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#1 2024-02-05 21:20:15

kyomi
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From: Brazil
Registered: 2021-12-16
Posts: 14

Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

Hello everyone. I'm trying to install Arch Linux using the `archinstall` script and I'm getting the error described on this install log: https://mystb.in/BakingNailRon. Can anyone point any error here? Just FYI my motherboard is a bit old (it uses BIOS/MBR, not GPT/UEFI). If you need any other details, please tell me. Thank you. ?


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#2 2024-02-06 00:32:38

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
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Re: Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

Just a guess, but it sounds like you already have four primary partitions on your disk.  MBR/BIOS volume tables support only four primary partitions.  Beyond that, you need to use secondary partitions. That can be done by hand.  I don't know how the installer script handles that.

Edit:  Not intending to be flippant, but why would you run MBR/BIOS formats from last century?  How old is the motherboard?

Last edited by ewaller (2024-02-06 00:34:38)


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#3 2024-02-06 11:20:23

Wild Penguin
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Registered: 2015-03-19
Posts: 339

Re: Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

I agree with ewaller with the underlying error.

What you need to do is remove all partitions on the disk. You can use any tool mentioned in the wiki and many others. Obviously this will wipe all filesystems and data on the disk.

I presume archinstall script can not do this, as a ready-made helper script can not cater to all needs (I could be wrong, I haven't used archinstall).

I'm also wondering why not use UEFI. Anything usable these days should be new enough to be using UEFI, however using really, really old HW could have reasons, like just being a (weird, time-consuming) hobby.

However that doesn't answer the question why you already have partitions on the disk. That is a question only OP can answer.

Last edited by Wild Penguin (2024-02-06 11:20:46)

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#4 2024-02-06 11:45:41

Lone_Wolf
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From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
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Re: Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

ewaller wrote:

Edit:  Not intending to be flippant, but why would you run MBR/BIOS formats from last century?  How old is the motherboard?

For drives below 2 Tib GPT doesn't bring much benefits.

Also pre-EFI Motherboards rarely support GPT and early EFI implementations had all kinds of issues that were easily solved by setting them to legacy bios mode.
Around 2016 / 2017 EFI became reliable enough to be used as default.


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#5 2024-02-10 00:21:48

kyomi
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From: Brazil
Registered: 2021-12-16
Posts: 14

Re: Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

Hi guys, thank you for your answers and sorry for my delayed response. College has taken up a lot of my time this week. Anyway:

Not intending to be flippant, but why would you run MBR/BIOS formats from last century?  How old is the motherboard?

I checked this earlier and it is a Asustek H61M-A/BR. But the reason I use MBR instead of GPT is that this computer of mine is originally more than 20 years old and I've been changing its parts over time, but it still has quite old parts. If I could, I would throw it away entirely, but unfortunately, due to my financial conditions and the economic situation of the country where I live, computers are very expensive. Returning to the subject, as this computer is very old, it originally used MBR and I never felt the need to change it.

Earlier today I changed all of his disks to GPT and tried to force the BIOS boot to UEFI mode but I didn't have much success, but I think that's beyond the scope of this thread so I'd rather not ask for help with that here. I went back to the old configuration (MBR) and deleted all partitions on all disks and tried to install Arch Linux via archinstall, but the error persists. I have two disks (one 160GB and one 500GB) and both have been formatted and all partitions have been erased.

However that doesn't answer the question why you already have partitions on the disk. That is a question only OP can answer.

I had two main partitions: one for Arch Linux and one for Windows. Apparently Windows created some partitions (I don't know why it did this, I think it is just Windows being Windows) and this must have filled the primary partition limit. Just one possibility.

Also pre-EFI Motherboards rarely support GPT and early EFI implementations had all kinds of issues that were easily solved by setting them to legacy bios mode.
Around 2016 / 2017 EFI became reliable enough to be used as default.

If I'm not mistaken, this card is from 2012 (or I installed it in 2012, something like that).

Last edited by kyomi (2024-02-10 00:23:19)


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#6 2024-02-10 02:05:44

frostschutz
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Registered: 2013-11-15
Posts: 1,442

Re: Weird error using archinstall: Too many primary partitions.

You can still use gpt even if you don't enable uefi at all. (Unless windows enforces it for some reason... but that's windows)

If you stick with msdos partition scheme, you'll have to use logical partitions. It only supports 4 primary (3 primary + 1 extended with logical partitions inside).

For more specific advice, show `parted /dev/disk unit s print free`.

According to your old output, the disk /dev/sda already had 4 partitions, wipe was set to false, and then archinstall tried to create more... which then fails. If you don't want to keep existing partitions, you can also wipe it yourself with `wipefs -a`.

Unrelated but 200MiB for a /boot partition might also be a little small.

Last edited by frostschutz (2024-02-10 02:23:36)

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