Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby mynamajeffisfunny » 2018-08-19 23:20

Hello, I was installing debian 9 on an old thinkpad E430 but I ran into some problems at the selecting disk stage. it would not detect the 100gb ext4 partition I wanted to install onto, but instead only detected the complete 320gb disk in its entirety. I wanted to have it dual booted with the already installed windows 7 and have the debian partition be encrypted with LVM. I partitioned the disk with minitool. I also know that the iso image I am using is legitimate because I checksum and gpg verified it. I have tried searching for the problem online and posted it on other forums but I couldn't find any help. If I could have some help figuring this out it would be much appreciated
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-08-20 05:01

If you can load up a "live" ISO image (any distribution will do) then please post the output of
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parted --list
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby p.H » 2018-08-20 09:04

You don't need any live system. parted is available in the Debian installer.
Select expert install in the installer boot menu and select parted in the optional installer components, or in the installer shell (virtual console 2 or 3), type
Code: Select all
anna-install parted

or maybe
Code: Select all
anna install parted

whatever, just select expert install.

fdisk is also available in the installer by default, and may provide extra informations.
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fdisk -l

mynamajeffisfunny wrote:it would not detect the 100gb ext4 partition I wanted to install onto, but instead only detected the complete 320gb disk in its entirety. I wanted to have it dual booted with the already installed windows 7

Does the installer see the Windows partition(s) or no partition at all ?
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-08-20 17:38

p.H wrote:You don't need any live system. parted is available in the Debian installer.

Yes indeed, good point, but I thought it might be easier for the OP to transfer the output here from a graphical environment.

If the OP prefers to use the installer then they might want to also install pastebinit to ease the pain of transcription.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby liivey0urlifee » 2018-08-20 17:56

ISNT paritation availble in debain installer or re install the software
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby mynamajeffisfunny » 2018-08-20 21:14

Alright, I entered fdisk -l in the ash shell. My internet is bad so if I wanted to download another iso it would take all day so I will do my best to transcribe it.

Code: Select all
~ # fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 298.1GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 625142448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x6364f2eb

Device        Boot     Start             End        Sectors   Size    Id  Type
/dev/sda1  *            2048     1026047       1024000  500M   7   HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2           1026048 420339711   419313664  200G   7   HPFS/NTFS/exFAT


Stuff about my flashdrive here
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-08-21 05:19

So you seem to have two ntfs partitions and ~97.6GiB of free space.

I don't know why the installer can't pick that up but you should be able to create a new GNU/Linux partition with fdisk from the installer and try again from there.

Did you check the integrity of the image?
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby p.H » 2018-08-21 08:24

There is definitely no 100 MB ext4 partition on this drive. But there is 100 MB of available unallocated space. I assume the installer detects the two NFTS partitions and the available space. So in the installer you can create partitions in this space and install Debian on them.

Beware that this is a DOS/MBR partition table which allows only 4 primary partitions, so if you need to create more than 2 partitions you will have to create all but one as logical partitions (the hidden extended partition containing the logical partitions counts as one primary partition).

For a typical encrypted LVM setup, you only need 2 partitions : a small ext2 or ext4 partition mounted on /boot and a big partition used as encrypted physical volume. The related encrypted volume is used as LVM physical volume.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I thought it might be easier for the OP to transfer the output here from a graphical environment.

Good point.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:If the OP prefers to use the installer then they might want to also install pastebinit to ease the pain of transcription.

I don't think you can install and use standard *.deb packages in the installer, only *.udeb packages.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby UserCPMB » 2018-08-21 14:13

WOW! And I thought I was the only one with this problem...somewhat similar.

Perhaps something with your machine is similar, ie, your drive is on a non-standard controller (???) (can't imagine why!)

I've got a working multiboot install with Win98SE, 2 WinXPSp3 (one for imaging with Acronis, one for office apps etc), and Debian Stretch (9v5). All of these are on drives /sdb /sdc and /sdd. (Not gonna list the partitions!) I actually boot from /dev/sdb.

I've also got a DVD on the motherboard Primary Master (theoretically /sda, or /hda, or /fd0, or something)

PLUS, I've got a Promise Ultra DMA with Western 500G ide drive. The BIOS finds the controller on boot up, but not in the bios settings! This could be related (?)

The problem: I've been reading the UDMA how to...http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/archived/Ultr ... DMA-5.html

I want to install Debian to the UDMA(0) device. The automated installer finds the drive as /dev/sda, but not the partitions I've created as:

/dev/sda1 256MB Ext2 (boot)
/dev/sda2 156GB HPFS/NTFS (windows data)
/dev/sda3 26GB Ext4 (root)
/dev/sda4 3GB swap

Using the automated partition manager (parted ?), all I get is /dev/sda as 500GB. I can't specify the installation mount points.

I can go back to the main menu and execute a shell and run fdisk -l and all drives and partitions are found...even /dev/sda 1-4.

For some reason the installer partitioner (parted ???) doesn't find them.

Gonna try some of the suggestions above.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby UserCPMB » 2018-08-21 14:18

I wonder if the thinkpad bios won't allow you to change the partition structure. I recently was assessing a buddy's DELL machine and found a recovery partition to reload the OS. Is it possible your bios knows about the recovery partitions and won't allow access to the table???
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby p.H » 2018-08-21 14:41

UserCPMB wrote:I've also got a DVD on the motherboard Primary Master (theoretically /sda, or /hda, or /fd0, or something)

A DVD drive cannot be sda (disk) nor fd0 (floppy). An IDE DVD drive may be hda when using an IDE driver, but IDE drivers have been deprecated for a long time. Now PATA/SATA devices use drivers based on libata which emulate SCSI devices, so the first DVD drive is sr0.

UserCPMB wrote:PLUS, I've got a Promise Ultra DMA with Western 500G ide drive. The BIOS finds the controller on boot up, but not in the bios settings!

I had a Pentium III motherboard equipped with a Promise UDMA controller, and the Promise Controller had its own BIOS. The main BIOS managed only the chipset IDE controller.

Anyway what the BIOS sees does not affect what Linux sees. Linux uses its own drivers to control devices directly.

UserCPMB wrote:Using the automated partition manager (parted ?), all I get is /dev/sda as 500GB

The installer partition manager is called "partman" and is based on libparted like parted. Sometimes libarted chokes on a disk because of some oddity in the partition scheme, while fdisk does not. You can select parted in expert mode and check what it sees.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby UserCPMB » 2018-08-31 00:29

Thanks p.H.

The hardware is all IDE, as is the DVD.

I'm aware of the bios only driving the onboard dma chips, and the UDMA having it's own bios. Nonetheless, the installer is seeing the udma card and the drive as /sda, but not the partitions. I did try the expert mode, and selected which drivers to load. May not have found parted. Will try again.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby p.H » 2018-08-31 13:09

UserCPMB wrote:I did try the expert mode, and selected which drivers to load. May not have found parted.

Parted is not a driver. It is an installer package available in the optional installer components page.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby UserCPMB » 2018-08-31 19:42

Yeah, so I tried loading parted twice.

Boot the netinst disk, select Advanced, Expert Install then:

Choose language
Configure the keyboard
Detect and mount CD-ROM
Load installer components from CD
[*] parted-udeb

.....

Detect disks
Partition disks
Manual

SCSI1 (0,1,0) (sda) .... 500GB
#1 500GB NTFS

Not reading it right. Already been fdisked. Probably best to swap it with sdb and set it up then move it back.
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Re: Debian 9 installer won't detect partition

Postby p.H » 2018-09-01 08:10

Installing parted-udeb won't change the way partman shows disks. You must switch to a shell and run parted manually.
You can use the consoles 2 and 3 with Ctrl+Alt+F2/F3 or the installer menu item to run a shell.
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