External USB HDD Installation Failure

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External USB HDD Installation Failure

Postby mattrixx on Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:49 pm

I have been trying unsuccessfully to install either LinuxMint "Bianca" *Or* Ubuntu6.10 on my external USB (enclosure) 40GB laptop HDD.

Each time I go to "automatically" install by means of the Distro`s installer option of completely erasing the HDD, it gets as far as 15% and then stops! Eventually it gives me a warning box that states:

"Can not create ext3 file system for / in partition #3 of SCSI3 (0,0,0,)(sda)"

This /dev/sda is the *ONLY* HDD I have CONNECTED to my system, at the time of installing either Linux distro!

I have tried (unsuccessfully) manually creating the partitions, but I don't know what I`m doing!
Any advise would be appreciated!

The 40GB Hitachi HDD is a known "good" HDD, and it does Format and Partition to NTFS just fine using WinXP! Also, it will Format, Partition and even Convert to Fat, Fat32, and even ext2 using Partition Magic!

Anyone here have any experience installing either one of these Linux Distro`s on a USB HDD?

Can anyone here explain what I might be doing wrong?

Thank`s
Matt
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USB-HDD install failure

Postby bitbanger on Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:54 pm

I was able to get the process to run to completion. However, GRUB hosed the Master Boot Record on the real hard disk and I had to completely re-install my XP system! (Very poor)

Continuing with the USB-HDD ... I got grub to install and come up but even after an fsck run to resolve "stuff" the darn thing will NOT boot. Claims an invalid ext2 partition. (Since it is identified as en ext3 this is not too surprising.)

I also would appreciate some help.

Thanks
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Postby NiksaVel on Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:30 am

you don't have to reinstall windows, a few recovery console commands can easily fix a MBR if GRUB messes it up, and the other way around if you reinstall windows and they mess up GRUB
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Postby bitbanger on Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:10 pm

Thanks NiksaVel, I just should have waited a few moments before rushing ahead. Would have saved time in the long run.

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Experience comes from poor judgment."
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Postby Sorensei on Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:31 am

bitbanger wrote:"Judgment comes from experience,
Experience comes from poor judgment."

Nice quote. :wink:
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.
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Postby bitbanger on Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:21 pm

Success!!

I did an install to a USB-HDD on a system where I disconnected the real hard disk. When I put this onto another system X bombed. I rebooted using the Live CD, copied the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf from this system onto the same file in the USB-HDD. When I re-booted with the USB-HDD IT WORKED!!
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Postby mattrixx on Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:40 pm

bitbanger

Questions: Which other O.S. (on internal HDD) are you running in addition to your new USB MINT installation, and how are you selecting which O.S to boot?

Also, how is the HDD in your USB enclosure jumpered?
Is there no jumper (master) or jumpered to slave or cable select?



Congrats on the install

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Postby bitbanger on Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:01 pm

The long winded details ....

I installed Bianca on a computer that would have been dual boot (Bianca, Windows/XP) if I had left the internal disk connected. This is an old system and will not boot from a USB-HDD. (I was guessing that GRUB would behave if it didn't have any choices.) I then used the USB-HDD to boot my laptop (Windows Media Center) after the minor acrobatics described before. (That is why I had to change the /etc/X11/xorg.conf, the monitor was different.) (There may be other hardware issues lurking about but the OS was a live birth.)

This approach was due to 1.) Fear of trashing the internal disk on the laptop again, 2.) The linux USB-HDD is actually for my brother - for non-Windows enlightenment and 3.) my own continuing adventures in Linux land.

Which system to boot on the final configuration (brother's laptop) will be controlled by the bios boot sequence. (Inelegant but effective.)[/i]
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forget the second question, sorry

Postby bitbanger on Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:06 pm

Matt,

The USB-HDD is a solid state device, a SOYO Slim drive 20 GB/ USB 2.0. The box is about the size of a deck of cards but only half as thick. No jumpers that I can see. The box has a website mentioned, http://www.soyogroup.com. This is my brother's toy for his intro to Linux land.

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Postby mattrixx on Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:36 pm

Thanks, bitbanger

I am trying to install MINT using a 40GB 2.5" Hitachi Laptop HDD
(with jumpers) that is inside of a USB enclosure. I bought the compact "mobile" USB enclosure from Newegg years ago, and I inherited the laptop HDD.
This setup has worked very well as a portable backup device, but now I would like to try to use it to install an O.S. specifically MINT!!

As my previous post describes, I have NOT been successfull (yet).
I was wondering if my problem could simply be an incorrect jumper position as mine had been configured as a slave?

My install(s) to this USB Laptop HDD generally fails at around 15%.
The install fails even after I first "EJECT" (Mint`s term for unmounting) the USB drive that apears on the desktop (as has been suggested).
I also can consistantly boot up Mint (Bianca) "Live CD" with NO PROBLEM!

I have an Asus MB with a "quick boot" option, which allows me to select
any drive (including USB) upon bootup, so it should be an easy matter for me to select my USB drive at any desired boot.

Matt
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Postby Boo on Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:15 pm

Eject is not unmount.
eject is unmount and forget about this device totally.
if you unmount (umount) the usb drive you can mount it again or fdisk/gpart etc.
if you eject the usb drive you can not mount it since the system no longer knows the device is there. you would have to replug it in or rescan for devices to use it.

so try unmounting the drive and not ejecting it.

I would expect the jumper is set to auto select. But i don't think the jumper setting will matter because usb has no concept of master/slave.

hope this helps.
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Postby mattrixx on Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:44 pm

Boo
Eject is not unmount.
eject is unmount and forget about this device totally.
???
I agree with you about a jumper should not be an issue with USB, but could you further explain what you mean about Eject/eject and unmount.

I mention this only cause it was suggested to me (in another forum) to first *unmount* the "live cd" appearing USB drive, before attempting to install to that same USB drive, which kind of made sense?

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Postby Boo on Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:12 pm

Think of eject for usb drives the same way as with CD's being ejected.

If you eject a CD it unmounts it and opens the CD draw or pushes it out physically. So you will have to physically put it back in to read it again. If you unmount a CD the CD stays in the CD drive, ready to be mounted again.

If usb ports could physically push out devices, when you eject the usb drive the plug/cord/pendrive would fall out the port. So again you would have to physically plug it back in again to read it.

So eject for a CD and usb are logically the same but physically usb cant eject the cord/plug/drive.

clear as mud!!!
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Postby Husse on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:31 am

I agree with you about a jumper should not be an issue with USB

Not so sure of that, but I have no experience with USB disks. Hard drives are surprisingly choosy, so put the disk as master. And that may well be what the "USB box" you use expects.
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