Format BFS partition?


I am attempting to do a fresh, clean install of Beta 4 on my old Dell laptop, and I have run into a sticky issue. I have attempted to wipe it with GParted on a rescue disk thing, and it simply doesn’t show up in the gui GParted, but it does in parted.

I’m not sure what I’ve done, but I suspect something with the way I formatted the disk.

While I can survive with the currently updated install, I would rather start over fresh, if possible.

But, in the high probability that this is mere egregious user error, what can I do to fix my mess?

I can’t tell you a solution but I know that details are important.

  • Legacy BIOS? (or UEFI)
  • MBR? (or GPT)
  • Is it the first partition? The only one? An extended or primary one?

I know that indeed Parted and GParted don’t have the same codebase (as some people assume). They only use the same library.

What could be an explanation is that there are several types of partition table (DOS partition table etc.) and maybe you used a weird type. But that is not very likely.

Or maybe one program can’t handle LBA or CHS properly.

The best solution I can come up with: Delete the MBR and do it again. But you already mentioned that yourself.

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I did fix it in a roundabout way. I booted to a more recent iso of elementaryOS, and the gParted included worked perfectly for me. Only issue now, with a new install of Beta4, is that somehow the boot sector did not get written. But almost there.

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Do you have UEFI firmware? I wrote a step-by-step guide in this post.

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Although now I try to boot, and the boot loader tells me that the boot volume is not valid. Hmmm…

As I said: A little bit more info would help. Legacy BIOS or UEFI? MBR or GPT? What partitions else are there?

Note that UEFI needs an ESP (EFI system partition). That would explain the invalid bootdisk. But there are other reasons possible. So please tell us more details.

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I do believe that the lack of a proper efi partition was the problem. I followed this post and I am happy to report that I am up and running on a shiny new install of Beta 4.

Thank you!


Ah nice. That was rather simple, wasn’t it?

Congrats on your freshly installed OS.

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Funny! I sent you the link on my previous post on this thread but you found it yourself anyway!

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Thanks to both of you for the assist! I am in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner, and jumping back and forth between my office and the kitchen.

Now to investigate the latest epiphany/Web advances.

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linux partition and boot managers suck from a use ability perspective

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What’s wrong with GParted?

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Hello dear @csgraves,

As you wrote about parted (GNU partition editor) and Gparted ( Gnome partition editor) programs you should not do something in a wrong way basically upon by chosing any of them.
I mean if you would have use a low-level tool like fdisk or gdisk it would matter, as

fdisk is generally used to manage partitions on DOS partitioned disks (legacy way : max 4 primary partittions or 1-3 primary and N number of logical partittions until free space on disk and/or drive letters (on DOS/Windows) are out :smiley: )

gdisk is used to manage partitions on new GPT partitioned disks ( uuid usage way : N number of partittions – which are equal (no primary or logical types) – until free space on disk are out )

So these case program does matter.

In your case chosen program just matters in case of user interface

parted - start in terminal as command line or interactive

gparted - start in graphical shell so use interactively via graphical interface

albeit you should also have to know to answer for questions what @PeterW asked

as those matters if you know the machine firmware of your Dell laptop.

  • is it BIOS ?

  • is it UEFI with Legacy BIOS option ?

  • is it UEFI only ?

    I did use Gparted or graphical partition editors only during linux installations generally, but I assume there is an option nowadays to select GPT or maybe that is the default.
    In parted you must add which type of partition (so the type of partition table or disklabel) you would like to create - before you create the first partition on it.

One and one another thing still you must select well -
where to put a boot loader
which partition is active (or bootable)
if there are/would be more than one OS on the disk. Basically this can be wrong as a user can be done during partitioning which can cause major problems.
Chose a proper or optimal size for a partittion can be problematic later, but generally not installation blocker - except some extreme situations.

SOME HOURS LATER just as started to write this post :

I left my post here without sending it …

Just now I see you figured out this EFI stuff.

Anyway I leave it as it is :

Happy XMAS for everyone !!

{ OFF topic}

I am going to burn R1/ Beta4 image to a rewritable DVD as finally I could get it in …
I thought I have to order it as it was not in another store any rewritable DVD.
It’c not really good a write once disc to use for install media - that’s my opinion - this way I can reuse to write again a better version on it.
For nightlies I also get some rewritable CDs as well !..
I want to test it on my Fujitsu Siemens Amilo … the final release … the TC0 version failed even from DVD, but at least boot splash appeared and half of icons were colored . I hope finally there will be investigated why I cannot boot from USB disk if I can provide some logs about this laptop machine for my ticket ( #18076 )

{END off topic}

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To avoid burning CD/DVD, I used a zalman ZM-VE300 which is a USB HDD enclosure for SATA 2"5 disk, with the particularity to provide virtual CD/DVD drive, using ISO files on HDD. The menu can browse files and select the ISO to load (Haiku, Linux, Windows, etc…). Nice tool used for several years :slight_smile:

How to Wipe format or empty space on BFS partition?