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Old 12-17-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
dbc254
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Unhappy external drive too big?


I'm running Mandriva 2008.1. My internal hard drive is an 80gb, and is functioning well. My external drive [connected via usb] is a 100gb, and when I try to backup to it, or save folders to it, it stalls [drive access light stays on till powered down]. What I mean by stalls, is loses connectivity to the OS. Sort of unmounts itself!?!?! If I power it off/on, the data is copied over, but I'm afraid I can't trust it.

I've reformated it using harddrake. I don't know what else to do......
 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
sycamorex
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If you reformatted the hd to a linux filesystem (e.g. ext3), you could check the filesystem using the command 'fsck'(see man fsck). It might identify and fix some problems.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
David_g17
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what's the output of this command before and after the stalling:

df -ha
 
Old 12-17-2008, 12:31 PM   #4
i92guboj
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While you are testing it, writing massively or whatever, do this on a terminal window

Code:
tail -f /var/log/messages
Be looking at that window just in case that something is spitted there. Particularly, look for I/O errors. Maybe the drive is just slow. Are you using it over usb 1.x or 2.0?
 
Old 12-17-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
SlowCoder
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My external IDE enclosure has a maximum hard drive rating of 160GB. Could it be that your drive is too large for the controller?
 
Old 12-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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I'd bet first on a file system error. Use fsck.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
wet-willy
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Quote:
the data is copied over, but I'm afraid I can't trust it.
Because it appears to disappear, but still does the job, gives me the impression there is nothing wrong with the drive or file system. Rather, you have insufficient graphics capabilities where the graphics freeze because most available resources are going towards copying the data, not enough resources going to graphics to keep it refreshed fast enough.
Do you have proprietary graphics driver/module installed for you graphics card?
 
Old 12-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #8
wet-willy
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Some older computer's bios were limited to the size of hard drive they can handle. Not sure about other file systems, but the maximum size for FAT32 was 120GB. You either had to install some kind of drive overlay software onto the drive, or change drive parameter settings in the bios (CHS values).
I doubt it's the size of the drive if it works.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wet-willy View Post
Some older computer's bios were limited to the size of hard drive they can handle. Not sure about other file systems, but the maximum size for FAT32 was 120GB. You either had to install some kind of drive overlay software onto the drive, or change drive parameter settings in the bios (CHS values).
I doubt it's the size of the drive if it works.
Linux doesn't care about your BIOS limitations.

About the FAT32 limitations, well, technically and if my memory serves correctly, you can create and format fat partitions up to 2 TB or so. It's the windows formatting tool which imposes (or imposed) that silly limitations. In any case, that's not relevant. This max sizes are related (and imposed) at volume (partition) creation time. The size of the drive should be irrelevant, as long as the controller can handle it.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 09:43 PM   #10
wet-willy
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A little lag in memory caused my previous "poor" post.

It was in mid 2005 when a friend asked me if I could format his new USB external which was 120GB. For some reason he couldn't do it on his machine. I took the drive out of the enclosure and plugged it directly into the slave position on my HP 8756c and upon boot-up it told me it could not access the drive as it was to large. It asked if I wanted to enable large drive access to which I said yes.
I wasn't even working with Fat32, we were trying to format with NTFS.
What I believe the computer did to access this large drive (in it's day) was to switch hard drive addressing in the bios which was probably Extended CHS, to LBA addressing.
The Fat32 thing as mentioned, has nothing to do with it, it was how the bios addresses drive parameters.

Anyway, because the data was copied over as the OP mentioned, means there is nothing wrong with the drive or it's file system. Rather I get the impression it's a hal issue or graphics getting hung up as resources are spent on copying the data.

I base this on my own issues with my current computers and USB external drives (every one I plug in), where I cannot access the drives from any operating system after using them in Linux, any Linux. And because nobody else appears to have these problems leads me to believe it's a hal issue in my case.
This only started approx. 14 months ago and continues to this day, I feel the current version of hal is not able to work properly with the USB controllers which are the same in both my current laptop and desktop. To get the drives to work again in the external closures I have to pull them out of the enclosure and install them on the ATA channel directly in my desktop, boot into Windows, shut down, put the drive back in the enclosure and avoid using them in Linux.

I could probably get a definite answer if I were to just load a Linux in the old HP and see if the problem persists. But I have three external drives from three different companies and all react the same.
 
  


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