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-   -   Why doesn't Westren Digital Support Linux for the external drives? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/why-doesnt-westren-digital-support-linux-for-the-external-drives-890050/)

will_kranz 07-05-2011 11:55 AM

Why doesn't Westren Digital Support Linux for the external drives?
 
Hi Group, this is probably a fringe post, but I'm curious if anyone has any idea about this. My wife (naturally without consulting me) purchased a WDC "My PassPort" portable usb drive to backup her Windows 7 machine at work. It has an NTFS partition and should be accessable from a Linux box, but she choose to password protect the drive. This apparently requires an executable to run before the drive is unlocked. WDC has provided Windows and Mac versions of their unlock utility, but when I called told they said WDC doesn't support Linux.

It seems odd to me. Are we such a small community that they just don't care? I could remove the password protection and it would probably work with linux. I own a WDC "My Book" external usb/firewire drive that works fine under linux. Just curious why they don't care enough about us to have an linux unlock program.

While on the subject I will mention that this drive comes preformated with a virtual CD as one of the partitions. This is a new feature to me. I have not yet attempted to connect via linux to see what happens.

TB0ne 07-05-2011 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_kranz (Post 4405836)
Hi Group, this is probably a fringe post, but I'm curious if anyone has any idea about this. My wife (naturally without consulting me) purchased a WDC "My PassPort" portable usb drive to backup her Windows 7 machine at work. It has an NTFS partition and should be accessable from a Linux box, but she choose to password protect the drive. This apparently requires an executable to run before the drive is unlocked. WDC has provided Windows and Mac versions of their unlock utility, but when I called told they said WDC doesn't support Linux.

It seems odd to me. Are we such a small community that they just don't care? I could remove the password protection and it would probably work with linux. I own a WDC "My Book" external usb/firewire drive that works fine under linux. Just curious why they don't care enough about us to have an linux unlock program.

No, not small, but you're overlooking the obvious answer. They make these things so that Joe User can just plug it in, and use whatever WD or Microsoft trowels out, to 'back up' their data. They don't give a crap about 94 different applications, proprietary partitions, etc...they want a "backup my data" button in Windows that they click on. End of story. A power user or someone who knows better will instantly look at these things, and avoid them, because of the limitations they put on you. There are MANY external hard drives that don't do this, and work right off the bat with Linux...WD Passports aren't among them.
Quote:

While on the subject I will mention that this drive comes preformated with a virtual CD as one of the partitions. This is a new feature to me. I have not yet attempted to connect via linux to see what happens.
Search this site...this has been covered here many times in the past.

EDDY1 07-05-2011 09:17 PM

Quote:

Hi Group, this is probably a fringe post, but I'm curious if anyone has any idea about this. My wife (naturally without consulting me) purchased a WDC "My PassPort" portable usb drive to backup her Windows 7 machine at work. It has an NTFS partition and should be accessable from a Linux box, but she choose to password protect the drive. This apparently requires an executable to run before the drive is unlocked. WDC has provided Windows and Mac versions of their unlock utility, but when I called told they said WDC doesn't support Linux.
I believe that the password can be removed by your wife.

cascade9 07-06-2011 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_kranz (Post 4405836)
WDC has provided Windows and Mac versions of their unlock utility, but when I called told they said WDC doesn't support Linux.

It seems odd to me. Are we such a small community that they just don't care? I could remove the password protection and it would probably work with linux. I own a WDC "My Book" external usb/firewire drive that works fine under linux. Just curious why they don't care enough about us to have an linux unlock program.

Windows and Mac only is the way of the external drives. They normally work 100% with linux, its the software that comes with the drives that wont work (it might work under WINE, you never know).

Its not just western digital who do that, all the major external HDD manufacturers dont support linux.

I think that at least one reason why the HDD manufacturers dont offically support linux is because they dont want to have to deal with different distros, and talking people through the install process. Its likely that they just buy commercial 'of the shelf' software as well, and dont want to pay extra for the developer to make a linux version.

TB0ne 07-06-2011 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cascade9 (Post 4406918)
Windows and Mac only is the way of the external drives. They normally work 100% with linux, its the software that comes with the drives that wont work (it might work under WINE, you never know).

Its not just western digital who do that, all the major external HDD manufacturers dont support linux.

I think that at least one reason why the HDD manufacturers dont offically support linux is because they dont want to have to deal with different distros, and talking people through the install process. Its likely that they just buy commercial 'of the shelf' software as well, and dont want to pay extra for the developer to make a linux version.

Quite true, but some of the drives have firmware in them, that make that "CD-ROM" partition show up, which you CAN'T remove. For me, though...a new laptop hard drive and an external enclosure is not only cheaper, but always works. Format it with NTFS, and you can enjoy it on Windows too, with no problems.

jefro 07-06-2011 03:45 PM

She knows that. She doesn't want you fooling with it so quit playing with it.

(lest that is what my wife does)

Yep, unless you are buying higher end stuff from companies that have some interest financially in linux they simply do not care about linux users.

In a very slim chance, one might try to take the installed application and registry settings and copy them to a wine install. But we are back to the playing with the wife's toys.

Save your sanity and go buy one for yourself that is supported in linux.


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