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Old 03-16-2006, 08:40 AM   #1
Old Bill
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Location: Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Linux can't access my second hard drive

THE PROBLEM: My computer has two hard drives. Linux (Fedora 2) is installed on one. I have not been able to access the other even though the BIOS sees it and Disc Druid purported to partition it when I installed Linux.

450MHz Pentium 111 on 100MHz CC820 Motherboard
BIOS: CC82010A.86A.006.P04
Primary IDE Master: 8GB Maxtor 90871U2 Hard Drive
Primary IDE Slave: 16GB Maxtor 91728D8 Hard Drive
Linux is installed on the Primary Master Drive - the small one

HISTORY: I originally installed Linux in a stripped down version (no system admin or programming stuff) on the small drive six or eight months ago. At that time the small drive was the slave. I ran the computer as a dual boot set up with Windows 98 on the large (master) drive, booting to the slave with a floppy. While working in Linux I was able to access and work with Windows files on the large drive.

A few weeks ago I decided I was ready. I migrated all the Windows stuff I needed to another computer and switched the jumpers on the hard drives so the smaller was the master. I then did a complete Linux reinstall, this time including a bunch of stuff I had previously left out. For this install I had Disc Druid work only with the existing Linux partitions, that is, the small drive.

When I couldn't find the second hard drive I did another complete reinstall, this time telling Disc Druid to set up everything as Linux partitions. Anaconda wanted to install Linux on the larger (hdb) drive, but I told it to go back to hda. I know it did this because there is only 4.3GB open space left on the home drive. I still cannot find the large drive.

If I log in as Root and click through Computer, file system, dev I find a whole bunch of stuff listed from hda1 through hdt. If I click on - say - hdb1 I get an error message saying "Nothing Attached." There was a whole bunch of stuff left on the large drive when I started the first reinstall but it is possible (and quite acceptable) that it was all blown away in the second reinstall. Still, there should be 16 Gigs of space for me to store files. WHERE IS IT?

PLEASE DON'T TELL ME to recheck the hard drive cables etc. I am confident of my art and, in any case, have triple checked this already. Besides, the BIOS locates it as the slave on the primary IDE.
Old 03-16-2006, 09:03 AM   #2
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The drive needs to be mounted.

First, did you--at some point--create and format any partitions on this drive?

Open a terminal, switch to root (su) and type "fdisk -l" You should see listings for both of your drives. Here's a sample:
Disk /dev/hdg: 40.0 GB, 40027029504 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4866 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdg1 * 1 4665 37471581 83 Linux
/dev/hdg2 4666 4866 1614532+ 5 Extended
/dev/hdg5 4666 4866 1614501 82 Linux swap / Solaris
This shows that hdg has a primary partition + an extended partition that is totally used by the swap logical partition. (Convoluted approach, but it works)

If your hdb drive shows no partitions, that is you first step. fdisk, cfdisk, and others can be used to create partitions.

If you have partitions, the next step is "mount". This is done automatically at bootup for anything that has an entry in /etc/fstab.

To mount manually, first create a mount point in the directory tree.

Here are all the steps--assuming the disk already has 1 partition, named hdb1:

Commands issues as root--or using sudo:
cd to directory where you want the mount point
enter "mkdir name" name = the name of the new mount point
"mount /dev/hdb1 name"
"cd name"

You should now see the contents of the partition

Let me know if I lost you somewhere, and we'll back up


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