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SubjectAHA-1522: partition table getting clobbered
Date

Firstly, I'd like to mention up front that this is a loooonnnnng
standing problem (multiple kernel versions since way back when).
I've had this problem with *only* one machine, and it just so
happens that said machine has an Adaptec 1522 controller... The
disk drive is a Toshiba MK438FB (approx. 900 MB).

The problem occurs regardless of how I shut the machine down
(legally -- with any of "halt", "reboot", "shutdown -h",
"shutdown -r", etc.). Here's what my partition table normally
looks like:

Disk /dev/sda: 64 heads, 32 sectors, 859 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 bytes

Device Boot Begin Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1 150 153584 6 DOS 16-bit >=32M
/dev/sda2 * 151 151 201 52224 83 Linux native
/dev/sda3 202 202 234 33792 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda4 235 235 859 640000 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 236 236 492 263168 83 Linux native
/dev/sda6 493 493 749 263168 83 Linux native
/dev/sda7 750 750 859 112640 83 Linux native

sda2: /
sda5: /usr
sda6: /usr/local
sda7: /home

The first boot following a soft shutdown, everything past partition
five is scrambled. Recovery is simple enough, although annoying: I
go into fdisk, delete the scrambled partition 6 entry, and recreate
partitions 6 and 7. Life is good again :-). e2fsck finds no damage
of any kind (and DOS chkdsk finds no damage on the DOS partition),
so the scrambling appears to be confined to the partition table itself.

Removing power to the machine while it is up and running (not recommended,
but I have to mention it for the sake of completeness) causes at least
minor file system damage (as expected), but the partition table remains
intact.

Anyone else seen this, have an explanation, or have a more satisfactory
workaround than rebuilding the partition table after each boot? Note
that replacing the 1522 isn't a particularly attractive option :-).
Thanks in advance.

--
Bob Tracy | "Computers save time like kudzu prevents
AFIWC/AFCERT | soil erosion." -- Al Castanoli
rct@merkin.csap.af.mil |

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