error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

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error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby hrsetrdr » 2018-09-12 22:00

I pulled my 17 yr. old Intel D850GB based build out of the closet, and fired it up. It had XP Home on it that (for some reason) wanted re-activation. I didn't care about that, I wanted to put Fedora on it. However, during the boot process of the install disc, got the "display out of range" signal on the monitor. Not much I can do with that, so I tried other discs. I tried Debian 9.5 netinst, Ubuntu 16.04 sever...anything that would fit on a CD, as this machine does not have a DVD drive, and is too old to boot from USB. I would get the distros installed but upon reboot would get:

Code: Select all
error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

entering rescue mode
grub rescue>


Just for the record- the HDD is a Western Digital IDE 7200 RPM.

O.K., so I tried to fix this with:

Code: Select all
grub rescue > ls (hd0)
grub rescue > set root=(hd0)
grub rescue > set prefix=(hd0)/boot/grub
grub rescue > insmod normal
grub rescue > normal


But....that didn't work. Upon reboot would still get "error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'".

I was successful getting an old copy of Debian 6.06(badly EOL) installed and working without any "hd0" errors.

Question:What does "error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'" actually indicate? Something wrong with the hard drive?
Something not working during partitioning?[/QUOTE]
Last edited by hrsetrdr on 2018-09-16 02:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby bw123 » 2018-09-12 23:28

Did you try any of the solutions you found when looking up the error msg?
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Re: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby hrsetrdr » 2018-09-13 01:42

bw123 wrote:Did you try any of the solutions you found when looking up the error msg?


Yes, the solutions I came across from numerous sources were:

Code: Select all
grub rescue > ls (hd0)
grub rescue > set root=(hd0)
grub rescue > set prefix=(hd0)/boot/grub
grub rescue > insmod normal
grub rescue > normal


Which did not work.
However, one solution mentioned here was:

sashkello wrote:OK, SOLVED!

I figured hard drives can't be the problem, and the motherboard doesn't seem to have any obvious issues either, otherwise there'd be problems with working from USB boot, which works perfectly.

Then, the only place the problem might reside is somewhere in between these two. So, I cracked it open once again, removed the cable connecting the drive to the motherboard and noticed the tiniest of dust particles sitting on one of the contacts. It must have got there when I was replacing the drive for the very first time, and since I only disconnect the part of the cable which goes into the hard drive, it was sitting there unmoved all this time.

Phew! Such a stupid thing and so much trouble from it. Like my dad taught me: "If it doesn't work, disassemble it and assemble it back, that will solve it in 90% of situations"


Worth investigating, I wasn't looking for hardware problems up to this point, although as I mentioned- Debian 6.06 did install nicely without a hitch.

I have 'new' ribbon cables and IDE drives, I'll tinker further, as I really want an up-to-date OS. I can pull packages from old-stable archives but no security updates.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
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Re: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby p.H » 2018-09-13 10:21

It could be that the old BIOS is unable to read/write disk sectors beyond some limit, but GRUB needs to read data beyond that limit.
What is the capacity of the disk ? How did you partition it ?
You can try to install with a small partition (100 MB-1 GB) located at the beginning of the disk and mounted on /boot.

PS : the "solution" you mention cannot work on a partitioned disk. Anyway I do not see how it would help with your issue.
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Re: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby hrsetrdr » 2018-09-18 18:10

p.H wrote:It could be that the old BIOS is unable to read/write disk sectors beyond some limit, but GRUB needs to read data beyond that limit.
What is the capacity of the disk ? How did you partition it ?
You can try to install with a small partition (100 MB-1 GB) located at the beginning of the disk and mounted on /boot.

PS : the "solution" you mention cannot work on a partitioned disk. Anyway I do not see how it would help with your issue.


The hdd is a WD 250GB 7200rpm drive, The BIOS recognises the drive correctly. I checked(actually replaced) the cables and blew out the PATA connector on the drive, like was suggested in the quote in my post above. That made no difference. I tried a small partition(/boot) at the beginning of the disk, made no difference when trying to install the newer OS's, still the "attempt to read or write outside of disk hd)" error.
However, I once again slipped in my Debian 6 disc, told it to use the whole disk, automatic partitioning...gave me a 249GB ext3 partition, and a 1GB swap. Boots great!
I've been wondering "what the difference is" between the Debian 6 and all the other newere install discs...maybe ext3 vs. ext4 file system writing...?
https://www.golinuxhub.com/2014/03/what-is-difference-between-ext3-and.html
^^makes note to self^^ try another Debian 9.5 install, using ext3 file system.
Anyway, I bought a refurb'd WD 80GB hdd for testing, maybe something wrong with the 250GB drive. :shrug: I'm pretty sure that an OS using ext4 can install on an IDE PATA drive. Ext4 was incorporated into the 2.6.28 kernel back in December 2008, but I only had one SATA drive at that time, so Lenny would have been installed on one of the older drives.
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Re: error: attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'

Postby hrsetrdr » 2018-09-19 04:47

**In other news**

As part of my annual Fall update on all my old machines, I did a Debian 9.5 netinst on a Athlon xp1800

machine with a Maxtor 250GB IDE hard drive, that had no read/write outside of disk issues whatsoever.

Only real issue is both Firefox esr and Chromium refuse to run, has to do with the processor not having SSE2 instruction set.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/your-hardware-no-longer-supported


Epiphany is crippled, presumably for similar reasons.

Midori does work, but when visiting gmail displays in [very basic] basic html mode.
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