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ChiVampir 09-07-2010 12:39 PM

Can't mount Western Digital Elements 2TB external hard drive
 
I'm trying to mount my new Western Digital Elements 2tb hard drive, but every time I try to plug it into the computer I get this error message:

Quote:

Error mounting: mount exited with exit code 12: Failed to read last sector (3907027119): Invalid argument
HINTS: Either the volume is a RAID/LDM but it wasn't setup yet,
or it was not setup correctly (e.g. by not using mdadm --build ...),
or a wrong device is tried to be mounted,
or the partition table is corrupt (partition is smaller than NTFS),
or the NTFS boot sector is corrupt (NTFS size is not valid).
Failed to mount '/dev/sdb1': Invalid argument
The device '/dev/sdb1' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
I've tried using ntsfix and it seems like it worked:
Code:

chi@reca:~$ sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1
Mounting volume... OK
Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully.
NTFS volume version is 3.1.
NTFS partition /dev/sdb1 was processed successfully.

But when I tried opening the hard drive from nautilus I still got the same error message as above (no other volumes was connected at the time).

I've also tried opening and watching it in GParted, and I can see it there as a volume that's not allocated. When I tried to allocate the hard it I got the message that it had no partition table. And that I cold make one. I tried and Ubuntu suggested to make a MS-DOS partition table for it. But there I got a little scared as I've not done this before.

So should I make a MS-DOS partition table, or are there other ways to fix it?

The external hard drive is brand new and was brought today. And I don't have the possibility to test it with Windows or Mac as I'm using Linux only on my machines.

Hope someone's able to help :)

kilgoretrout 09-07-2010 01:35 PM

Quote:

The external hard drive is brand new and was brought today. And I don't have the ability to test it with Windows or Mac as I'm using Linux only on my machines
Then you probably have no data on the drive and no use for the NTFS partition that it came with. Create one linux partition taking the entire drive with gparted and format the drive with the linux filesystem of your choice; ext3 or ext4 would be fine. See if you can get the drive to work in linux that way.

The above assumes that you don't need to ever share data on the drive with windows machines. The 2TB size is right at the size limit for standard mbr type partitions. I suspect that your hard drive may have been partitioned with GTP instead of MBR which doesn't have that 2TB limit. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

for more info on GPT partitioning. Since WinXP generally doesn't support and won't recognize GPT partitions, WD may have otherwise hacked a standard MBR in some non-standard way making it unrecognizable in linux or they may have used some widows partitioning tool that creates partitions differently enough when pushed to the maximum size limit that they are not properly picked up in linux. The "Failed to read last sector" error points to this type of problem. At any rate, a repartitioning and reformatting will most likely fix the problem. If you need to share data with windows machines, gparted can create NTFS partitions so just create a windows NTFS partition and reformat. Make sure you use an MBR as opposed to GPT partition if you need to data share with windows; gparted can create either type.

ChiVampir 09-07-2010 02:41 PM

Thanks ^^
I gave it the MS-DOS partition table and formatted it to NTFS and now it works like a charm :)

But will formatting it to ext3 or ext4 make it work better with my system? Is there a big difference between using NTFS and ext3/ext4 on external hard drives connected to Linux systems? I'm going to use this hard drive as additional space for my main computer.

Sharing big files with Windows and OSX users is what I have USB-keys for, so I don't need this hard drive to play well with either Windows or OSX machines ;)

mostlyharmless 09-07-2010 03:05 PM

Quote:

Is there a big difference between using NTFS and ext3/ext4 on external hard drives connected to Linux systems? I'm going to use this hard drive as additional space for my main computer
.

For some things, there's a big difference. If you wanted to backup using rsync, for example, the difference in unix style file permissions and dates vs ntfs style could definitely trip you up. If you're not using it for Windows, then don't use ntfs, would be my advice.

ChiVampir 09-07-2010 03:13 PM

Thanks!
I will reformat it into ext3 then ^^

Or is ext4 considered stable for home computers now? Does it still have the issue with potential data loss?

mostlyharmless 09-07-2010 03:31 PM

Ext4 vs ext3 is probably not something I want to wade into. I use ext3, works great and if, if, you did want to read it on a Windows machine, you can do it with ext2fs (a free third party Windows driver)

ChiVampir 09-08-2010 01:39 AM

Thanks for you answer ^^

Just remembered that I've used ext4 for my home folder for about a year now as I'm using Ubuntu on my main computer with Ubuntu (and they started to use ext4 in 9.10 if I remember right). Only problem I've had is that I have lost the file permissions to open documents I've worked with if I lost the electricity (empty battery for example).

So I think I will go for ext4 as this hard drive is going to be connected to my main computer for most of time.


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