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FIXPARTS(8)			FixParts Manual			   FIXPARTS(8)

       fixparts - MBR partition table repair utility

       fixparts device

       FixParts	 (aka fixparts) is a text-mode menu-driven program for repair‐
       ing 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:

       *      It can remove stray GUID Partition Table (GPT) data,  which  can
	      be  left	behind	on a disk that was once used as a GPT disk but
	      then incompletely converted to the more common (as of 2011)  MBR

       *      It can repair mis-sized extended partitions -- either partitions
	      that extend beyond the physical end of the disk or that  overlap
	      with  nearby  primary partitions. FixParts is designed in such a
	      way that this type of repair occurs automatically,  so  if  it's
	      the  only problem with your disk, you can launch the program and
	      then immediately save the	 partition  table,  making  no	manual
	      changes, and the program will fix the problem.

       *      You  can	change	primary	 partitions into logical partitions or
	      vice-versa, within constraints imposed by the  MBR  data	struc‐

       Additional  features include the ability to change partition type codes
       or boot/active flags, to delete partitions, and to recompute  CHS  val‐
       ues.  With the possible exception of recomputing CHS values, these sec‐
       ondary 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  partitions	 are  defined  in the first sector of the hard
	      disk and are limited in number to four. Some OSes, such as  Win‐
	      dows and FreeBSD, must boot from a primary partition.

	      Extended	partitions  are	 specialized  primary partitions. They
	      serve as holding areas for logical partitions.

	      A disk can contain an arbitrary  number  of  logical  partitions
	      (fixparts,  however, imposes a limit of 124 logical partitions).
	      All the logical partitions reside inside a single extended  par‐
	      tition, and are defined using a linked-list data structure. This
	      fact means that every logical partition must be preceded	by  at
	      least  one sector of unallocated space to hold its defining data
	      structure (an Extended Boot Record, or EBR).

       These distinctions mean that primary and logical partitions  cannot  be
       arbitrarily  interspersed. A disk can contain one to three primary par‐
       titions, 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	 sand‐
       wiched between logical partitions, since this would mean placing a pri‐
       mary 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 logi‐
       cal  partitions. This is done because most of the repairs and manipula‐
       tions the tool performs require generating a fresh extended  partition,
       so keeping the original in the user interface would only be a complica‐

       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

       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 with‐
       out saving changes.

       The fixparts utility supports no command-line options, except for spec‐
       ification of the target device.

       Most  interactions  with	 fixparts occur with its interactive text-mode
       menu. Specific functions are:

       a      Toggle the active/boot flag. This flag is required by some  boot
	      loaders and OSes.

       c      Recompute	 the  cylinder/head/sector (CHS) values for all parti‐
	      tions. CHS addressing mode is largely obsolete,  but  some  OSes
	      and  utilities  complain if they don't like the CHS values. Note
	      that fixparts' CHS values are likely to be  incorrect  on	 disks
	      smaller than about 8 GiB except on Linux.

       l      Change  a	 partition's  status to logical. This option will only
	      work if the current partition layout  supports  such  a  change.
	      Note  that  if  changing a partition's status in this way is not
	      currently possible, making some other change may make it	possi‐
	      ble. For instance, omitting a partition that precedes the target
	      partition may enable converting a partition to logical  form  if
	      there had been no free sectors between the two partitions.

       o      Omit  a partition. Once omitted, the partition will still appear
	      in the fixparts partition list, but it will be flagged as	 omit‐
	      ted.  You can subsequently convert it to primary or logical form
	      with the r or l  commands,  respectively.	 When  you  save  your
	      changes with w, though, the partition will be lost.

       p      Display  basic partition summary data. This includes partition's
	      number, the boot/active flag's status, starting and ending  sec‐
	      tor  numbers, primary/logical/omitted status, whether or not the
	      partition may be converted to logical form, and the  partition's
	      MBR types code.

       q      Quit  from  the  program	without saving your changes.  Use this
	      option if you just wanted to view information or if you  make  a
	      mistake and want to back out of all your changes.

       r      Change  a	 partition's  status to primary. This option will only
	      work if the current partition layout  supports  such  a  change.
	      Note  that  every	 partition  can theoretically become a primary
	      partition, although in some configurations, making  this	change
	      will  require  omitting some partitions.	If fixparts refuses to
	      allow changing a partition to primary, you may need  to  convert
	      other partitions to logical form or omit them entirely.

       s      Sort  partition  entries.	 This  option orders partitions in the
	      display to match their on-disk positions, which can make	under‐
	      standing	the  disk layout easier in some cases. This option has
	      no effect on the ultimate ordering of logical partitions,	 which
	      are  sorted  before being saved. The order of primary partitions
	      in the final saved partition  table  may	be  affected  by  this
	      option.  In  both cases, as already noted, the partition numbers
	      displayed by fixparts may not be the same as those used  by  the
	      kernel or displayed by other partitioning tools.

       t      Change  a partition's type code. You enter the type code using a
	      one-byte hexadecimal number.

       w      Write data. Use this command to save your changes and exit  from
	      the program.

       ?      Print  the  menu.	 Type  this command (or any other unrecognized
	      command) to see a summary of available options.

       As of March 2014 (version 0.8.10), fixparts should be  considered  beta
       software. Known bugs and limitations include:

       *      The program compiles correctly only on Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X,
	      and Windows.  Linux versions for x86-64 (64-bit), x86  (32-bit),
	      and  PowerPC  (32-bit) have been tested, with the x86-64 version
	      having seen the most testing. Under FreeBSD,  32-bit  (x86)  and
	      64-bit  (x86-64) versions have been tested. Only 32-bit versions
	      for Mac OS X and Windows have been tested.

       *      The FreeBSD version of the program can't write  changes  to  the
	      partition	 table to a disk when existing partitions on that disk
	      are mounted. (The same problem exists with  many	other  FreeBSD
	      utilities,  such	as gpt, fdisk, and dd.) This limitation can be
	      overcome by typing sysctl	 kern.geom.debugflags=16  at  a	 shell

       *      The program can load only up to 128 partitions (4 primary parti‐
	      tions and 124 logical partitions). This limit can be  raised  by
	      changing the #define MAX_MBR_PARTS line in the basicmbr.h source
	      code file and recompiling.

       *      The program can read partitions only if the disk has correct LBA
	      partition	 descriptors.  These  descriptors should be present on
	      any disk over 8 GiB in size or on smaller disks partitioned with
	      any but very ancient software.

       *      The  program makes no effort to preserve partition numbers. This
	      can have consequences for boot loaders and for mounting filesys‐
	      tems  via	 /etc/fstab. It may be necessary to edit configuration
	      files or even to re-install your boot loader.


	      The program may change the order of partitions in the  partition

       Primary author: Roderick W. Smith (


       * Yves Blusseau (

       * David Hubbard (

       * Justin Maggard (

       * Dwight Schauer (

       * Florian Zumbiehl (

       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.

Roderick W. Smith		    0.8.10			   FIXPARTS(8)

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