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Old 02-16-2008, 02:19 PM
Mike Chambers
 
Default External harddrive via USB

These external HD's that are out there, like a seagate 250G I saw at
Staples, can they work just fine with Fedora 8 and up?

Can I just plug that in and start putting files on it?

Does it have to be reformatted and/or what type filesystem usually comes
on them (fat)?

How does Fedora recognize them and what path are they usually? And how
fast/slow are they compared to an internal hd?

If I was to buy one, it mainly would connect (for now until I
trade/upgrade computers one day) to my little HP machine (acting as home
server) to host my data as I think one of my HD's are going bad, adn
this machine can't hold more than 40G (guessing due to BIOS) HD.

In other words, do these things play nice with Fedora/linux and even
Windows if I wanted to take it with me to help fix another computer?

--
Mike Chambers
Madisonville, KY

"The best lil town on Earth!"


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Old 02-16-2008, 02:59 PM
Steven Stern
 
Default External harddrive via USB

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 02/16/2008 09:19 AM, Mike Chambers wrote:
| These external HD's that are out there, like a seagate 250G I saw at
| Staples, can they work just fine with Fedora 8 and up?
|
| Can I just plug that in and start putting files on it?
|
| Does it have to be reformatted and/or what type filesystem usually comes
| on them (fat)?
|
| How does Fedora recognize them and what path are they usually? And how
| fast/slow are they compared to an internal hd?
|
| If I was to buy one, it mainly would connect (for now until I
| trade/upgrade computers one day) to my little HP machine (acting as home
| server) to host my data as I think one of my HD's are going bad, adn
| this machine can't hold more than 40G (guessing due to BIOS) HD.
|
| In other words, do these things play nice with Fedora/linux and even
| Windows if I wanted to take it with me to help fix another computer?
|

They play nice as long as you have a USB2 port on your PC. If your
little machine has a USB1 port, the external drive will be too slow to
use. I've bought two 500GB drives and, when plugging them in, find they
"just work".

If you're going to use it only on Fedora, I'd suggest reformatting it as
~ ext3. If, however, you plan on moving it back and forth to a Windows
box, then use FAT32 or NTFS.

- --

~ Steve
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Comment: Using GnuPG with Fedora - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

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Old 02-16-2008, 03:13 PM
"Reid Rivenburgh"
 
Default External harddrive via USB

On Feb 16, 2008 8:59 AM, Steven Stern <subscribed-lists@sterndata.com> wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On 02/16/2008 09:19 AM, Mike Chambers wrote:
> | These external HD's that are out there, like a seagate 250G I saw at
> | Staples, can they work just fine with Fedora 8 and up?
> |
> | Can I just plug that in and start putting files on it?
> |
> | Does it have to be reformatted and/or what type filesystem usually comes
> | on them (fat)?
> |
> | How does Fedora recognize them and what path are they usually? And how
> | fast/slow are they compared to an internal hd?
> |
> | If I was to buy one, it mainly would connect (for now until I
> | trade/upgrade computers one day) to my little HP machine (acting as home
> | server) to host my data as I think one of my HD's are going bad, adn
> | this machine can't hold more than 40G (guessing due to BIOS) HD.
> |
> | In other words, do these things play nice with Fedora/linux and even
> | Windows if I wanted to take it with me to help fix another computer?
>
> They play nice as long as you have a USB2 port on your PC. If your
> little machine has a USB1 port, the external drive will be too slow to
> use. I've bought two 500GB drives and, when plugging them in, find they
> "just work".
>
> If you're going to use it only on Fedora, I'd suggest reformatting it as
> ~ ext3. If, however, you plan on moving it back and forth to a Windows
> box, then use FAT32 or NTFS.

In addition to that good advice, check out the thread I started here
with the subject "USB external hard drive disconnecting". I always
figured external drives would just work, but apparently some models
are programmed to go to sleep. This has been causing me some grief.
You can google for "Seagate USB external drive linux" to read about
some other troubles with that particular brand. There are solutions,
but it's been more of a hassle than I expected. Mine is a Cavalry 500
GB, by the way.

My drive came pre-formatted with NTFS, I think. I reformatted it as ext3.

Personally, I've had much better luck with a firewire drive (just
worked perfectly), though that's just one data point.

Good luck,
reid

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:51 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default External harddrive via USB

Mike Chambers wrote:

These external HD's that are out there, like a seagate 250G I saw at
Staples, can they work just fine with Fedora 8 and up?

Can I just plug that in and start putting files on it?

Does it have to be reformatted and/or what type filesystem usually comes
on them (fat)?


They mostly come formatted as fat32 which will work across
linux/windows/mac but will lose the owner/permission attributes so you
probably only want to use that if you move the drive around - in which
case you might like one of the little 2.5" portable versions that don't
need external power.



How does Fedora recognize them and what path are they usually? And how
fast/slow are they compared to an internal hd?


At a low level they show up as the next available /dev/sdX device.


If I was to buy one, it mainly would connect (for now until I
trade/upgrade computers one day) to my little HP machine (acting as home
server) to host my data as I think one of my HD's are going bad, adn
this machine can't hold more than 40G (guessing due to BIOS) HD.


A machine that old will likely only have USB1 which will be too slow to
consider using for disk access. However the drive size limit usually
only affects booting. Many old machines will accept larger drives even
though bios will only see 32gigs, and if you put a small /boot partition
as the first thing on the drive, Linux will boot and run fine.
Unfortunately, some machines will lock up instead of booting - also new
controllers/drives are much faster, so if you put a new drive in that
box you would probably want to add a new controller card anyway.



In other words, do these things play nice with Fedora/linux and even
Windows if I wanted to take it with me to help fix another computer?


A fat-formatted portable USB drive is great for transporting files, but
I'd recommend a bootable Knoppix CD as a better starting point for
fixing things - especially if the machine doesn't have USB 2.0.


--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com


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Old 02-17-2008, 06:54 PM
John Thompson
 
Default External harddrive via USB

On 2008-02-16, Mike Chambers <mike@miketc.com> wrote:

> These external HD's that are out there, like a seagate 250G I saw at
> Staples, can they work just fine with Fedora 8 and up?

Sure.

> Can I just plug that in and start putting files on it?
>
> Does it have to be reformatted and/or what type filesystem usually comes
> on them (fat)?

Most of the packaged external hard drives come with an NTFS filesystem
pre-installed. Although Fedora8 can read/write NTFS filesystems using
the ntfs3g package, it is less than ideal for linux files since NTFS
doesn't support linux permissions, ACLs and such like.

This isn't too big a problem since you can easily reformat to a
supported filesystem like ext3.

> How does Fedora recognize them and what path are they usually? And how
> fast/slow are they compared to an internal hd?

Fedora8 will auto-mount them under /media

A USB device will be quite noticably slower than an internal device;
whether this is an issue depends on what you intend to do with the
device.

> If I was to buy one, it mainly would connect (for now until I
> trade/upgrade computers one day) to my little HP machine (acting as home
> server) to host my data as I think one of my HD's are going bad, adn
> this machine can't hold more than 40G (guessing due to BIOS) HD.
>
> In other words, do these things play nice with Fedora/linux and even
> Windows if I wanted to take it with me to help fix another computer?

If you want to use it with both linux and Windows, you might want to
partition it into 2 partitions. One (ext3 perhaps) for your linux files,
and the other (NTFS or FAT) for Windows files or files you wish to share
between linux and Windows.

BTW, it is often considerably less expensive to buy a USB drive
enclosure and separate HD and assemble it yourself. All you will miss is
the Windows-specific stuff bundled with the pre-assembled drive: NTFS
filesystem, Windows drivers, other Windows software/crapware.

--

John (john@os2.dhs.org)

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