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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 07-16-2004, 07:31 AM   #1
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Maxtor 200gb One Touch HD Experience

I just thought I would post the following information to clear up any questions about the one touch external hard drive.

Yesterday I recieved the good ole' drive from New Egg. I promptly shut off my computer and pulgged the thing in. From reading other people's experiences with the drive under Linux, I chose to use the firewire connection as the USB connection (supposedly) does not work. I rebooted, entering Mandrake 10 and after I logged into X, I was pleased to see a convenient desktop icon displaying my brand new HD. I was even more excited to note that the factory formatted the drive under the FAT32 file system so (as I incorrectly assumed) both Linux and Windows would recgonize and write files to the drive.

It was now time for me to test the drive. I copied several files from my / and /home partitions over to the drive. No problems. Then I copied several flies over from my other harddrive which contains NTFS partitions (this is because I dual boot). No problem there. Everything was going good so far. Now I wanted to check how the drive worked under Windows. I am trying to stray away from that OS with the overall goal of going solely to linux, but I figured it would be nice if I could just connect the HD to my friends Windows boxes and get their files that way (much quicker than going over a network). So, I booted into windows and, to my suprise, after installing the necessary drivers, the drive worked. I could read the files linux wrote to the drive and write new files to the drive, no problem. So, I rebooted into Linux, ready to start moving all my media files to the new drive.

Windows screwed everything up. My drive mounted under linux, but now it had read only permissions and I could not change them, even as root. I unmounted the drive and tried to remount it, but it would not remount. To make a long story short, eventually I could not read (or detect) it at all. Eventually linux even deleted the drive out of /dev

So, because I am no linux expert, I booted back into windows and erased the partition. I rebooted into linux and the drive was detected and a new /dev entry was added (/dev/sda1). I formatted it under the ext3 file system (I was too frustrated to deal with fat32 and partition limits) and everything went fine. I then rebooted, but got an error. When linux checked my disks, for some reason, it could not check the external HD and I was left with a filesystem error and dropped a shell. So, I logged in as root and ran init 5 to get into X. After wondering around clueless for a while, I checked /etc/fstab file and found an entry for /dev/sda1, which I promptly deleted. I rebooted and had no problem.

Now, I needed to find a way to add my External HD to /etc/fstab. I checked a couple of online tutorials and decided to manually add an entry to the file.
My External HD fstab entry:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/ExternalHD ext3 noauto,user,rw 0 0


Lets go over the entry:
1. /dev/sda1 - since I knew this was my External HD it was the proper device to be mounted

2. /mnt/ExternalHD - as root, I added this directory (ExternalHD) to my /mnt directory. This was just to have an easy way to find the mountpoint. So, when I mount the drive, it will be mounted to /mnt/ExternalHD

3. ext3 - this was the filesystem I used on the HD

4. noauto - does not automatically mount the drive. I thought this might help my boot problem. If the drive doesnt mount, it cant give me errors.
user - I hate logging in as root all the time, so this allows me to mofidy files on the drive as any user
rw - just to be safe (even though its default) to make sure the drive is read/write

5. 0 0 - Stops dump and fsck from touching this drive on boot. I am not really sure if dump had any affect on the boot process, but I know fsck was the main factor causing it to mess up and just to be safe, I set both values to 0.

At this point, I rebooted the system and had no errors during the bootup. I added a device icon to my desktop, set the device to /dev/sda1, made sure every group had read/write properties and tried mounting the drive. It mounted, no problem. I even had a lost&found folder on the drive which indicated things were going to be fine I have copied about 40 gb over to the drive and not had many problems, so I think I finally got the thing working right. The drive does go into a powersave mode after a certain time which is kinda a pain (you have to reboot because you cannot unmount or mount the drive), but hopefully I can stop it from doing that and post again with the answer.

Overall lessons of my story:
1. Maxtor One touch drive is linux compatable - The default factory settings are great and (at least mdk 10) recgonizes it, no problem.

2. Do not use the drive for windows and linux - Pick one or the other. Do file transfer between the two over a network. Windows messes around with the drive and widens the gap between windows/linux compatibility.

3. If all else fails, erase the partition on the HD, let hardware detection pick it up, format it, and manually add a /etc/fstab entry - Theres probably an easier way, but this worked for me.

Sorry for how non-technical the story was. I am a linux noobie, so I do not know much about it yet. Any questions or comments are more than welcome
Old 08-06-2004, 02:57 AM   #2
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I've the same problem with you and searched a bit and found a solution that might help:

I can't test it, because I don't own the drive yet. Please tell me, if it's working.


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