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Old 03-01-2011, 09:07 PM
RJPugh RJPugh is offline
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Default Strange fdisk and mounting problem
Greetings. I recently installed PC-BSD 8.2 on my system, and most of the instillation went fine. But I'm having a problem with one of my hard drives, and I have not (yet) found a documentation source that adequately answers my question.

My third drive, known to BSD as /dev/ad3, contains shared data files between Windows-XP and BSD. It houses two Fat32 partitions of around 72G each (it's a 145G drive). In my previous instillation (7.2) it worked fine. However, 8.2 doesn't recognize the partitions on this disk:

$ ls -l /dev/ad3*

crw-rw-rw- 1 root operator 0, 92 Feb 27 23:18 /dev/ad3


What happened to the two Fat32 partitions that are on it? An fdisk gives this:

$ fdisk /dev/ad3

******* Working on device /dev/ad3 *******
parameters extracted from in-core disklabel are:
cylinders=310101 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

Figures below won't work with BIOS for partitions not in cyl 1
parameters to be used for BIOS calculations are:
cylinders=310101 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)

Media sector size is 512
Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
Information from DOS bootblock is:
The data for partition 1 is:
sysid 11 (0x0b),(DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT)
start 63, size 153790182 (75092 Meg), flag 0
beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
end: cyl 1023/ head 254/ sector 63
The data for partition 2 is:
sysid 11 (0x0b),(DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT)
start 153790245, size 158786460 (77532 Meg), flag 0
beg: cyl 1023/ head 254/ sector 63;
end: cyl 1023/ head 254/ sector 63
The data for partition 3 is:
<UNUSED>
The data for partition 4 is:
<UNUSED>


Windows-XP can still see and use both partitions, so the hardware is at least stable. BSD can apparently see the partitions, but all attempts to mount them have failed. I used gparted to set the flags of the partitions to LBA (I was told that might help), but nothing changed.

When I look in /dev, I do not find any device files for partitions on ad3. In the past, there were files for ad3s1 and ad3s2, but 8.2 didn't create these.

I mentioned this to the gang on daemonforums.org, and they are telling me that I've apparently hit a bug and should submit a report. I can do that, but it won't solve my problem! (At least not right away.) I'm wondering if anyone in here has had a similar experience and has found a way around it. For all I know there might be a PC-BSD "specific" way to fix this (doubtful, but possible.)

If I could force 8.2 to generate files in /dev for the two partitions, that would clear up a lot of things. Is there a way I can do that?

I don't want to rebuild that hard disk, but I will if I must. It's important that both of my operating systems have access to the two Fat32 partitions on that disk. In 7.2 this wasn't an issue. In 8.2, it suddenly is. I don't want to downgrade, though here too, I will if I must.

Again, if this is covered in a how-to or FAQ somewhere, I have not yet found it (though I'm still looking). Thanks in advance,


RJPugh
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:50 AM
Skull Fire Skull Fire is offline
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are you using the 3rd drive with 2 partitions as storage where you can drag data to and from either windows or bsd ?

or do you have programs or directories going there, that you are trying to run on both ?

i know 8.1 and 8.2 pc-bsd can see and access the ntfs file system that windows uses, if you move stuff around as storage or what not. i have used 1 partition with ntfs file system on it and its only storage. pc-bsd, linux and windows can all pull and add to it. im not sure if you have a need for the fat32, you may be able to change 1 partition at a time to ntfs if that will help.

in reality i think you should see the fat32 file system anyway, as most if not all usb flash drives have fat32 installed i believe, and pc-bsd can read those.

i tell you one quirk i found, and i think its kde, not pc-bsd. if you open dolphin or your home folder you can see your list of partitions on the left side of the window. usually you only need to click it once to access the contents of that partition... but i have found sometimes i need to to click and hold the mouse button down for a few extra seconds before i am allowed to access a particular partition. if i dont, i may get an error message saying i am not allowed. try holding the mouse button down when you click on either of the 2 partitons and see what happens.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:15 PM
RJPugh RJPugh is offline
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> are you using the 3rd drive with 2 partitions as storage where you can
> drag data to and from either windows or bsd ?

Basically. One of the partitions has some Windows-XP programs installed to it. I guess it's not imperative that BSD see that one, but it's nice for maintenance and troubleshooting issues. The second partition has shared files that are used and/or modified by both systems. i.e. most of my documents, graphics, MP3 collection, and a few programming projects. That partition is the more important of the two in this context.

Neither partition has any BSD executable files or programs on it.

> im not sure if you have a need for the fat32, you may be able to change
> 1 partition at a time to ntfs if that will help.

I used fat32 because it was a "lowest common denominator" between WinXP and BSD. Neither operating system had a problem with them until this came up. NTFS support wasn't fully integrated into BSD when I set this up, but perhaps things have changed. I'll rebuild one partition as ntfs and see what happens.

> in reality i think you should see the fat32 file system anyway, as most if
> not all usb flash drives have fat32 installed i believe, and pc-bsd can
> read those.

PC-BSD has been able to read flash drives, and my external hard drive (a Western Digital Mybook series). As you say, those are fat32, and PC-BSD has no problem with them. Well, beyond requiring the "-large" option for the external drive. That's not a problem, just a nuisance.


Still, it's curious that my system can read the fat32 partitions on external media, but not the internal media. Perhaps fat32 support is integrated with the USB driver, but not the current IDE?

> i tell you one quirk i found, and i think its kde, not pc-bsd. [snip]

I'll try what you describe, just for laughs, but I'm not expecting much.


Incidentally, KDE4 isn't my preferred X11-GUI. I prefer the older and much simpler WindowMaker. But PC-BSD's ease of configuration and management features are worth the occasional inconvenience of using the hulking KDE4. For me, at least. YMMV.

Thanks! I'll let everyone know how this turns out.

RJPpugh
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:57 PM
Skull Fire Skull Fire is offline
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i remembered something later. . . are those 2 partitions primary partitions or extended/logical partitions ?

at some point recently i had accidently created an extended partiton and it used ntfs file system, also more or less a storage area. anyway i could never access it with pc-bsd. i created a primary partition, also using ntfs, and moved all the contents there, and pc-bsd could then access it.

just out of curiousity, can you see and access your windows partition from pc-bsd ?
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:11 PM
RJPugh RJPugh is offline
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Both of the partitions are primary (I think!), and PC-BSD is able to access my Windows-XP partition. I'll have to check and see if it has read/write or just read access.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:31 PM
RJPugh RJPugh is offline
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Default RESOLVED. I think.
I think I've resolved this, but in a roundabout way. Here's how it happened.

The two partitions are now available through Dolphin, and are mounted through /dev/fuse# strings. Currently they are mounted in the /media directory, according to disk label. I'm hoping I can edit fstab to auto-mount them at a location more to my liking. I need to read up on that. This new method of tracking devices caught me unawares.

I only discovered this after a long song & dance with the partition utility. Apparently the disk drive had some other problems that needed to be fixed before PC-BSD would work with it (a few bad sectors and some link errors, I think). I ended up having to rebuild the partitions after all, which is something I wanted to avoid. But, what's done is done, and I have a clean backup (on an external drive), so nothing is lost.

I used sysinstall to rebuild the drive, just to make sure that PC-BSD had a record of what I was doing. I was hoping that it would create /dev files along the way, but it didn't. It made those /dev/fuse files instead. Anyway, the partitions used to be Fat32, but now they are NTFS. Windows-XP doesn't seem to care, and PC-BSD is much happier with the NTFS layout. That struck me as odd, but in the end I guess that doesn't matter.

Once I had the two partitions set up, I made a side trip to Windows-XP to format them. Again, Windows-XP didn't mind the new file system, and the formatting went off without a hitch. It was more concerned with locating files it couldn't find any more. I'll restore the contents of the partitions tonight; that should keep WinXP happy.

Back in PC-BSD, opening the Dolphin file manager provided two new icons for the partitions, which I was able to manually mount. Doing a "df" gave me the device strings; I had never heard of /dev/fuse0 and friends before. Note that before rebuilding the partitions, Dolphin didn't have those two icons, and conventional command-line mounting didn't work. It took a while, but PC-BSD can now use those two important partitions.

At any rate, I'm still hoping to tweak fstab to put these partitions where I want them. But if that doesn't work, I can live with how things are now. Once I do a file dump to restore the data in the new partitions, my system will be just like it was before. But with a more current PC-BSD instillation.

Ah, the things we do to keep our little red daemons happy.
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