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Re: [util-linux] [parted] Active partition

From: Andries Brouwer
Subject: Re: [util-linux] [parted] Active partition
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 02:19:45 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

Hi John,

A similar answer from me: I no longer maintain util-linux -
letter cc-ed to Adrian Bunk, current maintainer.

Concerning disks without active partitions:

sfdisk warns:

        warn(_("Warning: no primary partition is marked bootable (active)\n"
             "This does not matter for LILO, but the DOS MBR will "
             "not boot this disk.\n"));

I agree that if other fdisk versions do not mutter in a similar way,
it would be an improvement to make them do so.


On Sun, Apr 02, 2006 at 09:37:09AM +1000, Andrew Clausen wrote:
> Hi John,
> I'm no longer involved with Parted, although I think the general principle
> is a good idea.  Parted does have a "check" facility, but it is quite
> superficial at the moment, and can't recognize many common problems.
> I'm sure the new Parted maintainers would be interested in patches ;)
> Cheers,
> Andrew
> On Sun, Apr 02, 2006 at 07:49:29AM +0800, John Summerfield wrote:
> > Andries
> > Andrew
> > I've been caught a couple of times on this.
> > 
> > We needed to rebuild a Windows SBS server to a new disk, and resize the 
> > C: and D: (actually it was labelled F: but never mind) partitions.
> > 
> > As far as I could tell (and I tried), I could not copy C: from Windows, 
> > so we ended up copying the source disk (80 Gb) with dd on Knoppix to the 
> > target (bigger than 80 Gb) and mucking around with fdisk and/or cfdisk.
> > 
> > Once we realised there was no active partition and rectified that it 
> > worked a treat, but it could have taken a _very_ long time for us to 
> > realise the problem, and many folk wouldn't have.
> > 
> > 
> > It's not always a mistake to have no active partition (eg Linux only), 
> > but it often is, particularly when it's the boot drive and 
> > DOS/Windows/Darwin is involved.
> > 
> > I suggest that the disk partitioning tools in util-linux, and parted, be 
> > altered so as to warn the user when the partition table being written 
> > has one or more non-linux primary partitions and none of them is marked 
> > active.
> > 
> > What do you think?
> > 

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