Ubuntu: Disk doesn't contain a valid partition table - partition table entries are not in disk order



Question:

I am in need of some help. I am completely new to linux. I have created and installed a Unbuntu 10.04 server as a virtual machine that is running in a Citrix Xenserver 5.6 Fp1 environment.

While I have struggled a bit here and there, everything seems to work ok. I have a proxy server running on this machine for my users, and I have recently added kerio mail server. This is where I found an issue. (I think). While browsing the machines running processes using "top" it appeared to me that the entire amount of my memory was being maxed out, while my swap drive is never touched. I do recall during the setup of this machine that I did have a little trouble setting up the drives. By that I mean, I wasn't feeling all warm and fuzzy that I did it right. Well, I think now, I can definitely say that I think I have it wrong. It appears that my drives are a bit jacked up to say the least. Here is the order of the "jackedupness"... and below that is what I get when I run "fdisk -l"

Any help would be gratefully accepted.

  1. Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
  2. Partition table entries are not in disk order
  3. Disk /dev/xvdd doesn't contain a valid partition table


$ sudo fdisk -l  Disk /dev/xvda: 193.3 GB, 193273528320 bytes  255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 23497 cylinders  Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes  Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  Disk identifier: 0x000aa4f5    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System  /dev/xvda1               1          32      248832   83  Linux  Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.  /dev/xvda2           23255       23498     1951744   82  Linux swap / Solaris  /dev/xvda3              32       23255   186540033    5  Extended  /dev/xvda5              32       23255   186540032   8e  Linux LVM    Partition table entries are not in disk order    Disk /dev/xvdd: 66 MB, 66891776 bytes  255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 8 cylinders  Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes  Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  Disk identifier: 0x00000000    Disk /dev/xvdd doesn't contain a valid partition table  

Thank you in advance,

Casey

sudo parted -l    Model: Linux device-mapper (linear) (dm)  Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu-tmp: 998MB  Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B  Partition Table: loop    Number  Start  End    Size   File system  Flags   1      0.00B  998MB  998MB  ext3    Model: Linux device-mapper (linear) (dm)  Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu-home: 5000MB  Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B  Partition Table: loop    Number  Start  End     Size    File system  Flags   1      0.00B  5000MB  5000MB  ext3    Model: Linux device-mapper (linear) (dm)  Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu-var: 160GB  Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B  Partition Table: loop    Number  Start  End    Size   File system  Flags   1      0.00B  160GB  160GB  ext3    Model: Linux device-mapper (linear) (dm)  Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu-root: 20.0GB  Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B  Partition Table: loop    Number  Start  End     Size    File system  Flags   1      0.00B  20.0GB  20.0GB  ext3    Model: Xen Virtual Block Device (xvd)  Disk /dev/xvda: 193GB  Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B  Partition Table: msdos    Number  Start   End    Size    Type      File system     Flags   1      1049kB  256MB  255MB   primary   ext3   3      257MB   191GB  191GB   extended   5      257MB   191GB  191GB   logical                   lvm   2      191GB   193GB  1999MB  primary   linux-swap(v1)    Error: /dev/xvdd: unrecognised disk label                                   

Results of the swapon -s

swapon -s  Filename                Type        Size    Used    Priority  /dev/xvda2                              partition   1951736 0   -1  

fstab contents

# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>  proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0  /dev/mapper/ubuntu-root /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1  # /boot was on /dev/xvda1 during installation  UUID=762d244c-df00-401e-a06b-b4d98316b5b3 /boot           ext3    defaults        0       2  /dev/mapper/ubuntu-home /home           ext3    defaults        0       2  /dev/mapper/ubuntu-tmp /tmp            ext3    defaults        0       2  /dev/mapper/ubuntu-var /var            ext3    defaults        0       2  # swap was on /dev/xvda2 during installation  UUID=87884241-3fa5-46c9-aef2-8144c08ac49c none            swap    sw              0       0  


Solution:1

First, your problem has nothing to do with partitions. The fdisk warnings about entries not being in disk order and about partition 1 not starting on a cylinder boundary can be ignored. (In fact, the second of these identifies your version of fdisk as being pretty ancient. I recommend you upgrade.)

Second, Linux uses memory that's not otherwise being used for buffers and caches to improve performance. On such a system, it's not uncommon for nearly all available memory to be in use, with little or no use of swap space. For instance, here's the output of free on one of my computers:

$ free -m               total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached  Mem:          7469       7380         89          0        124       3847  -/+ buffers/cache:       3407       4062  Swap:         6143        717       5426  

You might think that memory was being nearly maxed out (7469MiB in use and only 89MiB free), with little use of swap space. You need to pay attention to the -/+ buffers/cache line, though; that line tells you how much memory is being used by programs. In this case, it's less than half the available memory. Most of this computer's memory is being used by disk caches, and those caches will be cleared the moment they're needed by a program.

The top utility doesn't provide the equivalent of the -/+ buffers/cache line of free, so chances are you're concerned over nothing. Please check your memory with free to see how much of your memory is being consumed by buffers and caches. If you still think there's a problem after you do that, please edit your original question with details.


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