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Not really a bug...

From: Thomas . Friedrichsmeier
Subject: Not really a bug...
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:46:31 +0100

... rather user-stupidity.

I don't know exactly which version of parted I was working with, 
since currently I'm not at the same system, it's the one shipped 
with SuSE 7.1 anyway, so probably it is rather recent.

I still can't quite believe I have done so, but yesterday I called 
parted without parameters and didn't realize I wasn't working on 
hdd but on hda, the drive with both a windoze and a linux 
installation (four partitions total). The first thing I did was to create 
an entirely new label, which parted did not complain about, 
although three of the partitions were mounted read/write (including 
the root) - this part of the problem really does look like a bug to 
me. However, when I finally had parted print the partition table and 
realized, what I had done, what I seriously missed was an option to 
exit parted without writing the changes (or a restore or undo 
function or whatever, I imagine it shouldn't be too complicated to 
back up the old partition table prior to any changes). Now thanks to 
the friendly gpart tool, I could restore my harddrive, but it was some 
45 minutes of terror, anyway.

Therefore I'd suggest implementing the following new features:
- Don't default to anything when called without device-parameter! 
Print a usage message instead (like fdisk does).
- Create a backup of the partition table (for all I care it's enough to 
keep the backup in RAM, while parted is running, so you can 
easily discard changes before exiting, but perhaps the option to 
back up on disk could come in handy in some situation (e.g. the 
vamos boot-manager (shareware) has the option to hide partitions 
from M$ by changing their system id, which might get you into a 
bit of trouble if you have lots of hidden partitions and M$ decides to 
overwrite the mbr where the boot-manager resides)).
- Have parted check whether any of the partitions are mounted 
before creating a new label.

I hope this comment is useful.

Thomas Friedrichsmeier

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