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Syslinux and 4096 bytes sector size

4096 bytes sector size syslinux terabyte

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#1 hamradio64

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:36 PM

Hi,

 

I'm trying to install syslinux on the first partition of a 3 TB hard disk:

 

$ /sbin/fdisk -l /dev/sdb
Note: sector size is 4096 (not 512)

Disk /dev/sdb: 3000.6 GB, 3000592977920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 45600 cylinders, total 732566645 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 4096 = 4096 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x5119005c

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *         256     8388863    33554432    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sdb2         8388864   732566644  2896711124    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

 

 

As you can see this hard disk has 4096 bytes sector size, and this is what happens when I try to install syslinux on the first partition:

 

# syslinux -i /dev/sdb1
syslinux: unsupported sectors size

 

This is the version of my syslinux (on Debian Wheezy):

 

$ syslinux -v
syslinux 4.05  Copyright 1994-2011 H. Peter Anvin et al

 

Is there any way to install syslinux on my device or do I have to switch to another boot loader (which one)?

 

Many thanks in advance for your help.

 

 

 



#2 ady

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:05 PM

You don't specify if you are really using MBR, or GPT, but in any case...

 

Support for sector size bigger than 512 bytes was introduced for Syslinux 5.10.

 

OTOH, versions 5.xx have some differences with 4.xx. Additionally, version 4.06 is still more stable than 5.10, IMHO.

 

Since you seem to be using Debian and it is still using 4.05, I would suggest using some different boot loader for this case at this time.



#3 hamradio64

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:56 AM

Thanks for answering, I'll try the latest 5.xx version...



#4 Ninho

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 04:16 PM

Old topic, still of interest : just tried syslinux v 5.10, which per Ady above /should/ deal with 4k-sectors.

So I've just tried writing the syslinux boot sector to a partition on an external, USB-interfaced disk with 4-k sectors.

 

No joy ! 

 
D:\PROGRAMS\DIVERS>syslinux -v
syslinux.com 5.10  Copyright 1994-2013 H. Peter Anvin et al
 
D:\PROGRAMS\DIVERS>syslinux -i -m o:
unsupported sectors size
 

Is there now a newer version, tested working with 4k-sectors, please ?

If possible donwload should include precompiled syslinux.exe for Win32.

TIA



#5 ady

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:53 PM

syslinux.com 5.10 Copyright 1994-2013 H. Peter Anvin et al

D:\PROGRAMS\DIVERS>syslinux -i -m o:
unsupported sectors size

Is there now a newer version, tested working with 4k-sectors, please ?
If possible donwload should include precompiled syslinux.exe for Win32.
TIA


Unfortunately, the development of Syslinux has been in a comatose status for some time.

Support for sectors of 4KiB has been introduced to Syslinux, but, AFAIK, the official installers (the command-line executable binary files that actually install the boot loader into the appropriate boot area for BIOS systems) are not yet capable of dealing with this situation (patches are welcome).

There might be possible to use some auxiliary tool to install SYSLINUX on 4k-bytes-per-sector devices; for instance, if some tool does not use the official 'syslinux' installer(s). I have not tested them.

FWIW, version 5.10 is somewhat incomplete anyway. The current stable version is Syslinux 6.03 (or keep using version 4.07).

Also FWIW, the official binary files are included in the official Syslinux distribution archives, downloadable from kernel.org.

Regards,
Ady.

#6 Ninho

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

thanks, Ady ! Sad to learn about the sorry state of Syslinux development.

 

If it's indeed just the installer that can't deal with 4k sectors, I can indeed write an MBR or boot sector to the disk using other tools.

 

 FWIW, version 5.10 is somewhat incomplete anyway. The current stable version is Syslinux 6.03  

Really ? Peeking inside the archive, syslinux-6.03.zip , files dated 10-06-2014, I was unable to locate ready-made executables

unlike inside version 5.10. Maybe I have not looked enough in depth...

 

Updated : OK I can see them binaries now... The archive is deep rooted indeed, had only given a cursory glance.

 

Shall be playing with the newer version, and sure to bring back news later.


Edited by Ninho, 02 February 2015 - 10:35 PM.






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