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 External HDD and Linux?

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thud419
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Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A year ago I put together a new PC. One thing that has never worked is the DVD writer (although I may have a hint now,) so I'm running without a backup.

Is there anything I need to be careful of buying an external hard disk drive for a Linux (Ubuntu, Dapper Drake LTS) system? Of course all the specifications say Windows, but they would even if there were no problems.

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Ivor Grimey Colon
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I assume it connects through USB? As far as I know, any USB or Firewire (not sure about e-SATA) storage device will work with the exception of a few which come with their own (closed source, windows only) utilities will work on Dapper. A bog standard hard drive in a caddy won't be a problem.

The only thing to take into account is how it's formatted. Dapper will be able to read NTFS, but not write to it without fiddling, so if you want to share files with Windows, use FAT32.

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eamonn
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Joined: 14 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've got a couple of external USB drives, a Maxtor 120gb and a Seagate 250gb. both work faultlessly with Kubuntu and come pre-formatted with a fat32 file system.
I've also got a small 80gb drive (it uses a 2.5" laptop hdd) which is usb powered and that works ok too.

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Tricia
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Joined: 20 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Dapper is rather old. If you aren't paying for the support (why ask here instead of Canonical?), I would suggest burning Feisty and Gutsy LiveCDs and checking whether the burner works on those releases.

Gutsy supports NTFS writing, too.

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thud419
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Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the info. I've just bought a network and USB device. Haven't tried it yet though.

It's a matter of chicken and egg. Previously I've always had /home on a seperate disk, but now it's all on one. One wrong move with the upgrade and everything goes. I need the backup to do the upgrade.

In actual fact, I did find out that the problem with the DVD may be due to a firmware issue. If you believe the reports, the Plextor 760A has some commands locked out unless you're using paid-for burning software. Whatever, there is firmware out there that is unlocked, and several versions newer than mine.

Edit: good point about the LiveCDs.

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