Why is 'disklabel'ng a new drive so difficult?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Wed Mar 28 21:20:19 UTC 2007

On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 05:26:49PM -0300, Marc G. Fournier wrote:

> Just bought a new WD SATA drive: WDC WD5000YS-01MPB1 09.02E09
> Tried to disklabel it, and it gives me all kinds of warnings when I look at it 
> after running the disklabel:
> ganymede# bsdlabel -w ad4s1 auto
> ganymede# bsdlabel ad4s1c
> # /dev/ad4s1c:
> 8 partitions:
> #        size   offset    fstype   [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
>   a: 976767986       79    unused        0     0
>   c: 976768002       63    unused        0     0         # "raw" part, don't 
> edit
> partition a: partition extends past end of unit
> partition c: partition extends past end of unit
> bsdlabel: partition c doesn't start at 0!
> bsdlabel: An incorrect partition c may cause problems for standard system 
> utilities
> Even if I try to use /stand/sysinstall to do the fdisk, the end result has 
> 'issues' ...
> So, what is the generally accepted method of label'ng a new drive? :(

I see you must have run fdisk on it and created a slice.  That's good.

Also, although you keep saying disklabel, I see you are using
the bsdlabel command, so that is good.  

Then, the only thing wrong is that your offsets should start at 0.
They mean within the slice, not raw disk sector 0.

I don't know the actual size of the slice, but if it is 9 7676 8002
then starting at sector 63 and going for that size will make it
go beyond the disk slice.

If you did a 'bsdlabel -e ad4s1'    (no 'c' on it)

it should put you in an edit session and plug in the correct 
offset (0 in this case) and size for the slice in the c: line.   

You appear to want to use all the slice for one partition, so just 
dup that c: line and make the copy be a: 
Then change the fstype from 'unused' to '4.2BSD'  
and the [fsize bsize bps/cpg] fields be 2048 16384 28552 or doubled 
or just let it pick those fields.  

You can also put '*' in the offset and size fields for the a: line 
and it will create one partition that takes up the whole slice. 

If you make more than one partition, still make the offset be '*', but
 you can name the sizes in blocks or by size such as 10g, 512m, etc and 
then put '*' in for the size of the last partition and it will make the 
sizes you specify and then make that last partition take all that remains. 

Don't forget to newfs the partition[s].


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> Marc G. Fournier           Hub.Org Networking Services (http://www.hub.org)
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