Posted by: kezhong | June 14, 2011

How to remove BIOS RAID metadata from disk on Fedora

When I installed Fedora on a used disk, it gave me an error message:
“Disk contains BIOS metadata, but is not part of any recognized BIOS RAID sets. Ignoring disk sdb”

I plugged this disk in a USB-based hard drive docking station on another machine that installed Fedora, and used dd to wipe the disk. It took me two days. I had 8 of the same disks that my co-workers used. So I searched on the net, and found there is a dmraid command can remove the BIOS RAID metadata.

[root@localhost ~]# dmraid -r -E /dev/sdc
Do you really want to erase “pdc” ondisk metadata on /dev/sdc ? [y/n] :y

It took me just one second! It saved me a half of month. LOL!



  1. […] from Kezhong Categories: Instructional Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment […]

  2. Thanks , that solved the same problem for me.
    You are the best

    • 1\ Very helpful post.
      2\ For some guys like me dmraid wont work.. In which case only option is to zero out the drive with dd. But good news is you dont have to zero out complete drive. Just zero out 1st couple and last couple of sectors. Follow commands below

      dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=2
      fdisk -s /dev/sda
      dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda seek=(number_of_sectors – 20) bs=1k

      number_of_sectors = output of fdisk -s /dev/sda

      This worked for me.. Thought I should put it out.


        Danka sehr-fiel!

      • thanks to Gattu

  3. You made my day

  4. You rock !

    Just removed my metadata so centos6 will install … well I hope it will now :D

  5. Your error said sdb but you’re dmraid on sdc.
    I know, I just can’t let that go :) Thanks for the tip.

  6. So so so grateful! I have had problems with this issue in Anaconda back as far as Fedora 10, and usually worked around by using other disks. Doing a new install today I hit this and looked for bugs. There are numerous (still open) bugs filed in bugzilla on this issue! Fedora 15 and the Fedora 16 beta both have this problem too! I had been banging my head against this for a couple of hours today till I found your post. I used the Federoa 16 beta Live disk to boot; opened a terminal; ran “su” to become root, and then ran the above command. Then rebooted and finally Anaconda let me proceed. Thank-you!!

  7. Thanks I was used dd command without success


  8. Thank you very much. It solved the problem for me alsa.

  9. Thank you so much!

    I can confirm “dmraid -r -E /dev/sd[a, b, c…]” worked for me.

    Been trying to install Fedora 16 on an old desktop. During install, I got the same “Disk contains BIOS metadata, but is not part of any recognized BIOS RAID sets. Ignoring disk sda” error message as author, but my drive was under sda.

    Went into Terminal
    entered “su” to become root
    entered “dmraid -r -E /dev/sda”
    when asked Do you really want to erase “pdc” ondisk metadata on /dev/sdc?, entered “y”

    done deal. not sure if the bug in question is “Cannot install over an existing RAID configuration – Bugzilla: #729640”

  10. Hello,

    Does this command “dmraid -r -E /dev/sdx” erase the data if for example we have two operating systems installed on it? I have Ubuntu Onyx and Ubuntu Maverick, and when trying to install a Fedora based distro I also receive the said message “bios metadata … ignoring disk”.

    I menction this because I would like to try a fedora based distro like fuduntu and also have the other two operating systems..

    Thanks a lot. Marco Antonio

  11. Thanks so much for sharing. It saved me about half a day.

  12. 2 days later after removing MBR and wiping HDD I found this post – worked a treat!

  13. This tip save the world from hearing many curses last night. Thanks.

  14. Thank you

  15. Thanks for this works a treat. Do not understand why Fedora and other linux disto’s just don’t ask during install if you would like to remove old metadata.

  16. […] […]

  17. Brilliant! I had to run this twice as I had pdc and sil metadata – now fedora 16 will finally install.

  18. Ty Brochacho-you hit the nail on the head with this fix. Saved my bacon!

  19. Hi, It worked for me, but now, when the computer starts, it takes a little bit more time loading when it shows the BIOS screen (I mean, when it shows “DELL” and the setup options).

    There is any way to recover this metadata?

  20. That was a hell of a tip! Thanx a lot.

  21. […] 早合点な部分もあったので詳しく情報をあつめると、ハードウェアRAIDっぽいけど実はカード上のBIOSでソフトウェアRAIDをやっているようなRAID(俗称: Fake RAID)構成はdmraidコマンドを使って設定するらしく、この情報がHDD上に残っているのでdmraidコマンドを使ってクリアしてあげればいいとのこと。 (参考サイト: […]

  22. Great blog worked for me.. neede to remove data at the start and end of drive as stated by gatu

  23. Thanks to that! saved me a lot of time, too.

  24. […] Оригинал тут: […]

  25. Great tip. Work for us well.

  26. tyvm, save me some time.

  27. I found when I did on CentOS6.2, it didn’t work. I used the way as below:
    # parted /dev/sdc
    # mklabel msdos

  28. That solves my problem too. Many many thanks!!! :-)

  29. That solves my problem too. Many many thanks!! :-)

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    com profile.
    It’s the only one particular of its kind, I feel. It doesn’t just give tips.
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  31. mdadm –zero-suberblock /dev/sdx – faster way to do this, also there is no dmraid in minimal RHEL installation but mdadm is.

  32. mdam –zero-superblock /dev/sdx

  33. \-\- zero

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  36. mdadm –zero-superblok /dev/sdx worked for me

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  40. The dd operation described above..
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=2
    fdisk -s /dev/sda
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda seek=(number_of_sectors – 20) bs=1k

    number_of_sectors = output of fdisk -s /dev/sda

    did NOT work for me, so I arbitrarily increased “20” to 800.

    I assume that this metadata is somewhere near the near of the drive, and the goal is to avoid having to zero the whole thing. zeroing a few K bytes doesn’t take any time.

  41. (and it worked!)

  42. […] Fuente | Kezhong’s Weblog […]

  43. awesome. Had same issue and it worked like a charm. Was getting ready to sit down and wade through ton of pages and documentation to fix this and ran across your blog. One simple command fixed the problem in no time. On to install CentOS so I can get my OpenVS system up and running.


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  46. […] How to remove BIOS RAID metadata from disk on Fedora … – 2011-06-14 · When I installed Fedora on a used disk, it gave me an error message: “Disk contains BIOS metadata, but is not part of any recognized BIOS RAID sets…. […]

  47. […] […]

  48. Thanks much! worked for me!

  49. dmraid -x

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