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Re: Phantom partition, anyone?

Hard drives can only contain 4 partitions.

Many people have wanted more than four partitions, so an "extended"
partition is made out of one of these four partitions, which can then
contain how many partitions you like.

Partitions with a number greater than 5 live in this "extended" partition.

fdisk is more "low level", and gives you the information about a
/dev/hda3, which is your extended partition.
cfdisk tries to be nicer and instead just mentions "primary" and
"logical". There can be only 4 primary partitions (including the
extended partition).  The logical partitions live in the extended
partition, hda3, but this is not shown by cfdisk.

Deleting hda3 will cause hda5 and hda6 to be deleted also.

Hope that helps.

Gabriel Farrell wrote:

>At some point a little while ago I started getting the following
>message at boot time:
>[/sbin/fsck.ext3 (1) -- /shome] fsck.ext3 -a -C0 /dev/hda3
>fsck.ext3: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short
>read while trying to open /dev/hda3
>Could this be a zero-length partition?
>fsck died with exit status 8
>The booting up of my machine (unstable on a Thinkpad x31) stops there,
>and I'm told to manually fix the partition table.  If I don't do
>anything, and Ctrl-D to exit the repair shell, bootup continues and
>everything seems to work fine.
>If I print the partition table in fdisk I get (notice how hda3
>overlaps hda5 and hda6):
>   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
>/dev/hda1   *           1         665     5027368+   7  HPFS/NTFS
>/dev/hda2             666        1569     6834240   83  Linux
>/dev/hda3            1570        5168    27208440    5  Extended
>/dev/hda5            1570        1724     1171768+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
>/dev/hda6            1725        5168    26036608+  83  Linux
>In cfdisk, however, the partition table looks like this (notice the
>lack of an hda3):
>   Name        Flags      Part Type  FS Type          [Label]        Size (MB)
>   hda1        Boot        Primary   NTFS                              5148.06
>   hda2                    Primary   Linux ext3       [/]              6998.27
>   hda5                    Logical   Linux swap / Solaris              1199.93
>   hda6                    Logical   Linux ext3       [/home]         26661.52
>I never created an hda3 during installation, and I don't know where it
>came from.  I'm tempted to just delete it, but I'm afraid that would
>cause irreperable damage.
>Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

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