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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 08-26-2021, 07:04 AM   #1
trontron
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External HDD compatible with Linux OS


Hello everybody,
I've not a big experience with Linux.
I have a Lenovo R61 laptop where it is installed Linux Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa.
CPU architecture is 64 bit.
I would like to find an external HDD to be connected to my laptop via USB port and I would like that HDD be compatible with my OS.
I bought a Seagate external HDD of 2 TB, but when I connect it to my laptop I cannot see it in the list of local disks connected to the computer.
It is simply undetected by the OS
Could please anyone point me to an external HDD that is compatible with my OS ?
I searched the internet and I found nothing interesting.
Could you please give me a hint ?
Thanks a lot for your help
Kind regards
 
Old 08-27-2021, 04:02 PM   #2
ChuangTzu
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I've always had good use with Seagate, plug and play for the most part. Just remember to format it correctly if you are using the external for Linux only or if you are sharing the drive with windows etc....
 
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Old 08-27-2021, 06:59 PM   #3
John VV
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as above

if this is a linux only hard drive then format it to ext 4 using "gparted" and use a GPT partition table

and if you plan on sharing it with a Microsoft Windows computer leave it as the default already formatted NTFS

it should auto mount just by plugging it in to the usb3 slot

Last edited by John VV; 08-27-2021 at 07:01 PM.
 
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:03 PM   #4
frankbell
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I've had good experiences with Western Digital, Passport, and Iomega.

Before giving up on the Seagate, though, you might plug it in and run the command fdisk -l and see if it shows in the command output. You may have to run the command as root.

See man fdisk for more.
 
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:34 PM   #5
GentleThotSeaMonkey
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Welcome to LQ! With enough 'digging', I'm sure you can get that drive to work.
(and your well-documented solution will help future searchers)

You just need some commands to find what is happening.

I found some debug ideas via this web-search: ubuntu detect external usb hdd
https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...ge-4175575404/

(Use 'code tags' to post info; see also 'BB code' link below)
 
Old 08-28-2021, 12:42 AM   #6
obobskivich
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The easiest way to see if its working are a pair of ls commands:

Code:
 lsusb
Which will list all attached/detected USB devices - if you see a 'Seagate' device that's a good sign, but it may show up as some other more generic name too (just unplug it, re-run lsusb, plug it back in, go again, see what changes).

And then

Code:
 lsblk
Which will list block devices - you should see a 1.8T device (it won't be exactly 2.0T by linux's reckoning - nothing nefarious or defective has happened, don't worry) with no corresponding mount, likely because the drive is pre-formatted to NTFS (for Windows) or maybe some other file-system that is equally not well supported (e.g. if the drive was sold 'for mac' it may be formatted APFS). From the output of lsblk you can also find where the device exists in /dev (e.g. '/dev/sda') and then go about setting it up (probably running wipefs against it first to remove whatever default formatting).

Since you're in Ubuntu, you could also endrun all this terminal work and open GNOME Disks (called simply 'Disks' in Applications) and it should be right there, and go on with repartition/format and it will even generate fstab and crypttab entries automatically if you need.

EDIT - If it isn't obvious: if no likely candidate shows up on lsusb with the device attached and powered, you shouldn't expect anything to then appear on lsblk, and if you get that far and it isn't there, it's likely you got a defective drive - see if wherever you bought it from will take it back and give you your money or another one.

Last edited by obobskivich; 08-28-2021 at 12:44 AM.
 
Old 08-28-2021, 02:25 PM   #7
computersavvy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trontron View Post
Hello everybody,

I bought a Seagate external HDD of 2 TB, but when I connect it to my laptop I cannot see it in the list of local disks connected to the computer.
It is simply undetected by the OS

Could you please give me a hint ?
Thanks a lot for your help
Kind regards
I doubt it is undetected. I more rather suspect it likely that it was not partitioned and formatted so the system cannot mount it automatically.

In the output of lsblk you may see something like this.
Code:
sda                    8:0    0 223.6G  0 disk  
├─sda1                 8:1    0   250M  0 part  /boot/efi
├─sda2                 8:2    0   2.9G  0 part  /boot
├─sda3                 8:3    0   150G  0 part  
│ └─fedora-root      253:0    0   100G  0 lvm   /
└─sda4                 8:4    0   6.8G  0 part  
sdb                    8:16   0   2.7T  0 disk
Note that sda shows partitions and sdb does not.

Use gparted (or similar) and create a partition. Format it per the type of use (ext4 for linux only, ntfs for shared windows + linux access.)

Then the next time you plug it in it should be seen.

Last edited by computersavvy; 08-28-2021 at 03:59 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2021, 12:58 AM   #8
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trontron View Post
I bought a Seagate external HDD of 2 TB, but when I connect it to my laptop I cannot see it in the list of local disks connected to the computer.
It is simply undetected by the OS
Wrong - it is undetected by the GUI.
Please follow these instructions and show us the relevant bit of output (NOT the complete dmesg log!!!). PLease use CODE tags for code, see my signature.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trontron View Post
Could please anyone point me to an external HDD that is compatible with my OS ?
I searched the internet and I found nothing interesting.
Hardware manufacturers hardly advertise Linux compatibility. With USB hard drives it's more or less a given that they work under any OS. If you cannot find anyone reporting problems under Linux with a particular product, you should be fine.
 
Old 08-29-2021, 07:04 AM   #9
business_kid
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Just my €0.02

In examining the current requirements, I found most 2.5" drives were under 500mA, and therefore should run off a usb3 port, but most 3.5" drives were not, and so needed a power supply.

Lower spec usb ports won't power any drive. They need a power supply. Be clear what you are using.

Last edited by business_kid; 08-29-2021 at 07:57 AM.
 
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Old 08-31-2021, 06:24 AM   #10
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trontron View Post
I would like to find an external HDD to be connected to my laptop via USB port and I would like that HDD be compatible with my OS.
I bought a Seagate external HDD of 2 TB, but when I connect it to my laptop I cannot see it in the list of local disks connected to the computer.
It is simply undetected by the OS
Could please anyone point me to an external HDD that is compatible with my OS ?
This disk is compatible with Linux, most USB disks are.

Plug the disk in again and go to a terminal emulator and type
Code:
fdisk -l && dmesg | tail
you should find information about the disk there.

Ps. Be careful about just typing commands people tell you to, I could be telling you something bad, or you could lack understanding of what it does. To find out what a command and its options does, type command --help, ex
Code:
fdisk --help
and/or
Code:
man fdisk
 
Old 09-02-2021, 12:05 PM   #11
trontron
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External HDD compatible with linux OS

Thanks to obobskivich, I followed your advices and I used the Disks utility to mount the external disk and format it with ext4 fs.
It worked like a charm !
Thanks again !
 
Old 09-14-2021, 03:51 PM   #12
masterclassic
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USB Hard drives work with any operating system (nevertheless BIOS support is needed for drives > 2 TiB ).
What is more tricky is various software offered by manufacturers, like backup software, that is usually mswindows only.
 
Old 09-14-2021, 08:32 PM   #13
jefro
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Thanks for the update and solution.
 
Old 09-14-2021, 09:29 PM   #14
enigma9o7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
and if you plan on sharing it with a Microsoft Windows computer leave it as the default already formatted NTFS
not exfat?
 
  


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