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Old 05-23-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
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Post Trouble mounting external usb hard drive ufs formatted

Hello, I have a bsd ufs hard drive that I want to mount in Mac OS X (10.4.9 PPC). Upon plugging it in Mac OS X tells me that it doesn't recognize the drive and asks if I want to initialize the drive, I of course click no. I investigate using the Terminal, and I've discovered that the drive is /dev/disk6 ...upon entering "sudo file -s /dev/disk6" (minus the quotes) I get:

/dev/disk6: Unix Fast File system (little-endian), last mounted on /mnt, last written at Sun May 13 05:22:02 2007, clean flag 1, number of blocks 244193292, number of data blocks 240328927, number of cylinder groups 2597, block size 16384, fragment size 2048, minimum percentage of free blocks 8, rotational delay 0ms, disk rotational speed 60rps, TIME optimization

So it obviously sees and understands the drive...yet whenever I try to mount it (after making /Volumes/txt) via a command like (minus the quotes): "sudo mount -vt ufs /dev/disk6 /Volumes/txt" I get the following error (minus the quotes): "/dev/disk6 on /Volumes/txt: Incorrect super block."

In addition when I try the following to get more information on the disk it also fails (minus the quotes): "sudo fdisk /dev/disk6" output: "fdisk: /dev/disk6 is not a character device or a regular file"

So what am I doing wrong? This must be possible since the core of Mac OS X is BSD and this is a BSD UFS formatted external USB HD and in addition file -s shows that Mac OS X does understand the what must I do to get this drive to mount??? Thanks!

P.S. Other drives that are mounted I've noticed have a location of /dev/disk#s# but I cannot seem to find the s# for this drive....please help, thanks

Also in case it matters here's the command my friend used to format the drive and its output:

username_removed_for_privacy# newfs -O 1 /dev/da4
/dev/da4: 476940.0MB (976773168 sectors) block size 16384, fragment size
2048 using 2597 cylinder groups of 183.69MB, 11756 blks, 23552 inodes.
super-block backups (for fsck -b #) at:
32, 376224, 752416, 1128608, 1504800, 1880992, 2257184, 2633376, 3009568,
3385760, 3761952, 4138144, 4514336, 4890528....

It looks like there are some superblock backups specified there, can I use one of them to successfully mount the drive and if so how?

P.S. I am into archiving old vintage computing related files and my friend had a good bunch of them and so I asked him if he could make me a copy, he said sure but he'd need me to buy a 500gb hd for him to put the files on. So I did, he then informed me that the files were on a BSD machine and so we concluded that UFS would be best (since I saw UFS as a format option in Disk Utility and since the core of Mac OS X is BSD I assumed connecting a BSD UFS drive to Mac OS X wouldn't be a issue). So he then formatted the HD UFS, copied the files to the HD and mailed the HD to me. I then unpacked the HD and tried accessing it on Mac OS X and that brings us to where we are now . Due to distance issues it would be best if I could figure out a way to get to the files on the drive in its current format of BSD UFS, so if anyone could please help me that'd be greatly appreciated (as opposed to say mailing the drive back to him and asking him to reformat the drive in a different format and recopying all the files). Thanks!
Old 05-24-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hexstar
So it obviously sees and understands the drive.
This is not entirely correct… It obviously sees the drive as a valid block device (thus the problem is not hardware). The implementation of “file” can obviously read certain magic numbers and deduce the type and information about the volume on the drive (thus, raw reading of the device is ok). This does not mean the kernel is able to understand and mount the volume.
Originally Posted by hexstar
since I saw UFS as a format option in Disk Utility and since the core of Mac OS X is BSD I assumed connecting a BSD UFS drive to Mac OS X wouldn't be a issue
I don’t think the Darwin implementation of UFS is 100% compatible with *BSD UFS (even when you can mount them, it’s often read-only). For one thing, endian issues might make the thing unmountable altogether (PPC is big-endian, while file reports a little-endian volume).
Originally Posted by hexstar
it would be best if I could figure out a way to get to the files on the drive in its current format of BSD UFS
I would suggest some sort of virtual machine, whence you can access the files through some sort of file server.


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