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Old 09-04-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
spwnt
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USB External Hard Drives Hot Swap


I only have so many usb ports so I have to hot swap externals a lot depending on what I'm doing. In Windows it works great.. I don't even have to unmount it.. I can just unplug it and plug another one in... and then I can plug the original one back in when I'm done.. it's seemless and great.(yes I realise that's bad for the drive and can cause problems, but that's not the question.) In Linux I get plug and play but once a drive has been removed it won't be recognised again after that until I reboot... even if I unmount it first. I've tried it in Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, and Arch and they all have this issue. What can I do about this? It's really inconvenient.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #2
tbrand
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On Linux you need to mount and unmount because of asynchronous i/o but how about a USB hub to increase the number of USB ports. They start at $10 and you will not even have to spend time switching the drives.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:22 PM   #3
frankbell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spwnt View Post
In Linux I get plug and play but once a drive has been removed it won't be recognised again after that until I reboot... even if I unmount it first.
I don't have an answer, but I can attest that this is unusual. I have a couple of devices that I plug and unplug frequently (particularly my phone and my podplayer) and I haven't seen this (though I did scramble the contents of my podplayer once by unplugging it without unmounting it; I've also corrupted files under Windows the same way--play with fire, you will get burned).

I would suggest inspecting the contents of /etc/mtab before
  • inserting a device after a reboot, after
  • unmounting a device, then after
  • unmounting the device, then after
  • removing the device, then again after
  • reinserting the device.
Also try running lsusb and capturing the output after each of the above actions to look for differences.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
jefro
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Most linux distro's should support a usb as a hotplug. It should be able to be removed hot or not and be just as easy to plug back in.

Almost seems to be some issue with your computer. I pull them out once in while and never seems to have done that.
 
Old 09-05-2011, 01:40 AM   #5
spwnt
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I actually do have a usb hub but i don't think that my motherboard likes running more than 8 usb devices at a time for too long.. it really creates problems, so that's why i've been trying out hot swapping. plus there's times where i just want to plug in my thumb drive for a quick second to transfer something, not necessarily keep it plugged in 24/7.


Quote:
Almost seems to be some issue with your computer.
funny you say that, because i have 3 externals plugged into the back of my computer and 1 in the front. the front external never has any problems (unless i try to hot swap it ofcourse), but the back 3 will all randomly stop working at the same time. like the whole thing is getting overloaded (but everything that isn't a hard drive keeps working) so it does seem to lead to being a problem with my computer, but everything runs perfectly in windows. maybe one of the drivers in linux can't handle my computer properly and just crashes?

and for the record it's only hard drives that seem to have this hot swapping problem, i unplug mice and headsets and all that kind of stuff and plug them back in with no problem whatsoever.

i'm in the process of installing arch atm i'll look into mtab tomorrow once it's all up and running. thanks for the suggestion!
 
  


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