Section: FixParts Manual (8)
FixParts (aka fixparts) is a text-mode menu-driven program for repairing certain types of problems with Master Boot Record (MBR) partition tables. The program has three design goals, although a few additional features are supported, as well:
Additional features include the ability to change partition type codes or boot/active flags, to delete partitions, and to recompute CHS values. With the possible exception of recomputing CHS values, these secondary features are better performed with fdisk, because fixparts' design means that it's likely to alter partition numbering even when such changes are not requested.
The fixparts program employs a user interface similar to that of Linux's fdisk, but fixparts is much more specialized. Most importantly, you can't create new partitions with fixparts, although you can change primary/logical assignment.
In the MBR scheme, partitions come in three varieties:
These distinctions mean that primary and logical partitions cannot be arbitrarily interspersed. A disk can contain one to three primary partitions, a block of one or more logical partitions, and one to three more primary partitions (for a total of three primary partitions, not counting the extended partition). Primary partitions may not be sandwiched between logical partitions, since this would mean placing a primary partition within an extended partition (which is just a specific type of primary partition).
Unlike most disk utilities, fixparts' user interface ignores extended partitions. Internally, the program discards the information on the original extended partition and, when you tell it to save its changes, it generates a new extended partition to contain the then-defined logical partitions. This is done because most of the repairs and manipulations the tool performs require generating a fresh extended partition, so keeping the original in the user interface would only be a complication.
Another unusual feature of fixparts' user interface is that partition numbers do not necessarily correlate with primary/logical status. In most utilities, partitions 1-4 correspond to primary partitions, whereas partitions 5 and up are logical partitions. In fixparts, any partition number may be assigned primary or logical status, so long as the rules for layout described earlier are obeyed. When the partition table is saved, partitions will be assigned appropriately and then tools such as the Linux kernel and fdisk will give them conventional numbers.
When it first starts, fixparts performs a scan for GPT data. If the disk looks like a conventional GPT disk, fixparts refuses to run. If the disk appears to be a conventional MBR disk but GPT signatures are present in the GPT primary or secondary header areas, fixparts offers to delete this extraneous data. If you tell it to do so, the program immediately wipes the GPT header or headers. (If only one header was found, only that one header will be erased, to minimize the risk of damaging a boot loader or other data that might have overwritten just one of the GPT headers.)
With the exception of optionally erasing leftover GPT data when it first starts, fixparts keeps all changes in memory until the user writes changes with the w command. Thus, you can adjust your partitions in the user interface and abort those changes by typing q to quit without saving changes.
The fixparts utility supports no command-line options, except for specification of the target device.
Most interactions with fixparts occur with its interactive text-mode menu. Specific functions are:
As of March 2014 (version 0.8.10), fixparts should be considered beta software. Known bugs and limitations include:
The program may change the order of partitions in the partition table.
Primary author: Roderick W. Smith ([email protected])
cfdisk (8), cgdisk (8), fdisk (8), mkfs (8), parted (8), sfdisk (8) gdisk (8) sgdisk (8)
The fixparts command is part of the GPT fdisk package and is available from Rod Smith.
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