Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 10-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
Registered: May 2012
Distribution: Peppermint OS
Posts: 65

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
smartmontools won't recognize external hard drive

Hello Linux friends

I have a 2TB Seagate STBD2000101 SATA drive in a Rosewill JBOD enclosure attached to my Gateway LT20 laptop.

When I purchased the HD, I was unaware that the APM was very aggressive, and it would spin down after about 10 minutes of being idle. The delay in access as well as the concern about drive wear prompted me to find a program that would disable the APM via S.M.A.R.T. Since I first configured the drive in Win7, I used CrystalDiskInfo and that worked to keep the drive on (as well as get rid of that annoying chirp sound).

My problem is that in Ubuntu, smartmontools tells me that the drive is not S.M.A.R.T. capable, so I am unable to change the settings. This is confusing because it IS a smart drive. Im not sure if it is because the drive is attached via USB to SATA or what. I was unable to find much help on the samrtctl manpages either.

Can anyone tell me what I can do?

Thanks in advance
Old 10-30-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
Registered: May 2012
Distribution: Peppermint OS
Posts: 65

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
OK, so I figured out that I had to install the current DEV build and use 'samrtctl -d sat -s apm,off /dev/sbc'. The "-d sat" specifies that it is an SATA drive even though it's on USB.

But, even though the drive stays on, Ubuntu inexplicably stops recognizing it after a short time, and it won't show up in the file manager. I have to cycle the power on the enclosure to get it to refresh.


Last edited by Banquo; 10-30-2012 at 10:14 PM.
Old 10-31-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
Steven Arnold
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2012
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Hello Friends,

Basically, S.M.A.R.T. may give you enough of a warning that you can safely backup all your data before your hard drive dies. There is some amount of conflicting information on the Internet about how reliable the warnings are. The best source of research that I found is a paper from Google that describes an internal study of hard drive failure. A quick summary: certain events greatly increase the chance of hard drive failure including reallocation events and failed self-tests, but only about 60% of the drives that failed in the study had any negative S.M.A.R.T. attributes. Obviously, nothing replaces regular backups.
S.M.A.R.T. is a system in modern hard drives designed to report conditions that may indicate impending failure. smartmontools is a free software package that can monitor S.M.A.R.T. attributes and run hard drive self-tests. Although smartmontools runs on a number of platforms, I will only cover installing and configuring it on Linux.

Best Regards
Steven Arnold
Old 10-31-2012, 05:01 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2012
Distribution: xUbuntu
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: Disabled

How many devices do you have plugged into the same hub that the External USB drive is in?

I had the same Appearing/Dissapearing problem and discovered it was an overload of the usb hub.

I swapped a few things around, shared the load a little more evenly and whoala evrything is stable.

This may go someway to solving the problem?
Old 10-31-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
Registered: May 2012
Distribution: Peppermint OS
Posts: 65

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
There are only 3 USB ports on my notebook. I have my mouse, my JBOD and the 3rd port is usually empty. No hub though. Oddly, when the drive disappears and I reboot to either WIN7 or linux without cycling the power on the enclosure, the drive still won't be recognized. Does this indicate an issue with the S.M.A.R.T. commands that I am issuing with smartmontools?

EDIT: The blue LED that stays on when the drive is spun up and ready is still on when it disappears from Linux

Last edited by Banquo; 11-01-2012 at 07:20 AM.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
smartmontools not recognizing external hard drive Banquo Linux - Networking 1 10-30-2012 04:22 PM
Linux Enterprise 5.2 Won't Recognize USB External Hard Drive Partitions Stoney62 Linux - Newbie 1 09-18-2009 03:13 PM
Ubuntu 6.10 Doesn't Recognize My External Hard Drive pjmaggitti Linux - Hardware 1 02-18-2007 08:03 AM
Will Ubuntu Recognize My External Firewire Hard Drive? BlahBlah_X Ubuntu 5 01-17-2007 09:18 AM
Installer does not recognize USB external Hard Drive pktFishHooks Fedora - Installation 1 05-03-2005 09:52 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration