Problems Creating/Overwriting partition tables on the slave nodes.

Andrew Shewmaker shew0469 at
Fri Dec 8 16:36:24 PST 2000


Your situation reminded me of what my classmates and I experienced.  I 
wasn't present for the fix, but I asked one of the others (Wade) if 
we would describe it to me.

Wade wrote:

The problem we were having is that the old systems that we wanted to use as
nodes had a pre-existing Linux install. When we did the partition table
copying step, I seem to remember we got an error message saying the
partition tables on the nodes couldn't be written.

Brad used another Linux CD he had to boot up the node machines in rescue
(because we didn't know the root password on the existing Linux installs),
and used dd to zero out the first 512 bytes of the disk (destroying whatever
evil in the existing partition tables was breaking Scyld's attempts to write
a new partition table to those machines.)

I honestly don't remember where we found the tip to that. I thought it was
in the Scyld documentation, but now I can't find it.

Anyway, after that, we rebooted the nodes with Scyld boot floppies, and did
everything by the book. It worked exactly the way it was supposed to.


If bpsh works, then you might be able to zero out all of the nodes at once.

I hope this helps,

Andrew Shewmaker

On Fri, 8 Dec 2000, Robert Sand wrote:


I've been having problems setting up the IDE drives on my slave nodes.  First of
all I am using the software installed from the Distribution CD from Scyld.  The
drives on the slaves are all the same type of drive and currently have RedHat
Linux installed on them.  What I want to do is instead of booting from the
floppy drive is to boot from the IDE drive.

When I do a /usr/lib/beoboot/bin/beofdisk -q the partition table in
/etc/beowulf/fdisk looks good so I want to write that partion table to the disks
using /usr/lib/beoboot/bin/beofdisk -w.  This runs just fine and it tells me I
have to reboot the slave nodes for the new table to be saved.  I reboot the
slaves and they come up just fine but I can't do the beoboot-install because it
has problems writing to the disk.  Doing a bpsh 0 /sbin/sfdisk -l /dev/hda it
shows me that the partition table has not even changed: it is still the old
Redhat installation.

Something is wrong here and the Help I've received from Richard Walsh is great
but it also brings up other problems.  He states that I should copy everything
in /lib to the slaves using bpcp.  Every single time I do this I get error
messages saying invalid option or file not found.  Then I do a bpsh 0 ls -la
/lib and it only shows me the one library that is there after booting.  What is
up here?  Does bpcp really work or does it only work when you boot from the hard

These are really bad problems and I do need to get this thing running again so
that our faculity can use it.  If anyone has had this problem I'd appreciate it
if I could find out how you got around it.  If anyone at Scyld can help me that
would be great too.  I was told by someone at Scyld that I should get the
distribution CD when I was trying to install this from the RPMs.  Now I have and
I don't get answers to these questions from them.  I know this is free software
but I am perplexed at why they wouldn't like to know there may be a problem

Robert Sand.
mailto:rsand at                             US Mail
University of Minnesota Duluth                     10 University Dr.
Information Technology Systems and Services        MWAH 176
144 MWAH                                           Duluth, MN 55812
Phone 218-726-6122        fax 218-726-7674

"Walk behind me I may not lead, Walk in front of me I may not follow,
 Walk beside me and we walk together"  UTE Tribal proverb.

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