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Old 04-23-2004, 08:55 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 241

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External USB Mass Storage (ALI Chipset)

I posted this in the software forum and received no responses. Since it could be a software or hardware issue I'm posting it here too in order to see if I can come up with some response from you all.


I have a external usb mass storage device which is based on the ALI chipset that allows me to use older notebook HDDs as a usb device. In windows there's a need for a pci to usb bridge driver in order to make it work (in ME/2000/xp that's natively available--in Win 98 seperate drivers are required and those drivers are readily available for windows).

I haven't used Linux for much more then setup, learning, and web browsing but would like to use this device for future references. The drive has a slew of windows and linux drivers/programs that I wish to be able to swap back and forth. It is formatted as fat32. I have no intention of reformatting it or using it for another purpose. It is just too valuable for when I go to customer sites and need some file or driver.

What I'm after is making it accessible from any linux box I approach with little to no effort. In other words I don't want to have to modify the customer's Linux in order to get it to work.

When I plug it into my current linux box I see nothing indicating it is available and none of the information on the screens when linux is starting seems to indicate it sees the device either.

Anyone have ideas on how to make this work? This may or may not be a challenge to some of you.


P.S. Some additional information. In The KDE Info Center under USB Devices it seems to see the hardware. For instance it says USB 2.0 storage device, provides the serial number, and shows the vendor ID of Acer Labs Inc.

So, the next question then becomes: How do I get it mounted?
Old 04-27-2004, 04:49 PM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Ubuntu, Puppy
Posts: 386

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What is your distro ?

Normally usb storage devices are recognized by the distro.

You get a disc icon on your desktop and can mount by clicking, sometimes accessing the drive is enough to mount it.

There are some differences between distro's.

Sometimes it doesn't work at all, depends of the kernel.

I have a lacie dvd, some (self-build) boxes with usb 2 and a laptop drive
they all work perfect. With sticks this is not always the case. Card readers on the other hand work perfect.

Normally I connect the drive before I boot. Then it is alway recognized and I have the Icon of the disk on the desktop. (mostly sdax or sdbx)


Last edited by CloudBuilder; 04-27-2004 at 04:52 PM.
Old 04-27-2004, 04:58 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2: Who needs exmmpkg when you have emerge?
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try this:
modprobe usb-storage
then reboot, and see if it tells you what the device name (/dev/something) is. then
mount /dev/what_the_device_name_is /where/you/want/to/mount/it
dunno if this will work or not, but its work a try
Old 05-12-2004, 11:42 AM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Miami
Posts: 1

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Short answer


The USB drives are normally used through the SCSI emulation layer on Linux. what this means is that once the device is plugged, the "hotplug" manager (kernel 2.6) or whatever hot plug daemon your distro uses will create a SCSI device node under the /dev folder.

If you don't have any other "real" SCSI devices the lexar drive should be available as /dev/sda1 (1st partition on the first SCSI drive), so just drop to a console and do a:

# mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt (replace /mnt for whatever folder you want your drive to be mounted)

now, getting an icon to show up automatically on your desktop when you plug in the drive is another story.


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