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Thread: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

  1. #1

    Default Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    1. My current hardware ingredients are:
    - OpenSuse v12.1 bootable live cdrom (from which I boot)
    - IDE 160 GB harddisk (connected als [slave] to my IDE flatcable) with the following partitions:

    Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 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: 0x89e189e1

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 63 156296384 78148161 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2 156296385 312576704 78140160 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 156296448 294150149 68926851 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda6 294150213 312576704 9213246 b W95 FAT32

    I already have surfed the internet for a tutorial on how to show and delete partitions with fdisk (see link below):
    http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-h...fdisk-command/

    I have executed the following steps and commands:
    0. Power on, cold boot from Open Suse 12.2 Live Cdrom to KDE Desktop
    1. Started commandline console
    2. SU to root-level
    3. fdisk -l (shows the above partition list)
    4. fdisk /dev/sda
    5. command: d
    partition number (1-6): 6

    6. command: p
    Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 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: 0x89e189e1

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 63 156296384 78148161 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2 156296385 312576704 78140160 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 156296448 294150149 68926851 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

    PARTITION 6 HAS NOW BEEN REMOVED! (do you think when reading this output on screen right?)

    7. command: w
    > The partition table has been altered!
    > Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table. <- THIS STEP TAKES ABOUT 5-10 MINUTES!
    > Synching disks

    8. commandline prompt shows up in terminal window
    After a complete "shutdown" and complete powerdown, cold reboot and logging back into the KDE desktop
    I open the commandline window, execute SU en enter the command fdisk /dev/sda

    And guess what -> Partition 6 still is PRESENT! These steps (5-7) have been repeated with all partitions (1-6) and all partition re-appeared after cold-reboot!

    I also have repeated these steps with:
    - Yast -> Partitioner-------------------------------------
    -> Same result, "so called deleted partitions" come back after powerdown and reboot
    - A Knoppix Live cdrom, Qtparted Tool --------> Same result, "so called deleted partitions" come back after powerdown and reboot


    QUESTIONS:

    1 - Is it no possible to erase Windows Partitions under Open Suse V12.2 ?
    2 - What am I doing wrong, what step am I missing to permanently erase these Windows partitions from my ide-harddisk?
    3 - Is my hard disk defect, broken, 'write protected" in some sort (build-in anti virus, rootkit protection feature on MSI_mother_board)?
    4 - Why does fdisk tell me - on screen - that partition x has been deleted, but does NOT write the permanent change to the hard-disk's partition-table?

    5 - How else can I delete the partitions from my harddisk? with other Open Suse Linux means or tools????

    Background hardware info=========================================
    Systeemcase. : Silentmax, Zwart
    Motherboard... : MSI, G41M-P33 Combo, LGA 775 socket, 2xDDR2 memory slots 2xDDR3 slots memory, 1PCI-ex16, 1pcI-Ex1, 4SATA2, HD Audio, 10/100 Lan, Dsub Solid Cap on PWM
    BIOS............. : American Megatrends Inc - V32.12.09/13/20"
    Memory.......... : 2 x 1Gb, DDR2
    Processor....... : Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6400, 2.13 Ghz, 1066Mhz Fsb, 2Mb L2 Cache
    Videocard....... : Asus, GT640, 2GB DDR3, DX11 _ GPU tweak
    Harddisk......... : Model "ST3160021A", Device: "ST3160021A", 160 Gb capaciteit
    Cdrom drive.... : Model: "HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8523B" Vendor: "HL-DT-ST" Device: "CD-ROM GCR-8523B"

    Harddisk is connected as [SLAVE] to IDE Flatcable, Bios setting [auto-detection] + S.m.a.r.t. enabled
    Cdrom is connected as [MASTER] to IDE Flatcable, Bios setting [auto-detection]
    Bios Boot order: (1) Cdrom, (2) Harddisk, (3) Occasionally USB sticky


    Thanks for your suggestions, hint, tips and tricks to solve this mystery

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    What you are doing should work. But it should not take minutes to reread the partition table.

    I seem to recall that some computers had hardware protection against changing the MBR. You might check your BIOS to see if there is a setting for that.

    The other possibility is that there's some kind of disk failure on that hard drive.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gbIDE drive?

    On 2014-03-07 16:36, nrickert wrote:
    >
    > What you are doing should work. But it should not take minutes to
    > reread the partition table.
    >
    > I seem to recall that some computers had hardware protection against
    > changing the MBR. You might check your BIOS to see if there is a
    > setting for that.
    >
    > The other possibility is that there's some kind of disk failure on that
    > hard drive.


    I concur.

    I would suggest having a look at syslog (/var/log/messages file or dmesg
    output) while telling fdisk to write.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    Are you - like self, seeing different results with fdisk and gdisk ?






    Code:
    linux-30s5:/home/paulparker # fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500103634432 bytes, 976764911 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 label type: dos
    Disk identifier: 0x00000000
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1            2048    20965375    10481664   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2        20965376    63119359    21076992   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3   *    63119360   105482239    21181440   83  Linux
    /dev/sda4               1           1           0+  ee  GPT
    
    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    linux-30s5:/home/paulparker # gdisk --help
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.7
    
    Problem opening --help for reading! Error is 2.
    The specified file does not exist!
    linux-30s5:/home/paulparker # gdisk /dev/sda
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.7
    
    Partition table scan:
      MBR: hybrid
      BSD: not present
      APM: not present
      GPT: present
    
    Found valid GPT with hybrid MBR; using GPT.
    
    Command (? for help): p
    Disk /dev/sda: 976764911 sectors, 465.8 GiB
    Logical sector size: 512 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 976764877
    Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 4012 sectors (2.0 MiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
       1            2048        20965375   10.0 GiB    0700  primary
       2        20965376        63119359   20.1 GiB    0700  primary
       3        63119360       105482239   20.2 GiB    EF00  primary
       4       105482240       420259839   150.1 GiB   0700  primary
       5       420259840       735246335   150.2 GiB   0700  primary
       6       735246336       944959487   100.0 GiB   0700  primary
       7       944959488       976762879   15.2 GiB    0700  primary
    
    Command (? for help): q



    Code:
    linux-30s5:/home/paulparker # zypper se -i disk
    Loading repository data...
    Reading installed packages...
    
    S | Name               | Summary                                                   | Type   
    --+--------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+--------
    i | gnome-disk-utility | Disks application for dealing with storage devices        | package
    i | gptfdisk           | GPT partitioning and MBR repair software                  | package
    i | gptfdisk-fixparts  | A tool for repairing certain types of damage to MBR disks | package
    i | libudisks2-0       | UDisks Client Library, version 2                          | package
    i | udisks2            | Disk Management Service, version 2                        | package
    linux-30s5:/home/paulparker #

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    I'm not sure gdisk will be on that old version?

    Try gparted and just ask it to create a new partition table.
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    I'm not sure gdisk will be on that old version?

    Try gparted and just ask it to create a new partition table.
    * This will erase everything
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gbIDE drive?

    On 2014-03-08 05:06, paulparker wrote:
    >
    > Are you - like self, seeing different results with *fdisk *and *gdisk*
    > ?


    I would recommend you use parted to erase completely your partitions,
    and start over. Use only GPT or MBR, not "hybrid MBR".

    Yes, I have seen that previously. I would call it "inconsistent hybrid
    MBR", but I don't know if yours is totally inconsistent.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    If the fdisk you used is the version following openSUSE 12.1, then that fdisk doesn't know anything about GPT partitioning. Gdisk does. So, gdisk is the one telling the truth here. Fdisk from 13.1 will output something more in step with gdisk, but I am not shure 13.1's fdisk knows the consept of hybrid partitioning the way gdisk does.

    Unless you yourself did something to establish the hydrid partitioning, then my guess is what established it would be your old tools (from 12.1) manipulating MBR in a GPT environment, thus creating your hybrid environment - in which your use of GPT ignorant partitioning tools (by trying to erase partitions) having no effect. Upon boot my GUESS is that the inconsistent partitioning table is being detected (MBR is different from what the GPT-only part of the GPT partitioning table says), then the backup GPT-table is inspected and restored, since difference is detected between original GPT table and its backup too (in addition: the backup GPT table will check out as OK).

    So, I agree with the above: Erase your GPT table properly using gdisk's zap function. Then you can start partitioning your disk as you wish. However, you should go for something newer that opensSUSE 12.1, as that one is not supported anymore. In the openSUSE world as of now, you should use 12.3 or 13.1. For GPT aware tools, you should use 13.1.


    Good luck!


    dayfinger

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gb IDE drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    What you are doing should work. But it should not take minutes to reread the partition table. I seem to recall that some computers had hardware protection against changing the MBR. You might check your BIOS to see if there is a setting for that.
    The other possibility is that there's some kind of disk failure on that hard drive.
    Thanks for the suggestion, BIOS checked - No build-in MBR protection found :-(

    Question:
    Is their a Linux variant/way to verify the harddisks- hardware? (the harddisk is s.m.a.r.t. enabled in the BIOS)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why can I not delete existing windows Partitions on my 160gbIDE drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 2014-03-07 16:36, nrickert wrote:
    >
    > What you are doing should work. But it should not take minutes to reread the partition table. I seem to recall that some computers had hardware protection against changing the MBR. You might check your BIOS to see if there is a
    > setting for that. The other possibility is that there's some kind of disk failure on that hard drive.

    I concur. I would suggest having a look at syslog (/var/log/messages file or dmesg output) while telling fdisk to write.
    Cheers / Saludos,
    Thanks for the log-file-reminder!. I will do that the next time and check the log-file contents ! (and post'm here when it does not work like it should)

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