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Old 11-24-2003, 10:51 AM   #1
BeckerB
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Question install maxtor USB external hard drive


I am looking for directions to attach a maxtor 5000 USB external hard drive to a system running red hat linux exterprise 3.0 WS. This device is formatted with FAT32 filesystem, and will be used to transport data between a windows 2000 system and redhat linux. I have contacted both Maxtor and Redhat, and neither offer support for this, but indicate that "you may be able to get it to work". One catch: we have purchased support from redhat, but their support will be invalidated if we change the kernel in any way. Does anyone have directions for enabling a maxtor USB external hard drive with a FAT32 filesystem on redhat linux?
 
Old 11-24-2003, 03:43 PM   #2
kilgoretrout
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I got my maxtor one touch external usb hard drive working in linux with mdk9.2. There were a few bumps in the road however. The kernel was no problem and I believe Rh 9 should have the necessary usb, usb_storage and scsi modules available out of the box. You might want to check with rh support to see if usb 2.0 is supported. If not, you might be able to get it running but it will be dog slow with usb 1.1.

On to the big problem. My drive came from the factory with one 120GB FAT32 partition. No problem in windows here; after installing the windows software the drive was detected and I could read and write to the drive in windows 98SE. I then booted into linux and connected the drive. To my suprise, the drive was automatically detected using device file /dev/sda however the partition on the drive was not detected at all; the entire drive was designated "unallocated". I then tried to repartition and reformat using linux partitioning tools. Big mistake!!! When I tried to format the partition I created I got error messages re overlapping partitions and the format wouldn't go. I booted back to windows and used Acronis Partition Expert to delete all partitions on the drive and then created two extended/logical drives, one 100GB and the remaining space 20GB, and formatted both FAT32.

Crossed my fingers, booted back to linux and thankfully both partitions were detected as sda5 and sda6. I was able to mount and read/write to the partitions and hdparm showed transfer rates of 23MB/sec so usb 2.0 was definitely working.

For convenience I set up a fstab entry for sda5 as follows:

/dev/sda5 /mnt/rem vfat user,exec,noauto,codepage=850,iocharset=iso8859-1,quiet,umask=0 0 0

I did the same on my debian install and was also able to get it working but only at usb1.1 speeds. Knoppix also recognizes the drive as sda5 when booting off the knoppix cd but again will only work at usb1.1 speeds.

Everything has worked fine ever since. Based upon my experience, the factory partition and format is not compatible with linux. I would try deleting the existing partition in windows and repartioning and formatting either with win 2000 utilities or with third party partitioning utilities. I'm not sure that using extended/logical partitions was critical to my success but that's something to keep in mind as well. It might also have been a size thing since the largest partition I created was 100GB. Under no circumstances would I attempt to partition or format the drive in linux.
 
Old 11-25-2003, 07:18 AM   #3
BeckerB
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Thanks for your help. Hope you don't mind a few more questions. Currently, my maxtor external drive seems to be somewhat detected; when I do a "mount", one of the returned lines is "usbdevfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbdevfs (rw)". I seem to be stuck trying to determine which /dev/file is associated with the usb device; if I could determine that, then I could put a record in /etc/fstab, unplug and replug the device, and see what happens. Any idea how to determine which /dev/file is associated with the usb device? The other line of thought is that there must be .conf file somewhere that determines the default mount parameters; if I could locate that and edit it, perhaps that would mount it correctly. Any suggestions? One last question: when I unplug the drive, are there any other steps I need to take, like unmounting the device first?
 
Old 11-25-2003, 10:08 AM   #4
kilgoretrout
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I think your in the same boat I was in before I repartitioned; i.e. it sees the device but not the partition so obviosly it can't mount. Just out of curiosity, do you get any partition info on the device when you run:

# fdisk -l /dev/sda

The device will be /dev/sda with the partition being sdax unless you have another usb storage device connected which was previously configured, eg a usb zip drive. In that case the second usb storage device will be /dev/sdb. The 'b' letter will only be assigned if you have both devices connected at the same time.
 
Old 11-26-2003, 10:43 AM   #5
BeckerB
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I got this working, sort of. Thanks for your help. I wound up creating 3 FAT32 partitions on the USB drive, 2 32GB and 1 12GB. Using the Win2K disk managment partition wizard, I received an error "Volume size too large" whenever I tried creating a partition > 32GB; actually, the partition was created, but the formatting would eventually fail. Anyway, after successfully creating partitions and formatting under windows, then plugging this into linux, fdisk -l reports all 3 partitions present as /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 and /dev/sda3. I can mount /dev/sda1, but I receive "/dev/sda2 is not a valid block device" when I try and mount it. Same error with /dev/sda3. The permissions appear identical on all 3 /dev files; ls -l reports brw-rw---- with root as owner and disk as group. Any idea how to resolve this error message? Thanks again.
 
Old 11-26-2003, 12:08 PM   #6
kilgoretrout
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Can you see sda1 through 3 in /dev, i.e. do they exist? I assume you ran:

# mount -t vfat /dev/sda2 <mount point>

when you got the error message. If not, try the above.

You can also try creating an entry in fstab for one of your partitions and see if that works. Here's what I use:

/dev/sda5 /mnt/rem vfat user,exec,noauto,codepage=850,iocharset=iso8859-1,quiet,umask=0 0 0

Adopt to your circumstances by changing sda5 to sda2 and put in the mount point you use. Then you should be able to mount as an ordinary user with:

$ mount /dev/sda2

However, I suspect the partitioning utilities in win2000 may not be up to the task since you can mount sda1 but not the other partitions created. Can you access all partitions in win2000? Also, the 32GB limitation is puzzling. You may need third party partitioning utilities to do the job right. Acronis worked great for me and retails for about $50. You can get it here by download:

http://www.acronis.com/products/partitionexpert/

It's a very handy utility to have around and supports all the common linux filesystems unlike Partition Magic.
 
Old 11-26-2003, 12:24 PM   #7
BeckerB
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I tried the mount command with that syntax, and putting a record in fstab; both resulted in the error message. I can access all partitons from Win2K just fine, and the linux fdisk command reports all 3 partitions. But I can only mount the first partition. Puzzling.
 
Old 11-26-2003, 01:18 PM   #8
kilgoretrout
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It's not recognizing the format on sda2 and 3 for some reason so it reports no valid block device. Windows writes partition info in the mbr differently than linux. This can cause problems at times, particularly when using windows partitioning utilities and trying to read those partitions in linux. Win2000 obviously had trouble with the usb drive when trying to partition and format as indicated by the 32GB limit and format problems you encountered. It basically hacked around to create and format the partitions within the limitations of the win2000 partitioning utilities. That hack works OK in windows but not linux. Linux partitioning utilities also have problems with this device and can't quite figure out how to partition and format it.

Again, I'd recommend going with Acronis. One thing you might try is creating extended/logical partitions instead of primary partitions using the win2000 utilities. I'm not familiar with win2000 partitioning utilities but I assume they have that capability. That's another significant difference between your setup and mine; you have primary partitions and I use extended/logical partitions. Your first extended/logical partition in linux will be sda5.

Last edited by kilgoretrout; 11-26-2003 at 01:23 PM.
 
Old 01-06-2004, 12:14 PM   #9
jbasler
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Interesting Thread... Though I still have a major issue with this, I also have installed a Maxtor One Touch on my laptop with RH Linux 2.x and have successfully created a mount point on the drive by cleaning off all windows partitions and using this series of commands:
cdrecord -scanbus (to get my device information)
fdisk -l
fdisk /dev/sda
commands: n
: w
mkfs -t ext2 /dev/sda1
mkdir /oracle
mount /dev/sda1 /oracle

"Whoa-la" I can write the the external drive

My problem is, at this point, that if I mount sda1 the O/S won't let go of the drive whilest rebooting. While shutting down, everything is going smoothly until "unmounting .." occurs and it just sticks there (I left it in that state all night long just to be sure). I end up having to do a hard reset of the machine and properly doing a Fuzz-check (fsck) when it comes back up.

I tried umount(ing) /sda1 and the mount point disappeared (as it should), but even after manually umount(ing) it still sticks on the Unmounting phase.

If I leave /sda1 out of fstab and neglect to mount the drive in the first place, I can reboot and everything happens normally.

What to check... ?

Last edited by jbasler; 01-06-2004 at 12:17 PM.
 
Old 01-06-2004, 03:02 PM   #10
michaelk
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There is two different filesystem IDs for FAT32. b is for <32 and f is for >32 or large disk support (I believe this is correct).

Post the output of fdisk -l
 
Old 01-06-2004, 03:04 PM   #11
kilgoretrout
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I think it's your fstab entry for the device. Please post it. The last two numbers determine what actions the system takes with respect to the filesystem on the partition when starting up or shutting down. I believe if it ends in "1 2" it will attempt a filesystem check; if it ends in "0 0" the system will leave it alone. Obviously, if it's set to check the filesystem in fstab and the drive isn't connected at startup or shutdown, the system will freak.
 
Old 01-06-2004, 03:11 PM   #12
jbasler
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Yeah, I don't really understand the where-with-alls of Linux's fstab file. I stuck 0 0 in there and called it good.

The "thing" is, though, that even if I leave it OUT of fstab and manually mount and umount it it still acts as I described.

Last edited by jbasler; 01-06-2004 at 03:19 PM.
 
Old 03-17-2004, 02:22 PM   #13
bdadsetan
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You guys are going to laugh.. I just bought a Maxtor OneTouch 120Gb external USB drive.

Really just plugged in the cable, and the following command was enough:
mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt

...

I needed no repartitioning, no new kernel, no file system creating, nothing.
I use Debian unstable.

Your shocked and amazed Ben who wonders why how all that black magic works..
 
Old 03-17-2004, 02:36 PM   #14
BeckerB
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I just wanted to add a mention of devlabel. Once the paritioning problems were resolved (I wound up with a 30G primary, and a second 30G extended logical parition), and I was able to manually mount and unmount these paritions on linux, I next wanted this to happen automatically, when the USB device is plugged in or unplugged. Using devlabel worked for me. Basically, this consisted of "devlabel add ..." to create 2 symbolic links to the /dev/sd? mountpoints, then putting entries into /etc/fstab referencing the symbolic links. My understanding is that this works in conjunction with the hotplug system. See the devlabel documentation for more info.
 
Old 04-02-2004, 04:09 AM   #15
ostehamster
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Hey

I have a Maxtor One Touch 120GB, which I have made two ext3 partitions on, and I doesn't work.

When I do a fsck at the partitions, I got no errors, but when I copy larges files (<100MB), it copy about 90MB, then stop for a while, copy a little more, and dies. The /var/log/messages rapports no problem, the system just freze. Any idea why this happens?

regards
Christoffer
 
  


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