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I am trying to install Ubuntu on a brand new internal hard drive using a USB install.

Using lshw -C disk I'm able to see that my computer recognizes the hard drive is connected.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo lshw -C disk   *-disk                  
   description: ATA Disk
   product: ST1000DM003
   vendor: Seagate
   physical id: 0.0.0
   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
   logical name: /dev/sda
   version: CC49
   serial: S1DGBN30
   size: 3950MiB (4142MB)
   configuration: ansiversion=5

But when I attempt to read the disk so I can partition and format it I get this

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk /dev/sda fdisk: unable to read /dev/sda:
Input/output error

Something similar happens when I try to do this through gparted

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo gparted
Input/output error during read on /dev/sda

Why is this happening? If Ubuntu can see that my hard drive is connected, why can't it do any of these basic operations.

EDIT: Running lsblk gives me this. The hard drive /dev/sda is 3.9GB (supposed to be 1TB). I'm pretty sure that's because it hasn't been initialized or partitioned yet.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ lsblk
sda      8:0    0   3.9G  0 disk 
sdb      8:16   1   3.7G  0 disk 
└─sdb1   8:17   1   3.7G  0 part /cdrom
sr0     11:0    1     2K  0 rom  
loop0    7:0    0 666.6M  1 loop /rofs
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closed as off-topic by psusi, Jorge Castro, Braiam, Avinash Raj, Radu Rădeanu Mar 20 '14 at 5:41

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers." – psusi, Avinash Raj, Radu Rădeanu
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Which version of Ubuntu are you trying to install? –  terdon Mar 19 '14 at 1:01
Version 12.04.3 Desk 64-bit –  GMS Mar 19 '14 at 14:16
Lets's see if we can get any clues. Please edit your question and post the output of lsblk. Is there anything special about this drive? Some strange connection or hardware? –  terdon Mar 19 '14 at 14:38
I'll edit my post with that output as soon as I can. But I can tell you right now that there is nothing special about this drive. It's a regular internal Seagate hard drive. I opened up my computer, took out the old drive, and plugged in the new one. It's always possible that the drive was just a lemon, which is fine (I'll just get a replacement), but I want to rule everything else out in Ubuntu first, obviously. –  GMS Mar 19 '14 at 19:04
I've posted the lsblk output –  GMS Mar 19 '14 at 23:15