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I'm a beginner of linux OS because of my project (using Ubuntu). currently I have 2 portable harddisks, which are Seagate Freagent and Maxtor onetouch 4 mini. Today I brought Maxtor to save file from the lab but I can't safe or write any file into Maxtor as well as editing the existed file in maxtor. I can only read file from the harddisk.
and also that I can't "safely remove" the harddisk from PC...
I'm no guru, so take this with a grain of salt.
1 - You can read but not write. This sounds like it's an NTFS file system, and I believe this is a problem that hasn't been fully solved yet (or at least when I tried it.) You would need to reformat the drive as Linux, but then you wouldn't be able to move it back to a Windows system.
2 - There's another possible issue. Newer Seagate drives (and Seagate owns Maxtor) are all SATA (serial). I had a lot of problems with Seagate a while back, while working with Fedora 7 - the drive would work for a while and then 'hang'. My understanding was that Linux in general didn't have good drivers yet, but then others told me that that was nonsense, that it was just a Fedora problem. I didn't pursue it any farther but switch to an IDE drive. Later I started using a laptop with an internal serial drive and CentOS, which apparently is almost identical to Redhat. It has worked perfectly so far. At any rate this might or might not cause a problem.
There are many possibilities, including the NTFS issue already mentioned. From what you've written, I'm guessing you have used the drive previously with Windows and may have enabled some of the One Touch Mini's security options.
If the drive is not being mounted as writeable, the "safely remove" option is not applicable. If you could open a terminal window and run the command
and then post the output, that might offer a clue.
Have a Maxtor OneTouch myself, though a II not a IV. Doubt the NTFS thing is a problem, but the thought about the security is a good one. I wouldn't worry tooo much about the "safely remove" thing, usually it isn't a problem. You can always shutdown/reboot if you have to... One other thing, are you using the firewire or usb connection, and have you tried a different external connector? Sometimes Windows gets flaky with its USB connections and sometimes the drive enclosures get flaky with their connectors.
Whether NTFS disks work under Linux seems to mostly depend on which distribution you have. If it's Redhat, redhat-derived (like Centos and Fedora) or some other commercial distribution, then they won't ship NTFS support because it's reverse engineered and they are paranoid about US law.
Most other distros will ship the in-kernel NTFS drivers, which support reading files but not writing them. These will be listed in the output of mount as type "ntfs".
Some of the more up to date distros will ship the ntfs-3g drivers, which support writing as well as reading. You will often have to explicitly tell mount to use ntfs-3g rather than ntfs however, because the default is mostly still to mount using the ntfs driver. You can do this with mount -t ntfs-3g .....
Nothing will get mounted (= made accessible to the system) automatically unless your system has automatic mounting enabled, so you may well need to (re)mount the drive by hand.
I doubt very much that SATA is an issue at all. For a start, it is impossible to tell apart a SATA drive in a USB enclosure and an IDE drive in a USB enclosure from the computer's point of view because they are both USB storage devices. An internal SATA drive on a SATA controller would need appropriate kernel drivers, but there are plenty of those available in the current kernel.
I use the same drive set the os to mount drive when plugged in and change drive permissions so you have read write permission. Or you can work with the drive as root. Drive format is probably fat32 so any os can use it. Goggle onetouch 4 mini drive permissions in linux and you will get all the info you need.
I have had this problem before, I'm dual booting Win XP and Kubuntu Hardy. I need the Windows XP for a few reasons only(e.g. watching the olympics, few software that doesn't have a Linux version, etc), although I'm using it sparingly.
I have two external HD-s, a Seagate and a LaCie for backup solution. Both are formatted as ext2 partitions which is fine for Ubuntu. In XP I'm using Total Commander to access my Linux drives with the ext2fs plugin installed, which can read the ext2 partitions.
Whenever I need to work on something in Win XP, I copy files from the ext2 to the NTFS partition, edit it, save it, then reboot the computer to Kubuntu and copy the updated files from the NTFS to the ext2 partition again. (In Ubuntu Krusader works fine as a file manager, I installed it since I was used with Total Commander)
Hope this helps, although if you are using Win XP often, it might be cumbersome.
"Today is the tomorrow you've been afraid yesterday"