problem with mke2fs

I am having trouble creating a second extended file system
on a Western Digital 3.2 Gbyte EIDE drive.  I am trying to
create a single partition on this disk.  I am running
kernel 2.0.29, e2fsprogs 1.06, fdisk v2.0d.

First I run fdisk, make a single partition, and it reports:

  Command (m for help): p

  Disk /dev/hdc: 16 heads, 63 sectors, 6136 cylinders
  Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 bytes

     Device Boot  Begin   Start     End  Blocks   Id  System
  /dev/hdc1           1       1    6136 3092512+  83  Linux native


Then I invoke mke2fs:

    $ mke2fs /dev/hdc1

It reports that it is writing 378 inode tables, and it starts to spew
out a bunch of error messages after having written the 255th, for
example:  
     Warning: could not write 8 blocks starting at 2277584 for
     inode table: No such file or directory

If instead I partition the disk into two approximately equal sized
partitions, mke2fs does not complain.

Is there a limit of 255 inode tables ?  I looked at the documentation
but could not find no reference to that.   Any suggestions ?

claudiocAsked:
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jlmsCommented:
Linux has problems with disks with more than 1024 cylinders (not Linux proper but the BIOS of PCs). In newer machines you can tell the BIOS to use an alternate configuration with less cylinders.
Please read:
http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Disk-HOWTO.html
and
http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/mini/Large-Disk

for complete information.
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claudiocAuthor Commented:
From my understanding of the LargeDisk mini-HOWTO, since Linux
does not use the BIOS, there should be no problem except
for LILO or if the disk is shared between operating systems.
In my case (1) LILO is on a different disk (with Win95), and
(2) the disk in question is used is only used by Linux.

Am I wrong ?

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jlmsCommented:
You are right and I don't have any sugestion, nevertheless I think you should give a try to the redefinition of the geometry of your disk, maybe it affects some value somewhere.
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nicademusCommented:
This is what you should do.

If you have no problems partitioning the system in two seperate partitions, then do so, and mke2fs /dev/hdc1 and /dev/hdc2

Then when you install Linux on the first of those partitions, you can actually mount the second partition in some part of the root filesystem, such as the /usr directory.  I have done this myself with two seperate drives.

i.e. I have the root system on /dev/hdc1(700Mb) and I mount /dev/hda2(160Mb) on /usr/src and I keep my source files on a small partition of my first hard-drive, it actually keeps things a lot neater.

The installation should actually give you the option of doing this, but if not just add the a line something like...not sure on the format just now, it's been a while, and I am at work.

/dev/hdc2    /usr      ex2fs     defaults    1  1

But before you reboot, just do a full copy/move from that particular directory, to the second partition.  I'm pretty sure though, if you define two linux native partitions, unless your Linux is piss-poor, then it will ask if you want to "bridge" the file-systems...
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claudiocAuthor Commented:
I already have linux installed on another disk.
The new disk is going to be added to store large
data files.  I do not want to have more than one partition
on the new data disk because

    (1) I do not want to manage the disk space separately
    (2) I do not want to have to worry about running out of
        space on one partition (which may contain one type
        of data files) while there is still space in the second          partition (which may contain a different type of data            files)
 
Basically I am not looking for a patch.  According to all
the documentation that I have read, I should just be able to
make a second partition on this disk......
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unicorntechCommented:
I feel the problem is with the settings at CMOS level for HDD type. Have you set it to NORMAL, LARGE or LBA? I have found that of you change the setting here the mke2fs works fine. Try using NORMAL mode.

Regards,

Jason
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JeffVoskampCommented:
You probably should get a newer version of e2fsprogs (1.10 is
out).  The problem is that the default seek command command
(used by mke2fs) uses a signed 32 bit quantity.  Therefore it
fails for anything over 2G.  The newer versions have/use llseek
which takes an offset of "long long int" which is good for 2^63
bytes.
Sector 2277584 would be the first cylinder group over the 2G
limit.
That's why you're not having problems with 2 1.6G partitions.

Jeff Voskamp
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