mkfs: Not enough space

While partitioning a new 30Gb disc, I was initially confused to see the following error message:

sfere# mkfs -c /dev/hdc3
mke2fs 1.18, 11-Nov-1999 for EXT2 FS 0.5b, 95/08/09
/dev/hdc3: Not enough space to build proposed filesystem while setting up superblock

It turned out that due to the order in which I'd created partitions, cfdisk had made /dev/hdc3 be the "magic" partition which contains logical partitions. Hence, I was in effect trying to create a partition (a) in the wrong place and (b) almost as big as the disc.

Things you might want to do to avoid running into this problem:

  1. If using cfdisk, create partitions in the same order they appear on the disc. Then the fourth partition will be the "magic" one as expected.
  2. If you do create partitions in a strange order, pay more attention to what you are doing, and what your fdisk program does, than I did.

This web page exists merely to produce a hit in search engines, so that anyone else who is as confused as I was by this error has a hint as to one possible cause.

Copyright © 2001 Richard Kettlewell

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