setup-storage fails on blank disk

Justin Cattle j at
Thu Jan 4 15:41:12 CET 2018


Are you 100% sure you tried it on a "fresh" disk that was really clean?
It defiantly feels like there is some metadata or something remaining in
some blocks on the disk.

When FAI fails, are you able check for things like md info, dm info, lvm
info and the like?

You may have to do some dmsetup remove, vgremove or pvremove.
wiptefs is also a good utility at clearing metadata, run it against any
partitions before removing them.
Then remove partitions with dd, put some zeros on the first few Mg of the


On 4 January 2018 at 13:47, Andreas Heinlein <aheinlein at> wrote:

> Am 03.01.2018 um 17:28 schrieb Holger Parplies:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Andreas Heinlein wrote on 2018-01-03 13:53:40 +0100 [setup-storage fails
> on blank disk]:
> >> [...]
> >> I have encountered a problem with setup-storage which occurs only when
> >> the disk is blank, i.e. wiped with nwipe/dban or brand new. It then
> >> fails on creating the LVM; running 'pvcreate' returns 'cannot open
> >> /dev/sda5 exclusively'.
> > this is probably unrelated, but is there any reason to put the LVM PV
> inside
> > a "logical" volume? DOS extended partitions seem to be the worst hack
> ever
> > invented to get around a limitation in a bad design, yet they repeatedly
> > and apparently unnecessarily pop up in quoted disk_configs:
> >
> >> [...]
> >> This is your disk_config file:
> >> # generic disk configuration for one small disk
> >> # disk size from 500Mb up to what you can buy today
> >> #
> >> # <type> <mountpoint> <size in mb> <fstype> <mount options>  [extra
> options]
> >>
> >> disk_config disk1 disklabel:msdos bootable:1 preserve_lazy:6
> align-at:1M fstabkey:uuid
> >> primary  /boot              300      ext4    rw      createopts="-O
> ^64bit,^metadata_csum"
> >> logical  -          29500-30000      -       -
> >> logical  /media/daten  1024- ext4    acl     createopts="-O
> ^64bit,^metadata_csum -L Daten"
> > I count three partitions, which would work perfectly with primary
> partitions
> > (furthermore, you are using LVM to have an arbitrary number of named and
> > dynamic "volumes" (i.e. partitions) anyway, so if you needed more, LVM
> would
> > be the superior mechanism; of course, your specific requirements may
> vary).
> > Ok, you are preserving a logical partition, so in this particular case
> you'd
> > actually need to stick with logical partitions, but the partition in
> question
> > is ext4, not FAT-based, so it doesn't appear to be a legacy Windoze
> issue.
> >
> > My point: am I missing something, and there is some obscure benefit of
> putting
> > an LVM container within an extended-partition-container (such as hiding
> it
> > from something), or is it simply a common misconception that you for some
> > reason cannot or should not put an LVM PV (or even several individual
> native
> > Linux partitions - such as /, /var and /tmp) into primary partitions -
> > assuming you only need upto four of them (and, obviously, assuming you
> are
> > still using MSDOS partition tables)?
> >
> > Or, differently: for a *blank disk*, you obviously won't be preserving
> sda6,
> > and you probably aren't referencing it by partition number
> ("fstabkey:uuid"),
> > so does using 'primary' instead of 'logical' for all three partitions
> change
> > anything concerning the error you are experiencing?
> >
> > Hope that helps someone (perhaps me ;-) ...
> >
> > Regards,
> > Holger
> Hello,
> yes, you are right - in some way, this *is* a legacy windows issue that
> has developed over time. In fact, the preserved partition once was a FAT
> partition as long as we had dualboot installations on these machines. We
> finally removed the dualboot two or three years ago and chose to format
> this partition ext4 instead. Why we didn't move to primary partitions or
> put it within the LVM at that time - I don't know.
> On the other hand, up to now we had no problems with that, so no urge to
> change anything. If you think it might help, I could try changing this.
> Bye,
> Andreas


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