[setup_storage] parted non-zero exit code

Jurrie Overgoor jurrie at stillus.nl
Sat Mar 26 19:56:53 CET 2011

On 03/21/2011 07:48 PM, Jurrie Overgoor wrote:
> I have a system with one disk (/dev/sda) which has two partitions: 
> /dev/sda1 is the main system disk; /dev/sda2 is a recoverydisk. The 
> system is initially installed using an USB stick. At the end of the 
> installation, the USB stick is copied to /dev/sda2. Once in a while, I 
> have the system reboot itself from /dev/sda2, to perform a "reset to 
> factory defaults" install. This always went ok, untill recently... I 
> recreated the fai-mirror, made a new fai-cd, and put this on the 
> recoverydisk.
> Now, I get the error:
> Executing: parted -s /dev/sda mklabel msdos
> Command had non-zero exit code

I fixed it! Marking the disk as 'virtual' skips the parted commands that 
give errors. The partition is still reformatted though, and on a 
re-install, this is the only thing I want. The other commands are not 
needed on a re-install, only on a first-time install.

So what I did was make two classes: FRESH, and RECOVERY. A script 
decides (based on the existence of /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2) if we are 
doing a FRESH install, or a RECOVERY install. FRESH's disk_config is a 
normal one, RECOVERY's disk_config is a copy of FRESH's, but then with 
the disk marked 'virtual'.

> Again: this used to work, and now it doesn't.

I was wrong here. I use VMvare Player to test the FAI install disk. I 
mount it as an .iso. Turns out that VMware doesn't disconnect the .iso 
on subsequent boots. This is normally not a problem: you boot into the 
freshly installed system. But when you tell Grub to reboot from the 
recovery disk and restart the VM, FAI goes looking for an install 
medium. In my case, it detected the .iso before it would detect 
/dev/sda2. So, it re-installed from the .iso; not from the /dev/sda2 
partition (as I mistakenly thought it did). So, using VMware Player, 
once you've installed with FAI, you should disconnect the .iso 
explicitly. Something one needs to be aware of... :)


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