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Thread: External hard disk compatibility?

  1. #1
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    External hard disk compatibility?

    Can anyone please tell me whether all 2TB external hard disks will run on ubuntu 10.04 (lucid)? If not then please tell me which ones will. I was under the impression that Seagate and Western Digital would, but the store where I went to buy it told me they won't. I really need to buy an external hard disk as I'm running out of the space I have right now so someone please help me out.

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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Pretty much any usb external hard drive will work. Ignore the idiots at the store.

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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Unless it is an independent small computer shop with a geek tinkering behind the desk, never listen to what anyone tells you in a computer shop.

    On the other hand, the drives may contain inbuilt backup or security software that will not run on linux......

    ......but that doesn't matter, because we don't need it ....

    ...in which case they are (to a point) correct. I just format the thing straight away after purchase.

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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Make sure to format the drive with EXT3 or 4 partition so you can preserve and or set permissions on the drive.

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    psusi is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    I am very surprised anyone would tell you it wouldn't work. While it is true that your average retail computer store salesman has no clue, and are apt to spout of things that are blatantly not true, they usually do so in an effort to convince you to buy what they are selling, not to leave the store empty handed.

  7. #7
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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Almost all usb hard drives use the same driver. Hence the reason windows XP can still load them natively lol.

  8. #8
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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Yeah I agree that store owners generally don't know squat. But I think the reason this guy said it wouldn't work was because if he didn't and it actually didn't end up working he'd have to give me a refund. So I assume that any drive will work with ubuntu although there might be a chance that I'll have to format it? This one is supposedly preformatted with NTFS.
    Thanks a lot for the quick replies everyone!

  9. #9
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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    I got a 2TB Seagate external back at Xmas time, and the one thing I miss out on when using it with Linux is the 4 capacity LEDs lighting up, since they are apparently controlled via the bundled (Windows) software.

    If you need to share the HDD amongst Linux and non-Linux computers, you can leave it NTFS... otherwise I would recommend reformatting it to ext4.

  10. #10
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    Re: External hard disk compatibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by psusi View Post
    I am very surprised anyone would tell you it wouldn't work. While it is true that your average retail computer store salesman has no clue, and are apt to spout of things that are blatantly not true, they usually do so in an effort to convince you to buy what they are selling, not to leave the store empty handed.
    Like a Windows 7 retail box as well as the drive?
    Regards, David.
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