Installation on disks with unsupported disk label fails

This document (7018129) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 1 (SLES 12 SP1)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2)


YaST cannot use a disk with an unsupported disk label and shows the error message "The disk is in use and cannot be modified" when trying to change or remove it's partition table.


In order to avoid issues with partition tables which are not fully supported, it is recommended to wipe the partition table (the beginning of the disk) before actually starting the YaST installer, for example by using the rescue system to erase the first 1 MB of the disk with

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk-device-node bs=1024 count=1024

Replace /dev/disk-device-node with the device node of the disk to partition.

Caution: double check whether the device node refers to the correct disk, there is a severe risk of data loss if it points to a different disk. The block device nodes directly in /dev/ are not persistently pointing to the same devices across reboots, especially in multipath environments. It's recommended to use the persistent device names under /dev/disk/by-path/ or /dev/disk/by-id/ to avoid accidentally destroying data on a different disk.

Afterwards, the installer will be able to proceed correctly.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has full support for two partition table types on x86-64: DOS and GPT. When trying to install on a disk which has an unsupported type of disk label, for example BSD or AIX, creating the partitioning proposal automatically is not possible. If such a disk is used in multipath mode the installer may not be able to create a new partition table at all.

Additional Information


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7018129
  • Creation Date: 07-Oct-2016
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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