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Old 03-02-2005, 01:51 AM   #1
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External HD "Not a valid block device" Slackware 10.0


After three days of trudging through forums looking for solutions to this problem I have finally decided to post. I am running Slackware 10.0 w/ kernel 2.4.26. I have an external IDE enclouse housing a 200GB Western Digital hard drive. It is connected via USB to my laptop. Let me lay out what I have tried to get it this far:

1. Installing with an alternate kernel that supports SCSI - found my hard drive during the initial install hardware probing, listed it into fstab, upon every boot the same message occurs "mount: /dev/sda1 is not a valid block device".

2. Next I found a post that said the VFAT fs is not recognized by Slackware - I used cfdisk to format into type 0B W95 FAT32. Lo and behold this worked! "Great!" I thought. However, I rebooted to test it and to my dismay it gave the same error before except now I can't ever get cfdisk to find it (FATAL ERROR: Cannot open disk drive). Very strange indeed. At least Slackware was acknowledging it before, but now I have nothing at all. Just to verify the drive was in fact VFAT before I formatted. It had a bunch of information on it and retained it through the re-writing of the partition table. I know this becuase wrote a file to it and copied it from the external drive before I rebooted.

Performing /sbin/lsusb gives me nothing, literally. I do not get any response it just jumps down a line like I typed nothing at all and hit enter. I'm running a fully terminal machine righ now so I'm using links to browse and write this. So I can't really copy and paste my dmesg otherwise I would. I'll see if I can't get it uploaded somewhere and link it later. For now here is my lsmod:

root@darkstar:~# lsmod
Module Size Used By Tainted: P
ndiswrapper 82604 1
usbcore 59308 0 [ndiswrapper]
ide-scsi 9328 0
agpart 43940 0 (unused)

I apologize if that is not the exact format, but I was jumping between terminals with alt to copy that. I have double checked and those are the exact lines and numbers and order of the lsmod.

I have tried multiple distros and I really prefer Slackware, but in Mandrake it recognized it just fine. The only difference I can think of between the two is that Mandrake is running usb-uhci and usb-ehci(not quite sure but I'm assuming this is for my ieee1394 port). I'm going to look into the former and see if I can't dig up anything.

Old 03-02-2005, 03:53 PM   #2
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You did not say how you were mounting it. If you know that it is sitting as /dev/sda1 can you mount it manually?
#mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usbhd auto users ect.
Read the man page for "mount"
man mount

Also if you are taking it out before umounting it the next time you plug it in Slack may be bumping the drive letter up 1. /dev/sdb1. You'll want to unmount it before taking it out.
man umount

Post your fstab for people to see if you can. You should be able to mount it manually even if fstab is messed up.
Old 03-02-2005, 04:18 PM   #3
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I can't really copy and paste my dmesg otherwise I would. I'll see if I can't get it uploaded somewhere and link it later
Dmesg is essential to understanding this problem.


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