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Old 02-09-2005, 12:09 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 42

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See the contents of external hard drive...


I just got an external hard drive from a friend, that was attached to a linux box for backups. I suspect that there has been no backup done on the external drive since I am not able to mount it at all.

When I load the modules usb-scsi, usb-storage etc., and then try to mount it, it gives an error mount: wrong fstype, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda, too many mounted file systems.

when i do a "fdisk -l", I get the the current specs of the external drive:
it shows properly that it is a 200GB disk, but shows it as a Win FAT 32 file system.

But if I do a "df -h /dev/sda1", it shows the capacity as some 39G with 35GB used...

Since it looks as if it has a FAT32 filesystem and not ext3, I was not able to see the contents at all. Also, I tried running it in Windows, where it told me that the disk is not formatted. Is there any way I can check if something is written on the external drive, or is it completely empty?

Old 02-09-2005, 02:45 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 877

Rep: Reputation: 124Reputation: 124
Hi, Manudath.

It sounds to me like the hard drive has a corrupted filesystem. If not, one would think that either Windows or Linux would be able to read it. BTW, Linux is actually quite good at reading a FAT32 partition, as is Windows, which also leads me to the conclusion that the filesystem is corrupted. Have you tried mounting it with type "auto"? If not, you should try this:

mount /dev/<device> <mountpoint> -t auto
This will usually do a pretty good job of figuring out what it needs to do in order to mount the volume. If this doesn't work, your best bet is probably to do an "fdisk" and an "mkfs" on it to repartition and reformat (preferably to something Linux is friendly with, such as ext3 or reiserfs).

Good luck!



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