What happens if you forget to create a primary partition?

Alexandra Zaharia f0rg3r at gmail.com
Wed Jun 3 12:38:34 UTC 2009


I bought a Western Digital 1 TB external HDD. I had some file system
creation errors...

I'll skip the details.

Long story short, I was trying different partition sizes combinations
and at some point during the night I was sleepy and created a 1 TB
*extended* partition from gparted without creating any primary one.

Would that be the cause for rendering my disk useless?

And by useless I mean really, totally, terminally useless: I can't
even see anything for it when I plug it in (via the USB interface) in

When I received file system creation errors, before doing this (i.e.
creating solely the extended partition), it was simple -- all I had to
do was to plug it out, plug it in again, wait for /var/log/messages to
display some lines like this:

Jun  3 10:41:51 asus kernel: [25944.052209] input: Western Digital My
Book as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-3/2-3:1.1/input/input17
Jun  3 10:41:51 asus kernel: [25944.060975] generic-usb
0003:1058:1103.0008: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.11 Device [Western
Digital My Book] on usb-0000:00:1d.7-3/input1

and then I had the device accessible via /dev/sdb. Now it's not "seen" anymore.

I can't even 'fix' it from Windows (that administrative tools/computer
management/disk management feature).

In addition to this, after I plug it in, the light on it flashes for a
few seconds and then goes up and down (same as it does when there are
I/O operations performed on the drive). When everything is fine, it
should just stay lit.

Somehow, I doubt this whole mess is caused by the kernel not "seeing"
the drive connected via USB... IMO it would be the same on a standard
SATA port. However, short of breaking the case and plugging the hard
disk IN a computer (on a SATA connector), is there anything else I
might have overlooked?

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