(Answer) (Category) Linux on PowerPC FAQ-O-Matic : (Category) MkLinux :
During DR3 install, I get the error "mount failed: Invalid argument"
Most often, this means that the partition you wanted to install DR3 into does
not contain a Linux filesystem.  A few screens earlier, there was a screen
querying you for which partitions to "format".  Here's an excerpt from the
"Read Me" file on the CD (README_DR3 on the FTP site):

 "Format Partitions" Screen

     The installer will give you a list of partitions.  You will need to use
     the arrow keys and space bar to select which partitions to format.  If
     you have never used MkLinux in these partitions, you must reformat all
     of them.  If you have used MkLinux DR2.1 (or an earlier version), we
     suggest that you reformat _all_ your MkLinux partitions.  If you have
     used MkLinux "pre-DR3", we suggest that you format at least the system
     partitions, such as / (the root partition), /usr, or /var.

Unfortunately, the README fails to stress that you MUST take action on this
screen (unless you're doing something pretty weird).  The check-boxes next to
the partitions are left blank.  You MUST "check" the box next to the partitions
which you are going to install DR3 into.  Do this by selecting the partition and
pressing the space bar.  An asterisk will appear in the check-box, which
indicates that the installer will "format" that partition before trying to
install into it.
When I installed, I got the same error message, and I came
to this FAW-O-MAtic, but the above answer didn't solve
my problem.. In a drunken rage (not really), I rebooted, and
then it worked fine after that... so the moral of the story it:
Try rebooting.
I also got the dreaded "mount failed: Invalid argument" at the
point just after a dialog box about an installer file. No, it
never says what the invalid argument is :-(
I had already checked the format options.. and rebooting did not help :-(
I thought it might be weird trying to install on a 2nd HD. I even switched
the SCSI ID numbers so the linux disk would be ID0 (being external it is
still /dev/sdb (..internal seems to always stay sda))
So as it stands now, unless someone has an idea.. this install is toast

PPC 7300/120
"mount failed: Invalid argument"  SOLVED !!!

this is what I did wrong BUT more importantly.. **LinuxPPC WILL NOT INSTALL
across two buses (ie Internal and External..** some kind of timing issue..

AND/OR (not tested) Linux drive must be /dev/sda

I think this because finally, and because of some of the error messages
about bus reset etc I put the exact same drive, that was external, internally,
and without changing anything... (same formatting etc.. all left alone
IT INSTALLED FINE. (note: when my ID 0 /dev/sdb drive went internal.. 
it was changed to ID 0 /dev/sda ... thus my AND/OR caveat above)

now another small problem of my own making..:
(thanks to the thread in the newsgroup archives reminding me of virtual
terminals(CMD+F3 CMD+F4), because these error messages gave me a hint..
as did the install FAQs...) it couldn't mount swap

This entire partitioning fdisk thing is bogus.. counting blocks.. 
give me a break. But I went and repartioned the disk AGAIN, this time
using smaller numbers with the "letter" method: 
start block:  <partition #>p
block size:  <xxx>M (or alternately G if applicable)
taking care to make the swap partition not too large.. (which I am
still unsure of exactly.. I only know it maxs out at 127MB)
But when I did it this time, it happily formatted the swap partition
(which it had never done before) (I always checked the check for bad
block option!) and all is looking good.... 

I still do not understand the fdisk implementation.. specifically why
it thought my 4G disk was "5xx.xG".. this has to improve. x86 RedHat
has resolved this nicely..hell even SuSE
"mount failed: Invalid argument"  SOLVED AGAIN
(my first answer last night was WRONG..sorry)

Last night at 3am I was very optimistic.. too optimistic..
in the light of day now, and another three hours invested.. I have a running system..

R4 did not like (any of) the (perfectly fine) drives last night. including an
IBM DORS-32160 2 GB (which I realize now fdisk thought was a 100*GB* drive!)
nor a LaCie Quantum 2GB

But today, I put in a lowly, used, old, slow, Quantum LPS1050 1.6", and
it worked painlessly.. is this good or bad? 
When in doubt.. go retro.

Make sure each of the partitions you've specified for your installation are
less than 2GB.  I _think_ this has been the solution for me using the Pre-Dr1.

System: 6100/66; 136MB; install drive: 8GB external. 
I started off with a / partition of 1.2GB and a /local of 2.3GB and have been
stuck in a "mount failed:..." loop for about a week now, reading the pdisk
documentation, PHT's/Apple's Official MkLinux book and various mailing lists,
newsgroups and FAQs.  This morning, out of sheer desperation, I looked at the
distribution CDROM and noticed there was a README folder on it.  I actually
*READ* the mklinux version of the file!  It was the only place where I've
noticed that there is 2GB limit on the partition size.  (If I've missed
in my other readings, please point it out.)

Anyway, I resized my partions to /=700MB, /usr=900MB and /local=1.4GB.
The install is proceeding as I type, so far so good.

In general, I do read the READMEs that come with a distribution, but
this is not the first time I've installed linux, and didn't think there
was much new there.  The info wasn't new, my hardware was, and now the info
was applicable.  I think we can all agree that the error message is less
than informative.    /nt

This seems to be the classical 'n - 1' problem.

To calculate to maximal length of a partition, you always have
to subtract one block.

This would give us the following max. lengths:

2 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 / 512 - 1 = 4'194'303 blocks for a normal partition
     128 * 1024 * 1024 / 512 - 1 =   262'143 blocks for a swap partition

I've set up my HD with these values and now it's working.

One additional hint:
If you write the new partition table with pdisk and it's
saying that it could not re-read the partition table, then
it is a good idea to follow the advise and reboot the box.
I am installing PR1 on 8100/80 running Mac OS 8.5 with a second
 9GB SCSI internal hard drive. I've encountered two problems:
1. Couldn't get the MKLinux installer to boot - problem with "bootstrap.conf"
2. Error: "mount failed:Invalid argument"
1. I copied the "mach_servers" folder to the first hard disk /dev/sda which is running MacOS 8.5 and I edited "lilo.conf" to boot from /dev/sda5 (the partition with the "mach_servers" folder in. This worked and I am now installing MKLinux - so far so good ;-)
2. I repartitioned the second disk using the "n-1" suggestion from olidin@gmx.net as follows: swap= 262,143 blocks /=4,194,303 blocks
and as I write my 8100/80 is beavering away "Making Ext2 filesytem on /dev/sdb7...
Brilliant - Thanks a lot ;-)

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