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Date:      Thu, 28 Mar 2013 18:29:16 -0700
From:      "Ronald F. Guilmette" <>
Subject:   Where's the metadata?
Message-ID:  <>

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So, um, I downloaded the memstick.img file for FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE and
then I dd'ed that to my 16GB ADATA USB flash thingy.  After that, it
worked just fine, and as expected.  No problems.  I could boot FreeBSD
from it.

Now however, I need to use that USB stick for something else, and I
want to reformat the thing as a single NTFS file system using, one
of my Windows systems to do that (re-)format.

The problem is that now, the Windows system seems to think that the
size of the thing is only something like 24.2 Megabytes... *not* the
actual size, which is vastly larger (16GB).

So I take the thing back and plug it in again to my FreeBSD system
and I'm just about ready to simply dd a whole bunch of /dev/zero to
the thing... figuring that this will probably cure it of its current
drain bamage... but then at the last second I hesitate and decide to
actually try to _understand_ what's going on here, really, for a change.

So now I'm reading the man page for glabel(8) and I figure that this
may help me to understand how the heck a 16GB USB flash thing magically
becomes a (much smaller) 24.4 MB flash thingy.  And I immediately spot
the "dump" option.  naturally, based on the name and the (rather terse)
description in the man page, and I figure that this has got to be be
useful.  So I try it:

# glabel dump da0
Can't read metadata from da0: Invalid argument.
glabel: Not fully done.
# glabel dump /dev/da0
Can't read metadata from /dev/da0: Invalid argument.
glabel: Not fully done.

Now, I say to you all, WTF?  Why don't this work?  Why don't it show me
anything useful?

Also, what exactly is this "fully done" gibberish?

Is this like a souffle?  If I come back in an hour, will it be "fully done"?


P.S.  Yes, I _did_ plug the thing in firmly.  It's there alright.

# ls -l /dev/da*
crw-r-----  1 root  operator    0, 169 Mar 28 15:59 /dev/da0
crw-r-----  1 root  operator    0, 170 Mar 28 15:59 /dev/da0a

P.P.S.  So what _is_ the best tool for just simply taking some sort of
drive... like a USB flash drive, or any other kind of drive for that
matter... and returning it to it's actual size?

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