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Re: 1.4.4 doesnt recognize all pdisk partitions

From: Ethan Benson
Subject: Re: 1.4.4 doesnt recognize all pdisk partitions
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 04:34:51 -0900
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Sun, Nov 05, 2000 at 02:05:58PM -0200, Andrew Clausen wrote:
> Ethan Benson wrote:
> > 
> > On Sun, Nov 05, 2000 at 10:10:44AM -0200, Andrew Clausen wrote:
> > >
> > > The idea was: "Extra" == free space, and anything else is a "data"
> > > partition.
> > 
> > that is absurd though, i don't think all partitioners use the name
> > Extra
> Can you check this?  If this is true, I'd rather keep parted as-is.
> (Unless Olaf's situation is common - I doubt it is... but could
> someone Who Knows TM comment...?)

OK, i tested 3 partitioners on macos, Apple_HD_SC_Setup (the anchient
original apple partitioner for scsi disks), Hard Disk Toolkit 3, and
Drive setup.  

Drive setup did not consistently use the name Extra for Apple_Free
partitions, when you leave a space unallocated it leaves the name set
to untitled X where X is a number.  i tend to think this is a bug or
just an artifact of the way it does the partition naming, it does NOT
allow you to change the names, it just allocates untitled X for each
partition, X being 1-8 depending on which menu item you choose (1
partition, 2 partitions, 3.....) 

now i tested the behaviour of these programs when faced with an
Apple_Free partition with a name other then `Extra'.  Drive setup is
not tested since it does not allow you to edit the partition table,
only start over from scratch ignoring anything that was there before.  

Hard Disk toolkit treats all Apple_Free partitions equal, that is it
takes space from whatever Apple_Free is most convenient and
reallocates it to newly created partitions (or its own driver
partitions) it does not warn, ask, or give you any indication that
this `custom' Apple_Free partition is going to be destroyed.  it just
uses it, and does NOT allow you to manipulate it.

Apple HD SC Setup, shows all Apple_Free partitions exactly the same,
(this program has a large square, where white space represents real
partitions, and gray space represents `Free' space)  you can create a
new partition and it will reallocate the space from the nearest
Apple_Free partition to the new partition.  again it does not complain
or warn the user that this `custom' Apple_Free partition is going to
be destroyed.  it just uses it, and does NOT allow you to manipulate

note that Apple_HD_SC_Setup allows you to create a `scratch' partition
in addition to standard macos or A/UX partitions, the type given is

Hard Disk toolkit allows you to create custom partitions with an
arbitrary partition type, if you create an Apple_Free partition hard
disk toolkit will treat it as an Apple_Free partition, reallocating
its space as it needs it, regardless of what name you give it. 

therefore i think what parted is currently doing with Apple_Free
partitions is correct and should be left alone.  furthermore Olaf's
suggestion that Apple's Drive Setup is unable to create A/UX
partitions is false, Drive setup will allow you to create about
8 varieties of Apple_UNIX_SVR2 partitions (called A/UX in Drive setup,
A/UX root, A/UX usr and so on, it just gives them different names).
Drive setup even has an entry for Linux Home and Linux Opt (which
creates Apple_UNIX_SVR2).  I can think of no situation where one would
need to choose Drive Setup's `Unallocated' other then to simply leave
a gap on the disk for use by other partitions to be created later by a
Real program such as parted.  even if Drive setup was only able to
create HFS partitions this is fine since you can simply use parted to
change the type (with mkfs X yyyfs) this is what i already reccommend
people do anyway, create either a placeholder HFS or unallocated block
and then delete it (in the case of HFS) and create real GNU partitions
with a GNU/Linux partitioner (mac-fdisk or parted) i find this is more
reliable then using Drive setups buggy support for creating `foreign'
partitions (which causes crashes often, and it always says that the
procedure failed, even though it didn't really) 

in short its impossible to keep valid data on an Apple_Free partition,
not safely anyway, all partitioners will quietly destroy them,
regardless of the name.  leave parted as it is, its doing the Right

Ethan Benson

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