (Indeed,
       cfdisk  is a beautiful program that has strict requirements on the par-
       tition tables it accepts, and produces high quality  partition  tables.
       Use  it  if you can.  fdisk is a buggy program that does fuzzy things -
       usually it happens to produce reasonable results. Its single  advantage
       is  that it has some support for BSD disk labels and other non-DOS par-
       tition tables.  Avoid it if you can.  sfdisk is for hackers only -  the
       user  interface is terrible, but it is more correct than fdisk and more
       powerful than both fdisk and cfdisk.  Moreover, it can be  used  nonin-

       These  days  there  also is parted.  The cfdisk interface is nicer, but
       parted does much more: it not only resizes  partitions,  but  also  the
       filesystems that live in them.

I get the impression that we use fdisk from force of habit, rather than
other reasons.

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