Re: Unrecognized Hard Drive

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From: "Jorge Luis" <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday, 2009, January 01 10:27

Mikkel L. Ellertson:
Jorge Luis wrote:
> Barring a very lucky attempt to fdisk the drive, I'm afraid I'm pretty > much > screwed. I believe the drive failed when I bailed out of a GRUB > configuration > in the middle of the operation. I hope I didn't damage any of the > drive's > native electronics or the resident software that's written to a small > hidden
> partition.
Grub will not damage the drive electronics, or wipe out any firmware
the drive may have. (Accessing the firmware requires special
commands.) Now, you may have wiped out the partition table, and boot
sector. This would not prevent you from using fdisk or parted on the

Fdisk may have problems with the size of the drive. (Look at the
bugs section of the fdisk man page...) It does not do well with
large partitions. You are better off using parted.
Nothing detects the drive, whether connected via the USB converter or
into the computer's EIDE ribbon cables.  Same story with parted, gparted,
fdisk, et al.--they simply don't see the drive. I don't think there's any way
to restore the partition table.  dmesg and the kernel messages log seem to
indicate that the drive is there (see previous posts), but I can't work with
it unless the drive is registered with the system.

The drive can be jumpered to set the capacity limit to a size that shouldn't
make for any problems with legacy software.  It doesn't make a difference.
I'd guess my partition table is hosed.
OK, let's break the problem down into smaller pieces. Do you have a known
good drive you can test on that adapter? Does it work?

When you say you've tried with an EIDE cable how do you know the drive was
not found? Did you look at dmesg after booting?

I guess an obvious question is, "How did you abort the gpartd operation?"
Pulling power while a drive is writing is "not a good thing."

And a sense of your urgency to recover the drive might help. Is it a new
one you'd hate to lose but all you'd lose is the drive or did it have a
lot of precious data on it that you have to figure out how to recover, now.
(If it is the latter you are going to have to do some serious learning and
have the patience of Job.)

In terms of dmesg, set the drive to cable select. Plug it in to the drive
cable as master (the end connector.) Plug the cable in to either of the
IDE connectors, such as is free. Boot the machine. Interrupt the boot in
the BIOS. Usually the first page contains a list of drives. Play with it
to look for the drive. (Usually it's set to auto for all four possible
IDE/PATA drives.) If you plugged into the secondary IDE connector check
the master drive on the secondary connector's entry in the BIOS table,
usually the third entry. Tab down to that entry and hit ENTER if it says
AUTO. If the drive is not found there it is toast. (At that point power
down, hold the drive in your hand, power up. You should FEEL the drive
spin up.)

If the BIOS finds the drive then exit the BIOS setup and proceed to the
next step. Boot the machine. Then investigate /var/log/dmesg. Look through
it for references to drives being found. (If need be save a dmesg from
booting without the drive and one from booting with the drive and compare
them. The drive should stick out in a diff like a sore thumb.) Note the
drive's device name, say it is sdc. THAT is what you use with partd
or fdisk. (fdisk -l /dev/sdc)

If you get that far post the results of the fdisk -l and folks here will
probably try to help you.

{^_^} Joanne
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