a new hard-drive in a 2y/o laptop

Adam Vande More amvandemore at gmail.com
Thu Jan 6 09:54:25 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 3:06 AM, Ian Smith <smithi at nimnet.asn.au> wrote

> Your dd of the first 71 sectors looked right, MBR looks ok, sectors 1-62
> are zeroes, boot1 and boot2 from sector 63-70 seem normal, after you
> used 'W' to write anyway; can't say for sure that the bsdlabel is ok,
> but see no reason to suppose otherwise.  What says 'bsdlabel ad4s1'
> while you've still got one?

This is a pretty easy problem to replicate if you are pressing W, and that
"issue" has existed for quite some time.  If you press W then Q at
sysinstall fdisk then attempt to force write disklabel screens you will get
the error.  Just setup the slices and partitions as you want and let
sysinstall handle the writing of information.  There is a big warning box
that says not to use force write except under certain conditions and this is
not one of them.

If you google the error message in the OP, the first result is:


Failing that, I can't see other than a hardware issue, unless somehow
> sysinstall is broken and you may do better manually running fdisk and
> bsdlabel and newfs per Handbook and manuals?

 This doesn't say hardware error to me at all, at least not a disk hardware
issue.  The message was present across two disks, and if there truly is a
problem writing to the media a complete zeroing of the drive would be
apparent then.

While we're getting people to look at sysinstall and the auto resizing, it
would be nice to get the "Unable to create the partition.  Too big?" issue
resolved.  You can trigger this by auto-sizing the partitions, deleting a
couple and recreating one that a different size than one autosize
suggested.  Then create the second partion using the auto-populated value in
partition size box.  Typically run into this when making / a little bigger
on amd64 installs by borrowing some space from /usr.  It's very tedious to
slowly decrease the size of the second partition in your attempts to create
it if you're trying to utilize the whole drive.

Adam Vande More

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