troubled installations

Alan McKinnon alan at
Sun Mar 19 14:02:36 UTC 2006

On Sunday 19 March 2006 06:11, Avraham Hanadari wrote:
> Forgive me for being unclear. I now have no faulty partitions. The
> problems I described were encountered during two installations of
> Ubuntu that resulted in evident partition confusion (see
> description in my first letter). I reformatted the entire hard disk
> on both occasions and started from scratch. I wish to find out why
> I had the difficulties. It seems that others did not have such
> difficulties, and I cannot understand why this is so. It may be
> because no one has actually checked their partitions with Partition
> Magic 8, instead of the XP tools.

I find that Partition Magic gets mostly confused when trying to deal 
with non-Windows partitions. Not always, just sometimes. But, it 
doesn't matter as the partitions seem to always work anyway. The 
problem seems to be fdisk, which is a bit free and easy with where it 
thinks partitions start and end. Partition Magic disagrees and 
complains. parted does a much better job but is also trickier to use.

The reason why this happens has to do with how disks are divided up 
into cylinders, tracks and sectors. Partitioning software represents 
the disk as a nice regular structure full of pie-slice shaped chunks. 
That's about as far from reality as you can get, which is why 
programs often disagree about details. Experience tells me that as 
long as the start and end of partitions don't overlap, everything 
works out just fine anyway. So don't worry about it.

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list