Unable to open /dev/sdb with fdisk

Taken from my old blog Unable to open /dev/sdb with fdisk

Fdisk is a menu driven program for creation and manipulation of partition tables. The device is usually something like /dev/sda, /dev/sdb. A device name refers to the entire disks. /dev/sd? is the partition of the device. For example, /dev/sda1 refers to the first partition of the first device.

If you issued a command and you receive a corresponding message “unable to open /dev/sdb”

# fdisk /dev/sdb


Unable to open /dev/sdb

Linux is unable to locate or find the partition. One method to verify that it is so, do a listing of the

devices fdisk can see. In this example below, the partition has been created already.

# fdisk -l


Disk /dev/sdb: 2997.4 GB, 2997426536960 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 364416 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1      267349  2147480811   83  Linux

WARNING: The size of this disk is 3.0 TB (2997400633344 bytes).
DOS partition table format can not be used on drives for volumes
larger than 2.2 TB (2199023255040 bytes). Use parted(1) and GUID
partition table format (GPT).

Once you have verified the presence of the device, do a fdisk /dev/sdb again



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