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FDISK or What???

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June 21, 2006 3:46:53 PM

Hi Guys and Gals,

I have a problem with a couple of Western Digital hard drives. I cannot get fdisk to see more that 10,781 MB on either drive. One is NEW (WD-800JB), other is RE-Furb (WD-800AW-R).

I am testing on the bench with bare necessities, no OS involved.

I have used two completly different mobo, CPU, Vid, Mem etc setups (all support Large Drives, with same results)

I have reduced my troubleshoot to the common denominator, the BOOT DISK('s) and a faulty FDISK.EXE program. Although I have tried FDISK.EXE from several different boot disks as well as a fresh copy off of the Partition Magic 8.0 Program

I have only used the two WD hard drives though. (Both Bad?? probably not likely, but possible).

I've been doing this for a few years now and havn't had a problem with fdisk not seeing all of the drive before, so I'm am asking for some input on this.

ps, I have heard of different versions of FDISK.EXE but have not seen anything different in any of them. How do you tell what version of FDISK you have anyway?? :?:

Thanks for any feedback on this subject

More about : fdisk

June 21, 2006 3:56:11 PM

Do these drive contain any partions on them? Try to delete any partions on the drive then run a zerofill on it. It should break the drives allocations, then fdisk back in. If your looking to setup XP or Server, then just load the bootable disk and your can creat the partion the same way with out installing an OS: This option may work out better beuacse of more hardware support.
June 21, 2006 4:19:43 PM

Try the GParted LiveCD, as it will try to scan a drive to account for bad partition tables.

Another option is the TestDisk tool on the ultimate boot cd, which in addition to scanning the disk for broken partition data, is often able to recover any lost data.

If you haven't lost any data on these, then zero-filling as PCcashCow suggested will fix the solution with minimal work (unless there's some hardware issue here, not likely) Many "wipers" are also on the ultimate boot cd.
Related resources
June 21, 2006 5:23:28 PM

I'm surprised you've never seen it before, cause I use fdisk probably once a week if not more, and it happens on all disks above a certain size. Sometimes the max size is 10G, sometimes 15G, give or take, but it never shows all the space on large disks.

ADDED: I just did some poking around, and it appears the displayed size for disks larger than 64G could be the disk size minus 64G. So, if the disk is 80G, the displayed size might be around 16G, etc. That's pretty much what I've seen and I don't recall exact numbers for specific drive sizes, but I always see the wrong size listed for large disks.
June 21, 2006 6:00:40 PM

Why the hell do people still use FDISK?
June 21, 2006 6:09:06 PM

Quote:
Why the hell do people still use FDISK?


Because it works and we're all old school. Jerky boy.
June 21, 2006 6:32:58 PM

word. hehe

Knowing how to boot to a dos prompt and find your way around is invaluable.
June 21, 2006 7:09:55 PM

I have also seen that. (64G could be the disk size minus 64G)

When this happens (fdisk won't read all), do you go ahead and format it anyway at the 10,781 size? How are you supposed to get the full usage out of the drive?

After I fdisk it (10,781mb), I go to format and it only wants to format 10,781???? Not 80G! Now What?
June 21, 2006 7:14:42 PM

To be honest with you, I have never formated a partition like that. I always use fdisk to create a partition equal or smaller than the recognized size. However, it seems I do recall once just selecting the maximum size it recognized, then formated the drive, and it was the full, actual size of the disk, not the incorrectly displayed size from fdisk. But, I can't say for sure that is what happened.

Give it a try, it can't hurt anything. If it doesn't work right, no harm done, just start over. let me know what happens.
June 21, 2006 7:15:24 PM

No, there are no partitions and No OS involved. I am running these on the bench with the bare necessities. These are fresh drives. 1 new and 1 a just bought refurb.

I just used Data Lifeguard tool to zerofill the drive and it had no effect.

BTW, DLG found no errors on the drive after running the DIAGs.

Thanks
June 21, 2006 7:20:55 PM

Where do I find copies of the softwear below.
---
Another option is the TestDisk tool on the ultimate boot cd, which in addition to scanning the disk for broken partition data, is often able to recover any lost data.
---

Thanks
June 21, 2006 7:24:39 PM

I see on the ultimate boot cd page linked above, there is a free-fdisk utility you might want to try.
June 21, 2006 7:28:50 PM

What I usually do is; fdisk a full sized partition (C: Drive 100%). Then load OS and partition with Partition Magic.

I am formatting now (at 10,781), to see what happens.

Thanks
June 21, 2006 7:38:04 PM

If you're talking about windows XP, then why not just create the partition from within the loading menu?

The only reason I use fdisk now is if I'm replacing a disk on an existing machine and want to, for example, ghost one disk to another, but want to have a smaller system partition, etc. If I'm just loading the OS from scratch, I can't think of any good reason to use fdisk. That is, if you are using XP.
June 21, 2006 7:38:17 PM

Real answer: don't use "A:fdisk.exe", use "/usr/sbin/fdisk" :D 
June 21, 2006 9:43:49 PM

throw the drives in a windows box and have a look, or like Pain said, use the Windows setup process, my question still stands. FDISK is a lot like your wife, sure, 10 years ago she looked pretty good, but its time to trade up for a newer model, get with the times Pops.
June 21, 2006 9:59:31 PM

I've given an example of why I use it. If I'm going to swap a disk in an existing machine and move a ghost image over to a partition, I sometimes need to quickly create a partition. I could put the disk in a machine, boot the machine, create the partition then reboot to run ghost. Or, I could just create the partition with fdisk. Saves me a step.

You don't have to use it if you don't want, it's a free world. And if you know another way that is free and easy, let me know and I'll give it a shot.
June 21, 2006 10:51:50 PM

Pain,

You were right about the drives not reading full in fdisk. I formated both drives, that fdisk said were reading only 10,781. When I went to format them format.com also said that they were 10,781. Alas, after formatting, they were reading 79,+++,+++ MB or 80G.

Now that I know the hard drives are ok, I can put them up for sale.

Thanks for everyones input.

Oh, Tdubbers, maybe you need to trade, your wife, up for a new one, but mine looks just as good as she did 10 years ago. and I got your pops!
June 21, 2006 10:52:59 PM

Quote:
Where do I find copies of the softwear below.
---
Another option is the TestDisk tool on the ultimate boot cd, which in addition to scanning the disk for broken partition data, is often able to recover any lost data.
---

Thanks


My previous post had the actual links embeded, but here ya go: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com. Download the ISO, burn it with your favorite CD recording app, enjoy. It includes TestDisk in the CD. Just reboot your PC with the CD in the drive to check it out.
June 21, 2006 10:56:52 PM

Cool, thanks for the info. I also read somewhere that you might be able to use percentages to create a partition. So, if the disk were reading only 10G, then you could tell it to create a partition 50%, and it would partition the disk to half of what ever the actual size is. I haven't tested that either, and don't even know if what I was reading was refering to fdisk or not since I just glanced at it, but I'll give that a test the next time I have an opportunity and see if it works.
June 22, 2006 3:20:29 AM

Was the hassel worth the five bucks a pop your likely to get for the drives? You can take that pretty wife of yours out to Burger King....life is sweet.
June 22, 2006 4:50:41 AM

I have repaired/recovered many,,, many supposedly bad disks with it...
That and old dos are invaluable tools to me.
June 22, 2006 5:22:48 AM

FDISK doesn't repair or recover drives, it creates partitions, and the button on the front of your computer isn't magic...it's a power button.
June 22, 2006 5:49:31 AM

Quote:
Why the hell do people still use FDISK?


Because it works and we're all old school. Jerky boy.

well they need to put out a version of FDISK that is modern (educate it that drives more than 16GB do actually exist...).

More to the point, who has floppy drives these days?
June 22, 2006 6:07:27 AM

i personally use partition magic 8 that is found on Hirens boot cd which has always worked fine for me.

anyway, regarding Fdisk users, if can recall correctly, there is an updated version of fdisk on the Windows Me start-up disk that Supposedly supports larger HDDs

here is a link for a website having many bootdisks including the WinMe bootable:
http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm

give it a try, it wont hurt!

cheers.
June 22, 2006 7:38:25 AM

Quote:


More to the point, who has floppy drives these days?


It still has it’s uses. Example whenever I install XP I have to press F6 and load my HDD controller driver from a floppy.
June 22, 2006 11:22:50 AM

What little do you know about fdisk/scandisk & other dos commands?
You need to use your iminagition.
I find them even more useful than HDregenrator SalScan Flobo and a few others that I have used.
June 22, 2006 11:25:17 AM

What little do you know about fdisk/scandisk & other dos commands?
You need to use your iminagition.
I find them even more useful than HDregenrator SalScan Flobo and a few others that I have used.
June 22, 2006 11:55:01 AM

I do,,, still need it to do some diags/repairs & load f6 sata drivers flash a few BIOS.
Hey there a lot of old pcs around to make a few thousand bucks off...
June 22, 2006 12:06:28 PM

Quote:

More to the point, who has floppy drives these days?


I do, but I have boot CD's with all the dos tools on them along with ghost, etc.

And Tdubbers, why are you so angry? You don't have to get all pissy because you don't like the way other people do their business. Like I said, if you have a better way to do it, please tell me and I'll try it. If not, then go be internet toughguy somewhere else.
June 22, 2006 1:10:28 PM

I have a combo 5.25" + 3.5" jobbie in my monster. Kinda did it outta fun and the fact that I had it laying around, but I've gotten free beer from friends for saving some old code and results from old 5.25" floppies, so maybe it's not so worthless in the end :D  .

Plus, I can play Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego in my Apple II emulator the way it was meant to be played: off of a 5.25" floppy.

Edit: typos fixed, nostalgia added
June 22, 2006 1:33:00 PM

I've got one of those combo drives too, just not installed. I keep it around "just in case". :wink:
June 22, 2006 5:25:57 PM

Quote:
Why the hell do people still use FDISK?


Because it works and we're all old school. Jerky boy.

well they need to put out a version of FDISK that is modern (educate it that drives more than 16GB do actually exist...).

More to the point, who has floppy drives these days?


I use virtual floppys. Thanks to Vmware!
June 24, 2006 1:35:06 AM

Quote:
Hi Guys and Gals,

I have a problem with a couple of Western Digital hard drives. I cannot get fdisk to see more that 10,781 MB on either drive. One is NEW (WD-800JB), other is RE-Furb (WD-800AW-R).

I am testing on the bench with bare necessities, no OS involved.

I have used two completly different mobo, CPU, Vid, Mem etc setups (all support Large Drives, with same results)

I have reduced my troubleshoot to the common denominator, the BOOT DISK('s) and a faulty FDISK.EXE program. Although I have tried FDISK.EXE from several different boot disks as well as a fresh copy off of the Partition Magic 8.0 Program

I have only used the two WD hard drives though. (Both Bad?? probably not likely, but possible).

I've been doing this for a few years now and havn't had a problem with fdisk not seeing all of the drive before, so I'm am asking for some input on this.

ps, I have heard of different versions of FDISK.EXE but have not seen anything different in any of them. How do you tell what version of FDISK you have anyway?? :?:

Thanks for any feedback on this subject


What fdisk are you using? n.b., not win 98 i hope,it's no good.writes wrong characters in partition tables and overwrites others,did you use option 4 ? show partition info, have you checked for logical partitions,i remember trying to format a 10gig// 160 gig hdd before checking for logical partitions,what phune that was,created some new 4 letter tech terms ,i did..
If you have norton commander ??you can view the fdisk.exe to find the version and dos.On the other hand if you cannot,then copy out from your winxp it's fdisk,then you will be sure.......I know how you feel "been there ,done it and got the "T" shirt" Best 'o luck to you...
June 24, 2006 9:39:05 PM

Sorry, your right Pain, didn't mean to come off like a jerk. I just find it moronic, creating a post because of an issue with FDISK not recognizing a drive correctly, boot Knoppix, Mempis or any live distro, use a windows 2000 or XP install CD, Partition Magic, Western Digitals DLG, IBM/Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test. If you want a quick and easy way to partition a drive...1)create a bootable ghost floppy or CD, 2)format a drive with the basic system files present, 3)create a ghost image of that drive (it should be small enough to fit on your ghost boot floppy. 4) boot off the floppy do a disk from image clone....bang your done, keep the floppy and your set. The initial setup may be a bit of a pain in the ass, but once you have the floppy it's a real handy tool to have.
June 24, 2006 10:22:50 PM

Simply don't use old dos FDISK. When the latest version of FDISK was released the biggest HD was 6.4GB and Windows 98 could manage partitions of 16GB maximum (so 64GB total per disk).
If you want to use console utilities go for a linux live CD and use fdisk or cfdisk.
I personally don't encourage using Partition Magic, since it has many issues with NTFS 5.0, XFS and ReiserFS.
!