Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

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Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:31 pm

I have a disk drive from a Windows machine that I now have in a usb enclosure. I want to wipe it clean and then use it to store some of my files that I have on my Mint 13 machine.

I tried to add a partition table with GParted thinking that that would do it, but it's not right. It doesn't even mount when I plug in the usb.

disk_utility.png
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gparted.png
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:39 am

It's got no file system on it!

Format it first, then try again. (in gparted right click partition, select 'format to')
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:19 pm

viking777, thank you for responding.

Here's a screenshot of when I opened Gparted today. It's different than yesterday but I didn't change anything on the drive that I know of:

before_format.png
before_format.png (34.05 KiB) Viewed 2513 times


I selected /dev/sb1 and right-clicked and formatted to ext4. I wasn't sure what to choose. The unallocated part didn't give me a "format to" option. I applied the operation and a dialog box appeared stating that the changes applied successfully. I closed the dialog box and then GParted seemed to go through a refresh devices routine. After that here's what was shown, with the device information:

afterext4format.png
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Here's what disk utility shows after the GParted format:

afterformattoext.png
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:12 pm

Have you changed the disk jumper settings to 'Master'?

http://usbnow.co.uk/articles/2009/07/ju ... nclosures/
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:25 pm

I didn't know anything about jumpers.

But it's a SATA drive. So according to the article there are no jumper settings to worry about.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:48 pm

But it's a SATA drive. So according to the article there are no jumper settings to worry about.


Ah, I didn't know that.

Can you post the output of

Code: Select all
sudo parted /dev/sdb print
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:56 pm

parted.png
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:19 pm

Sorry, that is not it either. I was thinking I would see a microsoft reserved partition flag there but I don't. I do wonder if this is a problem with the caddy rather than the disk. but I really don't know. My only other suggestion right now would be to use a different partitioning tool like fdisk. I responded to another forum query in this post:

viewtopic.php?f=49&t=119883&p=660433&hilit=fdisk#p660433

In which I attempt to explain how to use fdisk, the other guy seemed to get it so hopefully you will as well. Luckily you don't have to worry about data loss on your drive as it is already empty. Have a go with it and see if that works for you. In your case use mkfs.ext4 to create the file system not vfat as suggested there. If that doesn't work have a look at this post:

http://www.absolutelytech.com/2010/09/2 ... in-ubuntu/

That uses testdisk to resolve a similar problem, not an easy program to use, but again you can't make things worse as the disk is already empty and non-functional.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:35 pm

Thanks again. I tried fdisk based on your linked post, and here's what I got when trying to put a file system on it:

fdisk.png
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Before trying testdisk does the above screenshot seem to suggest trying something else first?
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:47 pm

Is it somehow formatted to ext4 but not mounting?
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:50 pm

Before trying testdisk does the above screenshot seem to suggest trying something else first?


Not to me, I find that utterly baffling :?

Now you see it, now you don't partitions are beyond my comprehension. That is why I speculated it might be a problem with the caddy or its connection to your machine. You could possibly investigate that by opening a terminal and running the command

Code: Select all
tail -f /var/log/syslog


Leave the terminal open and then try doing something to your external drive (connecting to it, formatting it, whatever you can think of) none of that will work of course, but if the connection to the caddy is broken you might get output from the terminal (you certainly would if you connected/disconnected a usb key for example).

If that shows nothing testdisk is my last shot.

BTW it is Ctl/c to stop the terminal command.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:03 pm

Here's what I got:

syslog.png
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I opened GParted and it showed the drive again as unallocated. When I opened GParted I noticed the following in the syslog: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for '/dev/sdb': Invalid argument

Thanks again for your suggestions. I'll try testdisk now.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:34 pm

Testdisk didn't work. I still wasn't able to access the drive.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:18 am

Well I found this bug report with a supposed fix:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... ug/1035018

Trouble with this is twofold. Firstly it is at least 6 months old (but so is MInt13) and secondly that it refers to booting from external drives (which you are not trying to do).

If you are prepared to accept those shortcomings then what you would do is to open a root file manager and rename /lib/udev/rules.d/60-persistent-storage-rules to /lib/udev/rules.d/60-persistent-storage-rules.old then create a new file called /lib/udev/rules.d/60-persistent-storage-rules into which you copy the contents of this attachment:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... rage.rules

Make sure the files owner and permissions are the same as existing files (owner root:root, permissions -rw-r--r--). Then reboot and try again. Obvously if it doesn't work (or makes things worse) you delete the file you have just created and rename the .old file back to the original name.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:35 pm

I tried that but I got the same results. Still not recognized or accessible on the desktop.

Perhaps I should plug it into a Windows machine and use some program to format it to ntfs or ext4, and then try it again on the Mint machine.

Thanks again for your efforts.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:00 pm

Well you wont get a windows machine to format it as ext4, but you could try ntfs. I am all out of ideas now anyway.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:15 pm

In the meantime I don't have administrator access to a windows machine, so trying there will have to wait.

I did just upgrade to Mint 14.

Here's the drive showing up in Disks:

disks.png
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Here's the error when trying to format to ext4 (Error synchronizing after formatting with type `ext4': Timed out waiting for object (udisks-error-quark, 0):

error.png
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Here's the error when trying to format the disk (Error synchronizing after initial wipe: Timed out waiting for object (udisks-error-quark, 0):

error2.png
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:02 pm

I have seen several bug reports about that error message when using the 'disks' utility, but you have already tried fdisk and gparted and they error out as well, if they can't do it nothing can.

I would love to know the answer to this, it is a fascinating problem, but I just don't.

The only thing I could think to even try is to remove the disk from the caddy, plug it back into a computer internally and format it that way. Of course that might be a big hassle, and it may not even work then.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby scot^2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:11 am

viking777, wow. Your suggestion worked. I had forgotten that I have a second hdd compartment on my computer.

I removed the SATA drive from the enclosure and inserted it into the second hdd compartment. I then opened Disks and the drive was recognized. I formatted it to ext4 successfully. Then it allowed me to mount the drive. Perfect!

Although this accomplishes the goal, it doesn't really resolve the usb issue I don't think. Should I give it another shot now with the enclosure or mark this as solved or ...?

Thanks again.
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Re: Erasing external drive for storage - Mint 13

Postby viking777 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:41 am

Try it in the enclosure again. At least now you know it is not the disk at fault.
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