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Subject40Gig IDE disk wrapping around at 32Gig?

During an install of RedHat 6.1 onto a Dell Dimension L600cx, I partitioned
the internal 40gig disk to include 4 partitions. I initially let the disk
druid do it, but it rendered the partition table unreadable. So I used
fdisk and partitioned it with primary partitions like so:

(sectors = 255, heads = 63)

/dev/hda1 1 -- 17 (136521 blocks)
/dev/hda2 18 -- 50 (265072 blocks)
/dev/hda3 51 -- 3967 (31463302 blocks)
/dev/hda4 3968 -- 4865 (7213185 blocks)

Problem is, any attempt to mkfs on /dev/hda4 seems to trash the filesystems
on hda1, hda2 and hda3. It makes an ugly mess.

RedHat 6.1 installs a 2.2.12 kernel, with patches. I'm ignoring /dev/hda4
for now and I've installed 2.2.17 from source. It seems reliable as long
as I ignore /dev/hda4. I haven't tried it w/ 2.2.17 installed.

Am I running into some limit here? Are there any known issues with
Linux 2.2.12 or fdisk (or mkfs.ext2) that might relate to this?
Steve Williams "The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and lines to code before I sleep, And lines to code before I sleep."

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