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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Need help accsesing external hard drive. Complete stranger to linux.



flyandspider
April 9th, 2009, 09:04 AM
If anyone could help me access the files on my external harddrive that would be great. I have a sea gate 250GB external. It shows up at the places tab but when I click message "Cannot mount volume" appears. Need simple step instructions I am a complete noob when it comes to linux. THANKS.

coolcupid
April 9th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Is it a NTFS filesystem?
use ntfs-3g

coffeecat
April 9th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Is it a NTFS filesystem?
use ntfs-3g

coolcupid, Do you really think that's helpful to someone who describes themself as a 'complete noob'?

flyandspider, I've come across a few threads where people experience trouble mounting a Seagate USB drive which mounts OK in Windows. Every different make of USB drive I've ever plugged into Ubuntu has been mounted fine, so I suspect there may be some issue with the Seagate firmware that's interfering with the Linux USB driver. I don't have any direct experience because I have a severe allergy to all things Seagate. :wink:

Anyway, let's do some investigation. Normally, when you plug a USB drive in, an icon will appear on your desktop and a file browser window will open automatically. Have you got another USB drive (a flash stick would do fine), to test this to make sure this functionality isn't broken somehow?

Next, plug in your Seagate drive, and open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Type in this command:


sudo fdisk -lYou'll be prompted for your password which won't be echoed to the screen. (Don't worry - it is going in.) Now post the output. You can copy and paste but the keyboard shortcut for copy in the terminal in Shift-Ctrl-C. And enclose the output in
tags to preserve the formatting.

flyandspider
April 10th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Disk /dev/sda: 3791 MB, 3791241216 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 460 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x239c2192

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 433 3478041 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 434 460 216877+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 434 460 216846 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xa4b57300

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 30401 244196001 7 HPFS/NTFS

This is the message that shows up when I plug in the code you gave me

coffeecat
April 10th, 2009, 10:43 PM
This is the way Linux sees your Seagate drive:


Disk /dev/sdb: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xa4b57300

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 30401 244196001 7 HPFS/NTFS

It is formatted with the Windows NTFS filesystem, which fairly recent versions of Ubuntu should have no difficulty accessing. But clearly it is not being automounted otherwise both an icon and a file browser window would open on your desktop when you plug it in. Before we go on, two questions:

Which version of Ubuntu are you running, 8.04 or 8.10? Or another version?
Did you try the system with another USB (not Seagate) device? This is important to ensure that automounting is functional in your system.

These are two possible reasons why your drive is not being mounted:

- An issue with Seagate drives specifically. I don't know whether this is so, but there are a lot of threads like yours involving Seagate drives.

- The drive was not cleanly unmounted when you last used it with Windows. If Linux detects an unclean unmount in a NTFS filesystem, it will not mount it. This is to prevent filesystem damage.

Try these steps.

1 Plug the drive into the Ubuntu system and click on Places as you describe in your first post. You'll get the 'Cannot mount volume' message, but somewhere in that message window will be a 'more' or 'advanced' (or something - I'm going from memory here) little arrow. If you click that it will give you more details. Post the details. They are important.

2 Now plug the drive into a Windows system. Let Windows mount it. Now 'safely remove' it. Don't just pull the plug out. The procedure is different in XP and Vista. I'll leave that one to you.

3 Now plug it into your Ubuntu system. If, after 'safely removing' in Windows, it now mounts, then OK. If not, open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and type these two commands in:


sudo mkdir /media/sdb1
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1You will be prompted for your password after the first command. It will not be echoed to the screen. It is going in. After the second command, one of two things will happen. Either the drive will be mounted and a file browser will open, or you will get an error message. If an error message, please post all of it.