dd booboo

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Sat Feb 17 15:32:59 MST 2007

On Sat, Feb 17, 2007 at 02:47:46PM -0700, Daniel wrote:
> I did "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb1" to an external 4+GB drive, then
> unplugged it.  I plugged it back in and now I can't see it. Did I make
> that drive a paper weight?

Probably not.

What do you mean, you can't see it?

That command stomps on the partition table, so you won't see any
partitions show up on your desktop. But there should be a device file,
/dev/sdX (where X is assigned by udev or the kernel), for the whole

Try this:

* Unplug the drive's USB cable.

* Run "tail -f /var/log/messages"

* While that's running, plug the cable in. You should get a message
  indicating where the drive showed up.

* Try "fdisk -l /dev/sdX" where sdX is the device indicated in
  messages. It should indicate no partitions, and likely an invalid
  partition table.

* You now get to repartition the drive, with fdisk, sfdisk or
  [g]parted, your choice.

* Then create a file system in each partition you created.

* ctl-C stops tail.


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