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Busybox fdisk cannot handle 8TB drive

March 20, 2020 — BarryK

I have installed EasyOS in the new Lenovo desktop PC. As mentioned in the previous post, the 8TB HDD is partitioned into a large ext4 partition, approx. 6.3TB, a 1.3GB fat32 ESP partition, a swap partition, and many small ext4 partitions.

The reason for making the fat32 partition 1.3GB, is so that it is big enough to be the boot-partition of two EasyOS installations. That is, I have installed Buster and Pyro separately. I created folders named "sda4" and "sda5" in the fat32 partition, to each hold 'vmlinuz', 'initrd' and 'easy.sfs' for each installation -- "sda4" has the Buster installation, with working-partition /dev/sda4, and "sda5" has the Pyro installation, with working-partition /dev/sda5. It seemed like a good idea to name the folders according to where the working-partition is, so that I will know at a glance.

Then a menu was created appropriately in the fat32 partition, at /EFI/BOOT/refind.conf

When EasyOS Buster booted, fdisk output an error message:

fdisk: Device has more than 2^32 sectors, can't use all of them

Running "fdisk -l /dev/sda" displayed inappropriate information.

An Internet search has not revealed any information about this, so it seems nobody else is using Busybox fdisk with a 8TB drive!

The fix was to put the full 'fdisk' utility into the initrd, compiled statically. Ha ha, it is as big as the entire 'busybox' executable. have to do it though, until Busybox developers fix this.

Changing the subject:

I observe that SeaMonkey slows down the longer it is used. It gets slower and slower. This is noticed after about two hours of use. Exiting SM and restarting fixes it. This is the latest, 2.53.1.   

Tags: easy