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I bought a 250 GB Maxtor EHD recently to use with my system which runs BlueWhite64. Before I jump over to the BlueWhite64 forums, I thought about asking here in the hardware section, because my problem is somewhat related to the hardware. More specifically, my problem lies with permissions as a user. When I mount the device (normally /dev/sdf1) as root, I can read and write to the EHD. Howver, I can't read the device as a user. In /dev, the Maxtor shows up as brw-r----- 1 root, disk 8,81 /dev/sdf1 which when mounted prevents the user from even reading the drive. Normally, removable drives like SD discs are members of the group, plugdev. However, the Maxtor is member of group, disk. Other than adding a user to group, disk, how can this problem be solved? I suspect the problem lies with udev.
Edit - This problem seems related to the initial NTFS filesystem. After coping the original files elsewhere, I repartitioned the whole EHD to ext3 and the EHD is now readable as a user. I'll have to look into this problem further.
The permissions on the block device affect who can mount it, but they have no effect on who can access the drive once it is mounted. You should look at the documentation for your ntfs driver; it probably has a mount option that will tell it what permissions to set on the files (ntfs drivers need to make up new permissions for the files on the drive because they can't just reuse the windows ones). If you only use the drive in linux, it is much safer to use ext3 than ntfs to avoid data corruption. To share the drive with windows, use fat32.