External hard drive in Ubuntu 8.10

Asked by williagr

I'm a brand new Linux user and chose Ubuntu for my distribution. My external hard drive shows up in Places - Computer, but when I try to open it, it says "Unable to Mount Location - no media in drive." When I plug it into my XP machine, it gets recognized instantly. When I type "fdisk -l" in the terminal it comes back with "Cannot open /dev/sda - Cannot open /dev/sdb". Again, I'm a new Linux user so if you all have any helpful docs for me to walk through in addition to an answer to this I'd appreciate it.

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Caesar (shcaesar) said :

Hi williagr,

First, when you type "fdisk -l", you need to have "sudo" before it. It's "sudo fdisk -l", then it will ask for your password (sometime not). Or "sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda" for hard disk a, "sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb" for b ...

Second, if you external hard drive has ntfs filesystem, linux can't recognize it before a module for ntfs filesystem was load into the system.

Figure out what the filesystem is, then load a corresponding module. I think this could work.

And here is a document about mounting filesystems:

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Caesar (shcaesar) said :

To figure out what filesystem type a partition is, use "parted".
on a terminal, type command: "parted /dev/sda" (I assume sda is your target);
then enter "p" "enter";
to quit, enter "q" "enter"
for help, enter "help" "enter"

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williagr (williagr) said :

Thank you, this was a lot of help.

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Wyatt Smith (wyatt-smith) said :

You will probably need to mount the drive manually and/or put an entry in your /etc/fstab file. With the external hard drive connected to the computer, please open a terminal and type

sudo fdisk -lu

Please tell... the output of this command


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williagr (williagr) said :

Disk /dev/sda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 cylinders, total 195371568 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x20de30b0

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 63 189326024 94662981 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 189326025 195366464 3020220 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 189326088 195366464 3020188+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

That's what I get.

Something else, Ubuntu doesn't seem to recognize anything when I plug in my external drive to any of my USB ports. This would initially tell me that it needs power, but the status light turns on and I can feel the drive spinning.

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williagr (williagr) said :

I apologize, I should elaborate. I know that the drive isn't being picked up because when I call lsusb, I get this...
Bus 002 Device 007: ID 047d:101f Kensington PocketMouse Pro
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 017: ID 2164:2507
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
...and no matter what port I switch it to, I get no change.

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Wyatt Smith (wyatt-smith) said :

From the output of lsusb

It appears that something is on Bus 001 Device 017
but there is no identification. Please tell more about the specification of the external hard drive including make/model etc...

Then we can check if that device is supported in linux and/or how to configure it properly

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williagr (williagr) said :

Hmm.. that appears to be it, when I unplug it, Bus 001 Device 017 goes away, when I plug it back in I get back Device 18. I've tried searching for compatibility docs, but to no avail. It's a 2.5" diskGO by Edge, 100GB, model number EDGDG-206604-PE

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Florian Diesch (diesch) said :

Could you please unplug your external disk and plug in in again. Then in a terminal run
 dmesg > dmesg.log
 sudo lshw -C disk -C storage > lshw.log
and then post the files dmesg.log and lshw.log? The first one contains messages from the kernel, the second one informations about your hardware.

For some helpful docs see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToGetHelp and https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsefulDocumentation

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williagr (williagr) said :

Not sure where I can attach files, but here's the output.

From lshw.log (the bits about the USB controllers, if you need more let me know, the file was a little long to post in it's entirety, I think).
          description: USB Controller
          product: MCP51 USB Controller
          vendor: nVidia Corporation
          physical id: b
          bus info: pci@0000:00:0b.0
          version: a3
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 66MHz
          capabilities: bus_master cap_list
          configuration: driver=ohci_hcd latency=0 maxlatency=1 mingnt=3 module=ohci_hcd
          description: USB Controller
          product: MCP51 USB Controller
          vendor: nVidia Corporation
          physical id: b.1
          bus info: pci@0000:00:0b.1
          version: a3
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 66MHz
          capabilities: bus_master cap_list
          configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0 maxlatency=1 mingnt=3 module=ehci_hcd

And from dmesg.log...
0: [sdb] Sense Key : No Sense [current]
[19800.999469] sd 14:0:0:0: [sdb] Add. Sense: No additional sense information
[19801.001703] sd 14:0:0:0: [sdb] Sense Key : No Sense [current]

Repeated a couple hundred times!

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Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said :

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