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I run openSUSE 12.2 on my ASUS N76VZ laptop. My problem is that I cannot alter the partition table of first hard disk /dev/sda1.

YaST partitioner says it's unreadable, but actually it can read it but not alter it. It doesn't tell me anything else, except that I can wipe the partition table (having to reinstall Windows for the third time).

Since I want to create new partitions on that disk, how do I fix the partition table layout?

I could create new partition from Windows Computer Management and format them in Linux. I could do this, but it doesn't explain the problem

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What the fdisk -l /dev/sda reports? BTW, delete your own answer - it is not an answer, it is a comment to your question. As you are the OP it actually should be an update to your question. I added it to the question though. – Serge Oct 27 '12 at 22:29
I think this gives me the answer. fdisk said the partition is type GPT and I could use parted to modify it. Is there any way to convert it to MBR? – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Oct 27 '12 at 22:32
Forget about converting... it's required by EFI to boot – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Oct 27 '12 at 22:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

An easy method would be to use gParted, a great graphical partition editor that supports GPT. You can run it off its own dedicated bootable disc, as a program in your existing Linux install, or install it on a regular Linux LiveCD or USB. Note that when running it off of an existing install, you will not be able to change the partition mounted as / or any mounted partitions.

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I have the same problem with you when I want to install OpenSuSE on a hard disk which has been used as a Windows 8 boot disk.

It is because of the GPT issue. If you use GParted to alter your partition table, the GPT won't be clean clearly. And will result in boot sector issue like fail to install GRUB or partition table issue like the Linux install program will fail to alter the partition table.

You may use gdisk on the drive, choose Expert Command, and z to Zap GPT data.

Now, you may use the Linux installation program to modify the partition table. Although it show warning message before the partition section, it works perfectly. And it also may install GRUB finally.

You may take a look on my Partition Error and Fail to Install GRUB on Windows 8 Hard Disk for more detail explain and reference web pages.

Wish it helps!

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As your disk was GPT-partitioned then you should use the GPT-enabled tools.

one of these tools is gdisk:

GDISK(8)                       GPT fdisk Manual                       GDISK(8)

       gdisk - Interactive GUID partition table (GPT) manipulator

       gdisk [ -l ] device

       GPT  fdisk  (aka gdisk) is a text-mode menu-driven program for creation
       and manipulation of partition tables. It will automatically convert  an
       old-style  Master  Boot  Record  (MBR) partition table or BSD disklabel
       stored without an MBR carrier partition to the  newer  Globally  Unique
       Identifier  (GUID)  Partition  Table  (GPT) format, or will load a GUID
       partition table. When used with the -l command-line option, the program
       displays the current partition table and then exits.
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