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Old 02-14-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
catkin
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How to clean up WD "My Passport Essential" USB HDD?


Hello

Is it possible to remove the useless (on Linux) pre-installed partitions on this drive?

Using what may be U3 technology, the drive presents as "virtual CD" and a "SES device". The only web pages I found about U3 technology refer to Flash ROM, not HDDs.

No /dev/ files are created for the drive so it cannot simply be re-partitioned. There is some info about Windows-only U3 management utilities here, here and here but they don't seem very reliable and there are no accounts of using them on HDDs. I found nothing on Western Digital's Knowledge Base.

Here's from /var/log/messages
Code:
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=1058, idProduct=070a
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: Product: My Passport 070A
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: Manufacturer: Western Digital
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: SerialNumber: 575833304142394A33323233
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: usb 1-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Feb 14 21:00:29 ps1 kernel: scsi4 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: scsi 4:0:0:0: Direct-Access     WD       My Passport 070A 1032 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 975400960 512-byte hardware sectors: (499 GB/465 GiB)
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 975400960 512-byte hardware sectors: (499 GB/465 GiB)
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel:  sdc: sdc1
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI disk
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sd 4:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: scsi 4:0:0:1: CD-ROM            WD       Virtual CD 070A  1032 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: sr 4:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 5
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: scsi 4:0:0:2: Enclosure         WD       SES Device       1032 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4
Feb 14 21:00:34 ps1 kernel: scsi 4:0:0:2: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 13
Feb 14 21:00:35 ps1 kernel: ses 4:0:0:2: Attached Enclosure device
I don't know how to mount the device but Xfce's Thunar does. After browsing via Thunar:
Code:
root@ps1:~# df -h -T
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
[snip]
/dev/sr0       udf    615M  615M     0 100% /media/WD SmartWare
/dev/sdc1  fuseblk    466G   80M  466G   1% /media/My Passport
EDIT: here's the mount activity from from /var/log/messages:
Code:
Feb 14 21:41:30 ps1 kernel: ses 5:0:0:2: Attached Enclosure device
Feb 14 21:41:30 ps1 kernel: ses 5:0:0:2: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 13
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 ntfs-3g[3615]: Version 2009.4.4 integrated FUSE 27
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 ntfs-3g[3615]: Mounted /dev/sdc1 (Read-Write, label "My Passport", NTFS 3.1)
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 ntfs-3g[3615]: Cmdline options: rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 ntfs-3g[3615]: Mount options: rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal,silent,allow_other,nonempty,relatime,fsname=/dev/sdc1,blkdev,blksize=4096
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 hald: mounted /dev/sdc1 on behalf of uid 0                                                                       Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 kernel: UDF-fs: Partition marked readonly; forcing readonly mount
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 kernel: UDF-fs INFO UDF: Mounting volume 'WD SmartWare', timestamp 2009/11/14 06:04 (114a)
Feb 14 21:41:31 ps1 hald: mounted /dev/sr0 on behalf of uid 0
The part number is WDBAAA5000ABK.

Best

Charles

Last edited by catkin; 03-05-2010 at 11:18 AM.
 
Old 02-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
Hello
Is it possible to remove the useless (on Linux) pre-installed partitions on this drive?

Using what may be U3 technology, the drive presents as "virtual CD" and a "SES device". The only web pages I found about U3 technology refer to Flash ROM, not HDDs.
No, it's not U3, but Smartware, as it says in your Thunar block.
Quote:
No /dev/ files are created for the drive so it cannot simply be re-partitioned. There is some info about Windows-only U3 management utilities here, here and here but they don't seem very reliable and there are no accounts of using them on HDDs. I found nothing on Western Digital's Knowledge Base.

The part number is WDBAAA5000ABK.
Well, it DID seem to create /dev entries, based on what you posted:
Code:
root@ps1:~# df -h -T
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
[snip]
/dev/sr0       udf    615M  615M     0 100% /media/WD SmartWare
/dev/sdc1  fuseblk    466G   80M  466G   1% /media/My Passport
Specifically, the /dev/sdc1 and /dev/sr0 devices. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to see either of them. The entries in your messages file seem to match this, too.

From Western Digital's site, there appears to be a way to remove/disable the VCD stuff:
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/update...twareutilities

Just like the U3 crap, this is a Windows-only solution, although I saw hints to Mac OSX too. Once you remove the VCD/Smartware stuff, you should just be able to unmount the /dev/sdc1 device, and use fdisk on /dev/sdc to re-partition the drive.
 
Old 02-14-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
Well, it DID seem to create /dev entries, based on what you posted:
Code:
root@ps1:~# df -h -T
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
[snip]
/dev/sr0       udf    615M  615M     0 100% /media/WD SmartWare
/dev/sdc1  fuseblk    466G   80M  466G   1% /media/My Passport
Thanks TB0ne

That's true but they are not created when the device is plugged in, only when its contents are mounted

Quote:
Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
From Western Digital's site, there appears to be a way to remove/disable the VCD stuff:
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/update...twareutilities

Just like the U3 crap, this is a Windows-only solution, although I saw hints to Mac OSX too. Once you remove the VCD/Smartware stuff, you should just be able to unmount the /dev/sdc1 device, and use fdisk on /dev/sdc to re-partition the drive.
Very useful link. Will use it when it's OK to risk trashing the drive; right now it's receiving the contents of our failing backup USB HDD.
 
Old 02-14-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
linuxqueric
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Passport warning

I now seem to have a useless Passport Essential on my hands.

I innocently tried to reformat the HDD and have gotten only bad results. I've tried gparted-live; I've tried with fdiskk; I've tried with OpenSuse 11.1 Partitioner. None of them can successfully format the disk. When it appears formatted, a rdiff-backup repeatedly fails in the middle with a warning to the effect that the disk is "Read Only." Most recently the attempt to simply create a single ext3 partition on the entire 320GB disk failed (with "System error code -3009", whatever that is). And it is no longer possible to get XP to see the disk, even after I've zeroed the disk with dd and created a new MSDOS partition table. XP's Disk Management shows "No Device" for the F drive. So I doubt if even WD's disk rescue utilities would be able to do anything.

Presumably this is all due to the VCD stuff, which seems to be in some sort of nuclear-proof bunker. I think this is the first time I've heard of something on a disk that Linux can't get at, at least to delete. Even after using dd to zero out the disk, there's still something there messing things up.
 
Old 02-14-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxqueric View Post
I now seem to have a useless Passport Essential on my hands.

I innocently tried to reformat the HDD and have gotten only bad results. I've tried gparted-live; I've tried with fdiskk; I've tried with OpenSuse 11.1 Partitioner. None of them can successfully format the disk. When it appears formatted, a rdiff-backup repeatedly fails in the middle with a warning to the effect that the disk is "Read Only." Most recently the attempt to simply create a single ext3 partition on the entire 320GB disk failed (with "System error code -3009", whatever that is). And it is no longer possible to get XP to see the disk, even after I've zeroed the disk with dd and created a new MSDOS partition table. XP's Disk Management shows "No Device" for the F drive. So I doubt if even WD's disk rescue utilities would be able to do anything.

Presumably this is all due to the VCD stuff, which seems to be in some sort of nuclear-proof bunker. I think this is the first time I've heard of something on a disk that Linux can't get at, at least to delete. Even after using dd to zero out the disk, there's still something there messing things up.
Right, because even a FAT32 disk has trouble at those sizes. Note that the original partition table worked with the VCD stuff via Fuse, to 'present' the disk.

Try the VCD removal steps/tools, referenced in the above link, then see what happens.
 
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Thanks. This leaves me with a few questions, however:

1. If Disk Manager in Windows doesn't even recognize that there is a device plugged in, how can the VCD removal tools work?

2. What could have been on the disk that dd can't overwrite? My reading about dd suggested that it overwrites everything. Partly I'm pissed that I've wasted two days and my HDD doesn't work. But partly I'd like to understand what happened and why. I've bought several external HDDs over the years and put multiple partitions with different filesystems on them without this trouble. Should Western Digital have a warning about whatever it is that's unusual about the Passport Essential? There's nothing that I see in the material that came with the HDD that indicates that I couldn't just reformat it.

3. My latest step was trying to format the entire drive with ext3. So I don't understand your point that "even a FAT32 disk has trouble at those sizes."

4. I haven't found anything that clarifies for me what "fuse" is or what it means when you say that the "VCD stuff used fuse to 'present' the disk."
 
Old 02-14-2010, 06:59 PM   #7
linuxqueric
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You know, I think we're barking up the wrong tree in my case. Looking at the model number and the WD page, it looks like my Passport doesn't have the "Smartware." It did have some sort of Autorun program tho, that Linux seemed to be somehow aware of even tho it was a Windows program. I ignored that when I did the initial reformat.
 
Old 02-15-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
linuxqueric
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For the sake of trying, I plugged the Passport into the old USB1 port (rather than the USB2 port on the USB2 adaptor in the PCMCIA slot). An E: drive showed up with size 4.98GB and free space 4.98GB. Installed Windows Data Lifeguard Diagnostic from WD. It Shows drive E: WDCWS3200BEVT "Pass" 320 GB. Now running the Extended Test. Will use WD format utility to restore disk to initial state and see where I can get to from there.

Thanks for support.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 08:04 AM   #9
Laurens73
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If you mean entirely remove the U3 crap, it's done very easily with GPartED for example, and then putting a nice ext3 partition in place.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 08:20 AM   #10
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens73 View Post
If you mean entirely remove the U3 crap, it's done very easily with GPartED for example, and then putting a nice ext3 partition in place.
TB0ne pointed out in this post above that it is not U3 but WD Smartware. If you have experience of cleaning a WD Smartware (= WD too damn Smartware) drive using Gparted then please tell us more
 
Old 02-19-2010, 09:40 AM   #11
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My initial attempt was with gparted. After reformatting, rdiff-backup (working fine with a different external HDD) kept hanging half-way through (with error messages about something being "write only"). I also tried repartitioning and reformatting with fdisk and with openSUSE 11.1 Partitioner. Same unsatisfactory results. I tried zeroing out the entire disk with dd and also with Western Digital's diag tool. Still couldn't get a good ext3 partition. Acc to what I understood from Western Digital, the virtual CD drive partition cannot be removed, only disabled.

Most recently I downloaded a program called Hard Disk Low Level Format Tool from hddguru.com and ran it. From what I could tell, it does a true "low level" format rather than just zeroing, which seems to be what a lot of people are calling low level formatting these days. I haven't had a chance to check the results yet. Stay tuned.

I also considered using the WD utility that supposedly restores the Passport to its original state, but didn't want to take the time for that route now.

WD recommends using their utility to disable the VCD and then using Windows to format drive as ntfs or using Mac to format a bigger than 32GB FAT32 partition and/or a Mac partition. They won't give any support or advice for Linux formatting.

WD is very hard to get info from, but as nearly as I can tell, the 32GB constraint on FAT32 is not inherent in FAT32 but an arbitrary limitation created by M$ in XP and 7. WD distributes the 320GB with one large FAT32 partition and says one can use Mac to create larger than 32GB FAT32 partitions.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
TB0ne pointed out in this post above that it is not U3 but WD Smartware. If you have experience of cleaning a WD Smartware (= WD too damn Smartware) drive using Gparted then please tell us more
Well, in that case I misunderstood. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:13 PM   #13
catkin
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Originally Posted by Laurens73 View Post
Well, in that case I misunderstood. Sorry for the inconvenience.
No problem (that was what I thought, too, before TB0ne's post). Thank you for trying to help
 
Old 03-03-2010, 10:35 PM   #14
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Lightbulb

I've just cleaned my WD320Go drive without a problem.
It was mounted as :
/dev/sdc1 298G 74M 298G 1% /media/My Passport

I used fdisk to clean the beast (even if it showed me some error while reading the partition table) :
Code:
Disque /dev/sdc1: 319.4 Go, 319368986624 octets
255 têtes, 63 secteurs/piste, 38827 cylindres  
Unités = cylindres de 16065 * 512 = 8225280 octets
Identifiant de disque : 0x69205244                

Cela ne ressemble pas à une table de partition.
Vous avez probablement sélectionné le mauvais périphérique.

Périphérique Amorce  Début        Fin      Blocs     Id  Système
/dev/sdc1p1   ?       13578      119522   850995205   72  Inconnu
La partition 1 ne se termine pas sur une frontière de cylindre.  
/dev/sdc1p2   ?       45382       79243   271987362   74  Inconnu
La partition 2 ne se termine pas sur une frontière de cylindre.  
/dev/sdc1p3   ?       10499       10499           0   65  Novell Netware 386
La partition 3 ne se termine pas sur une frontière de cylindre.             
/dev/sdc1p4          167628      167631       25817+   0  Vide              
La partition 4 ne se termine pas sur une frontière de cylindre.             

Les entrées de la table de partitions ne sont pas dans l'ordre du disque
Sorry about the french part

Then I used Gparted to do the rest...
Got a 98Gio partition in FAT32 and the rest in ext3.
My drive now mounts as :
Code:
/dev/sdc1              98G   32K   98G   1% /media/disk-1
/dev/sdc2             197G  188M  187G   1% /media/disk-2
I'm on Kubuntu karmic btw.
My Gentoo and Window can also read the disk
 
Old 03-03-2010, 11:19 PM   #15
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denver1980 View Post
I've just cleaned my WD320Go drive without a problem.
Thanks for the information

Interesting that your WD320Go was mounted at "/media/My Passport", suggesting that it is a "My Passport" drive like the WDBAAA5000ABK.

Assuming that the WD320Go is a WDE1U3200, the Western Digital website identifies it as an "Essential" drive which is a different range from the My Passport range and its My Passport Essential sub-range.

When you plug in the WD320Go does it create a virtual CD drive?
 
  


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