MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

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Kilobyte Kid

MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

I have a recently purchased MX500 500GB SSD with strange behavior. I was using it as a backup, but then decided to use it as a Linux Mint system drive. I deleted the partition, did a secure erase with hdparm (in Linux), and tried to install Linux Mint, only to be told that the single partition (I wasn't asking for any swap, just a single partition mounted at /) started at 3xxx MB past the actual beginning. I've never seen such a thing. I can only guess there's a hidden partition.

 

What does Crucial recommend for difficult SSDs: DBAN, Linux shred, a Linux DD wipe (see below), diskpart (in Windows), or something else?

 

The DD wipe would be: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX.

5 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

The Secure Erase should do the job.    Outside of a Secure Erase, I would only "dd" the first small portion of the drive to destroy the partition tables so you don't add uneccesary writes to the NAND.   Wiping out the first 500MB to 1GB should be more than sufficient.   

 

What you are seeing is most likely a Linux Mint configuration setting in the instaler.  I know Debian defaults to 1MB to align the first partition at block 2048.  Maybe if you have it formatted as GPT it is including the ESP partition required for booting which can range from 200MB to 600MB.

 

I'm not sure what Linux Mint includes on their installer, but perhaps you could boot it and manually run fdisk/gdisk from a TTY from the installer or the Live environment intead of having the installer partition the drive.  Or try using Knoppix or another distro/installer to partition the drive to confirm it is a Linux Mint configuration issue.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

Thanks for the reply.

 

I never thought about creating the partition table in advance via a LiveUSB. So I used a Manjaro LiveUSB to secure-erase the MX500 via hdparm, eliminate the MBR and partition table via dd with bs=512, and create a partition table via GParted. However, the same error occured during LM installation.

 

Then I went all crazy and used diskpart to do a clean all. However, the same error occured during LM installation.

 

Then I tried to install LM on a HDD that had been wiped using shred. There was no problem at all, with the installation being normal.

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JEDEC Jedi

Re: MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

Download the Debian 9 Stretch installer and see how it partitions the drive.  The netinstall image is only a 250MB image (click the button in the upper right to download).   Let the installer use the whole drive so it will destroy the current layout and automatically create default partitions.  IIRC the first partition for Debian 9 starts at block 2048.    I wonder if the new drives are only reporting 4k sectors now instead of also reporting them as 512bytes as I seem to recall a mention of it in another post here.  Maybe this is throwing things off.   

 

Can you provide the output of the current partitions using:

sudo  fdisk  -l   /dev/sdX

Make sure to substitute your SSD's identifier for the "X" in "sdX".

 

If you try installing Debian and have the same issue, then I would be interested in the results from the above command as it always starts at block 2048.

 

Was the installer using LVM?  I don't use LVM on my drives so I don't know if the LVM layer will push the starting location back or not.  Try formatting/installing without LVM.

 

I see where my previous post could be misleading.   If you do a Secure Erase, then the drive should be reset with absolutely nothing on it so using "dd" is not necessary.   "dd" is only necessary to overwrite the beginning of the drive to remove the partitioning information if you don't perform a Secure Erase.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

I trashed the LM installation to allow the MX500 to be used as a temporary backup drive, as I have a temporary shortage (I used Windows). I ordered a HDD to use as a real backup. I will install LM on a different USB flash drive, a newer one, to eliminate the possibility of it being the problem. After I backup everything, I'll try again, but that won't be until next weeK. Thanks again for your assistance.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: MX500 500GB appears to have partition problems

 It wasn't the MX500; it was everything else.

 

Not one, but two USB flash drives were having trouble. Both were well-used, so this isn't terribly surprising, but both failed at once.

 

One of the USB 3.0 ports on the laptop is not as reliable as the other.

 

A backup I had containing Linux distributions may be corrupt. I can only suspect the external enclosure because the HDD is fairly new. I bought a different enclosure.

 

Linux Mint installed on the MX500 as I would have expected.

 

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