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Old 08-07-2003, 10:57 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona, USA
Distribution: Red Hat 9, Mandrake 9.2, SuSE 8.1
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Unhappy USB to IDE External Hard Drive

I'm running SuSE 8.1 and want to connect two external USB hard drives. One mounts correctly the other does not. The USB hard drive that mounts correctly is a Maxtor 3000 LE (120GB). I just plugged it in, booted the computer, an icon appeared on the desktop, and the drive works great. It's formatted FAT32 and I can read all of the data.

The desktop icon for this device is captioned /media/sdb1. Click the icon, the device mounts and I can read the files.

The second drive that doesn't work appears in USB Devices - KDE Control Module as "USB to IDE." It is also formatted FAT32 and I've been using with Windows 2000 and XP for months. This device is a laptop hard drive installed in a very thin profile aluminum enclosure.

An icon for this device appears on the desktop captioned as /media/sda1. Click the icon and I receive the following error message:

"Could not mount the device
The reported error was:
mount: /dev/sda1 is not a valid block device"

I can power down unplug the "USB to IDE" device and reboot with only the Maxtor and the Maxtor mounts as sda1.

The problem must be with the "USB to IDE" device. Does anyone have an idea of what the issues are and how to fix them?

Old 10-02-2003, 06:29 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Kansas
Distribution: Red Hat 9.0
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Did you ever figure out what the problem was I am trying to get a toshiba laptop drive to mount in an external usb case and I am having the same problem. I can mount a western digital drive just fine but this little guy is giving me some problems. And the same is true I can use it in windows just fine.
Old 10-02-2003, 10:15 PM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona, USA
Distribution: Red Hat 9, Mandrake 9.2, SuSE 8.1
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You are the first to reply to my posting after almost two months. My former laptop drive in the enclosure is also a Toshiba. I don't think it's a Toshiba issue though. I believe the problem to be with the Linux drivers for "USB to IDE."

An interesting note is that I had Linux on that very drive when mounted in the laptop itself. I purchased an enclosure and moved the drive from the laptop to the enclosure. It may have something to do with the fstab file entries also since that's the file that will create the icon on the desktop and other driver associatons.

That's what leads me to believe it's a driver problem. Linux drivers just cannot read the drive.

Please let me know the solution if you solve the problem.

Old 11-20-2003, 04:57 AM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2003
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hi codegomer,

I browse fairly frequently and have some rudimentary experience with linux but have never posted. You describe a problem identical to one I have experienced so this might be a chance for me to help.

Can you access your drive as root? If so, it may be a problem with permissions, if not your fstab may need looking at. SuSE/Linux registers my usb enclosure as a scsi device and assigns it the (default) mount point /media/sda1. But I had a lot of trouble tweaking the fstab before I could make it work.

As far as I understand, you should be looking for (in your /etc/fstab) a line beginning with "usbdevfs" and a line beginning with "/dev/sda1", although you may have two of each seeing as you have 2 usb drives. If you post the remainder of each line I can compare it to my working fstab and maybe see whats going wrong.


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