10.4 External Drives, Invalid Argument....

Discussion in 'Apple' started by testinguy, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. testinguy

    testinguy Guest

    When I attach a new external hard drive that has been preformatted at
    the factory with a FAT32 partition and I changed the partition to OSX
    partition with Disk Doctor. When I do this I get an Invalid Argument
    message. This only happens with OSX 10.4 (or .1) and it happens with
    either 1394 or USB drives.
    The partition is created, but I get this message.
    Also, strange things are happening when I select the Free Space to
    partition a FAT32 drive. It says it does it, but then only MS-DOS and
    Free Space are listed in the menu. If I then remove and re-attach the
    drive, everything works as normal.

    What's going on?

    testinguy, Jun 24, 2005
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  2. testinguy

    J.J. O'Shea Guest

    1 there's no such thing as an 'OS X' partition. You may mean HFS or HFS+

    2 Last time I looked Norton Disk Doctor was not a reliable way of doing
    _anything_, and especially not formatting your drive. You might mean Disk
    This has never happened to me. I suspect that you're doing something wrong.
    This looks as though you really are playing with Disk Doctor. Doing this is a
    Very Bad Idea and may destroy your drive. I would not recommend using
    anything at all from Symantec. Ever.
    Reformat the drive as HFS+ using Disk Utility if you want to use it on a Mac.
    Reformat the drive as NTFS using a Microsoft utility if you want to use it on
    a Windows box. Reformat the drive as FAT32 if it is less than 32 GB in size
    using a Microsoft utility if you intend to use it on both Macs and Windows.
    If the drive's over 32 GB pick either Mac or Windows, you're gonna have
    trouble doing both, as the Microsoft utilities shipped with XP _cannot_
    format a drive larger than 32 GB as FAT32. (WinXP can _access_ FAT32 drives
    which are larger than 32 GB, it cannot create them. Or so say the WinXP MSCE
    texts, anyway. If someone out there can get a standard XP Pro install to
    create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB, I'd like to know about it.)
    You're using Norton. Don't do that.
    J.J. O'Shea, Jun 24, 2005
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  3. testinguy

    Boris Harss Guest

    I am an Apple new bee (switched just a week ago from Linux/Windows).
    However, this happened to me too, in my case using the Apple Disk
    Utility. I had an (obsolete) USB disk with 160G and two FAT32 partitions
    on it. I wanted to re-partition the drive to have just one 160G
    Macinstosh HFS partition. However, I ended up in a state where I

    * Got the error message you describe
    * Could not get the drive to work again.

    First I suspected the drive to be physically broken. What helped me was
    to hook up the drive to my company notebook, using XP to

    * Write a new MBR
    * Put only one big partition on the disk (NTFS)

    Now, I could use the Apple Disk Tool to re-configure the drive as I wanted.

    I don't expect that this helps you a lot but just to confirm that
    you are not crazy... ;-))

    Boris Harss, Jun 25, 2005
  4. testinguy

    testinguy Guest

    Hi All,

    Thanks so much for the feedback.

    I stand corrected. It was using the Disk Utility. Yes, years ago I used
    Disk Doctor to recover a disk. I should have been named Disk Corruption
    on a CD.
    Back to the Invalid Argument....
    Here's the weird part. If I have a FAT32 formatted disk and partition
    it with 10.3, everything works great. If I make the disk free space, it
    does, no errors etc. Then make the Mac OS partition, no problem. I
    don't have to disconnected or anything.
    With 10.4, that's where all this other stuff with the invalid argument
    came from when the free space was selected.
    Also, I'm seeing this on brand new boxes, not just the older stuff.

    The question is what parameters are being passed to the low level
    partitioning utility to generate this error/return code, after it has

    Kindest regards,
    testinguy, Jun 27, 2005
  5. testinguy

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Is it possible that Spotlight is attempting to index the new partition
    and has open files on it? What do you get when you enter
    sudo mdutil -s /Volumes/*
    as a command in Terminal.app?
    Tom Stiller, Jun 27, 2005
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