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First of all, I'm not sure if this belongs on AskUbuntu. I'm sorry if it doesn't.

When I ran sudo fdisk -l I get some messages that worry me. This is the output:

> robin@robin-Latitude-D620:~$ sudo fdisk -l
> 
> Medium /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes 255 heads, 63
> sectors/track, 19457 cilinders Unit = cilinders from 16065 * 512 =
> 8225280 bytes Sector size (logic/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/output size (minimal/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Medium-ID: 0xf514f514
> 
>  Device Startup   Begin       End     Blocks   ID  System
> /dev/sda1   *           1          44      346112   83  Linux Partition
> 1 doesn't end on cilinder border. /dev/sda2             460      
> 19458   152602625    5  extended /dev/sda3              44        
> 459     3339264   82  Linux swap Partition 3 does't end on 
> a cilinder border. /dev/sda5             460       16272   127016960  
> 7  HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda6           16273       17770    12024832   83 
> Linux /dev/sda7           17770       19458    13558784   83  Linux
> 
> Partition table items aren't shown in disk order
> 
> Medium /dev/sdb: 8140 MB, 8140095488 bytes 251 heads, 62
> sectors/track, 1021 cilinders Unit = cilinders from 15562 * 512 =
> 7967744 bytes Sector size (logic/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/output size (minimal/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Medium-ID: 0x6f20736b
> 
> This doesn't look like a partition table. You probably chose a
> wrong device.
> 
>  Device Startup   Begin       End     Blocks   ID  System
> /dev/sdb1   ?       50003      123355   570754815+  72  [unknown]
> Partition 1 has different physic/logic starting points
> (not-Linux?):
>      physic=(357, 116, 40) logic=(50002, 77, 11)  has different physic/logic starting points:
>      physic=(357, 32, 45) logic=(123354, 170, 51) Partition 1 doesn't end on a cilinder border. /dev/sdb2   ?       10840      135248  
> 968014120   65  Novell Netware 386 Partitie 2 has different
> physic/logic starting points (not-Linux?):
>      physic=(288, 115, 43) logic=(10839, 209, 47) Partitie 2 has different
> physic/logic ending points:
>      physic=(367, 114, 50) logic=(135247, 63, 42) Partitie 2 doesn't end on a cilinder border. /dev/sdb3   ?      120157      244565  
> 968014096   79  [unknown] Partitie 3 has different
> physic/logic starting points (not-Linux?):
>      physic=(366, 32, 33) logic=(120156, 222, 30) Partitie 3 has different physic/logic ending points:
>      physic=(357, 32, 43) logic=(244564, 75, 39) Partitie 3 doesn't end on a cilinder border. /dev/sdb4   ?      185432      185435      
> 27749+   d  [unknown] Partitie 4 has different physic/logic
> starting points (not-Linux?):
>      physic=(372, 97, 50) logic=(185431, 63, 25) Partitie 4 has different physic/logic ending points:
>      physic=(0, 10, 0) logic=(185434, 205, 33) Partitie 4 doesn't end on a cilinder border.
> 
> Partition table items aren't shown in drive order.
> 
> Medium /dev/sdc: 3951 MB, 3951034368 bytes 90 heads, 57
> sectors/tracks, 1504 cilinders Unit = cilinders from 5130 * 512 =
> 2626560 bytes Sector size (logic/physic): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/output size (minimal/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Medium-ID: 0x0008fe1a
> 
>  Device Startup   Begin       End     Blocks   ID  System
> /dev/sdc1               1        1505     3857408    b  W95 FAT32

I translated it to English fairly well I think, regarding that I don't fully understand what this is about. But here's the original one (in Dutch) as well:

> robin@robin-Latitude-D620:~$ sudo fdisk -l
> 
> Schijf /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes 255 koppen, 63
> sectoren/spoor, 19457 cilinders Eenheid = cilinders van 16065 * 512 =
> 8225280 bytes Sectorgrootte (logischl/fysiek): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/uitvoergrootte (minimaal/optimaal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Schijf-ID: 0xf514f514
> 
>  Apparaat Opstart   Begin       Einde     Blokken   ID  Systeem
> /dev/sda1   *           1          44      346112   83  Linux Partitie
> 1 eindigt niet op een cilindergrens. /dev/sda2             460      
> 19458   152602625    5  uitgebreid /dev/sda3              44        
> 459     3339264   82  Linux wisselgeheugen Partitie 3 eindigt niet op
> een cilindergrens. /dev/sda5             460       16272   127016960  
> 7  HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda6           16273       17770    12024832   83 
> Linux /dev/sda7           17770       19458    13558784   83  Linux
> 
> Partitietabel-items liggen niet in schijfvolgorde.
> 
> Schijf /dev/sdb: 8140 MB, 8140095488 bytes 251 koppen, 62
> sectoren/spoor, 1021 cilinders Eenheid = cilinders van 15562 * 512 =
> 7967744 bytes Sectorgrootte (logischl/fysiek): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/uitvoergrootte (minimaal/optimaal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Schijf-ID: 0x6f20736b
> 
> Dit lijkt niet op een partitietabel. Waarschijnlijk koos u een
> verkeerd apparaat.
> 
>  Apparaat Opstart   Begin       Einde     Blokken   ID  Systeem
> /dev/sdb1   ?       50003      123355   570754815+  72  [onbekend]
> Partitie 1 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische beginpunten
> (niet-Linux?):
>      fysiek=(357, 116, 40) logisch=(50002, 77, 11) Partitie 1 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische eindpunten:
>      fysiek=(357, 32, 45) logisch=(123354, 170, 51) Partitie 1 eindigt niet op een cilindergrens. /dev/sdb2   ?       10840      135248  
> 968014120   65  Novell Netware 386 Partitie 2 heeft verschillende
> fysieke/logische beginpunten (niet-Linux?):
>      fysiek=(288, 115, 43) logisch=(10839, 209, 47) Partitie 2 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische eindpunten:
>      fysiek=(367, 114, 50) logisch=(135247, 63, 42) Partitie 2 eindigt niet op een cilindergrens. /dev/sdb3   ?      120157      244565  
> 968014096   79  [onbekend] Partitie 3 heeft verschillende
> fysieke/logische beginpunten (niet-Linux?):
>      fysiek=(366, 32, 33) logisch=(120156, 222, 30) Partitie 3 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische eindpunten:
>      fysiek=(357, 32, 43) logisch=(244564, 75, 39) Partitie 3 eindigt niet op een cilindergrens. /dev/sdb4   ?      185432      185435      
> 27749+   d  [onbekend] Partitie 4 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische
> beginpunten (niet-Linux?):
>      fysiek=(372, 97, 50) logisch=(185431, 63, 25) Partitie 4 heeft verschillende fysieke/logische eindpunten:
>      fysiek=(0, 10, 0) logisch=(185434, 205, 33) Partitie 4 eindigt niet op een cilindergrens.
> 
> Partitietabel-items liggen niet in schijfvolgorde.
> 
> Schijf /dev/sdc: 3951 MB, 3951034368 bytes 90 koppen, 57
> sectoren/spoor, 1504 cilinders Eenheid = cilinders van 5130 * 512 =
> 2626560 bytes Sectorgrootte (logischl/fysiek): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> in-/uitvoergrootte (minimaal/optimaal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Schijf-ID: 0x0008fe1a
> 
>  Apparaat Opstart   Begin       Einde     Blokken   ID  Systeem
> /dev/sdc1               1        1505     3857408    b  W95 FAT32

Sda is my local hard drive, sdb is my MP3 player, sdc is my MP3 player's MicroSD card. Should I start to worry? What precautions should I take? Is the issue with the swap partition on sda anything to worry about?

share|improve this question
    
Firstly, your question is really difficult to read... I made an attempt to re-format it but gave up... I think the terminal output would be better formatted using "Code sample" than "Quote" Secondly - what exactly worries you? The fact that partition doesn't end on cylinder boundary on your HDD or that fdisk complains about your mp3 player? –  Sergey Nov 7 '11 at 1:51
    
Both, but mainly the MP3 player. –  RobinJ Nov 7 '11 at 15:06
    
Why do I always need to start a bounty before I get an answer? -.- –  RobinJ Nov 8 '11 at 20:01
    
most MP3 players are FAT16 or FAT32 formatted. I would run a chkdsk via a windows machine to see if you've got any disk corruption issues. Possibly you could also use dosfsck to do the same thing on ubuntu. –  fossfreedom Nov 8 '11 at 20:34
    
So do you have any problems accessing the data on your mp3 player? –  Sergey Nov 9 '11 at 0:10
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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+50

If you have no problems accessing files then I would advice you against re-formatting the drive. Actually, I suspect it's doing just fine and there's no need to change anything.

The filesystem on your mp3 player need to be read not only by the host machine (in which case you would be free to choose any partition scheme or filesystem format), but also by the mp3-player's firmware, which may have its own strange ideas regarding what to expect.

Have a look at the wikipedia article:

There is variety of partitioning schemes used by preformated devices. There are two main schemes used by vendors. First puts file system (most commonly FAT32) directly on the device without any partitions, effectively making it start from sector 0, without any additional boot sectors, headers or partitions. Second one, uses DOS partition table (and MBR code), with single (first) partition spanning entire device. This partition is often aligned to some high power of 2 of sectors (like 1 or 2MB), which is also common and important in solid state drives for best performance and durability. Some devices with embedded storage, acting like USB mass storage device (like MP3 players with USB port), will report that file system is damaged or missing, if formated using different file system than FAT32 (or any other originally used there). However most devices which use partition (table) by default can be repartitioned (by shrinking size of first partition and file system) to have more partitions. Such devices, will use first partition for its own operations, however after plugging into host system all partitions will be available.

So it seems to me your mp3-player uses the schema where a single FAT32 partition is created on the disk without a partition table - which, actually, is exactly what fdisk is telling you. There's no partition table. Everything is OK.

share|improve this answer
    
That sounds like a very plausible answer +1 –  fossfreedom Nov 9 '11 at 23:22
    
Ok, thanks. Didn't know that. –  RobinJ Nov 10 '11 at 14:11
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