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External USB and Linux

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External USB and Linux

Hi, I mounted a Maxtor Diamond 60Gb ATA/133 HDD on an external USB device. There are two vfat partitions, but I'm not able to mount the appropriate driver under Linux Red Hat 8.0.
Please help!!!!
Mogens Kjaer
Frequent Advisor

Re: External USB and Linux

What does it say in your /var/log/messages
file when you plug in the disk?

Most likely, the partitions show up as
/dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2, then you can
try to mount them.

Re: External USB and Linux

In reply to Mogens: thank you very much.

The messages in /var/log/messages are

kernel:hub.c:USB new device connect on bus 1/2, assigned device number 3
/etc/hotplug/usb.agent:Setup usb-storage for USB product 4ce/2/260

I'm not able to mount the drivers you suggested.
Claudio Cilloni
Honored Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux

what kind of error do you get when you try to mount?

I found this in the kernel documentation:

THE /proc/bus/usb/devices FILE:
In /proc/bus/usb/devices, each device's output has multiple
lines of ASCII output.
I made it ASCII instead of binary on purpose, so that someone
can obtain some useful data from it without the use of an
auxiliary program. However, with an auxiliary program, the numbers
in the first 4 columns of each "T:" line (topology info:
Lev, Prnt, Port, Cnt) can be used to build a USB topology diagram.

Each line is tagged with a one-character ID for that line:

T = Topology (etc.)
B = Bandwidth (applies only to USB host controllers, which are
virtualized as root hubs)
D = Device descriptor info.
P = Product ID info. (from Device descriptor, but they won't fit
together on one line)
S = String descriptors.
C = Configuration descriptor info. (* = active configuration)
I = Interface descriptor info.
E = Endpoint descriptor info.


give a look at the /proc/bus/usb/devices file.
Maybe (!) there is something that could help you to find what's wrong, for example the right device to mount (if /dev/sd* was wrong).


Re: External USB and Linux

I attach /proc/bus/usb/devices, thanks Claudio.

I added usb-storage.o yesterday, /dev/sd* does not work...
Claudio Cilloni
Honored Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux

mmmmh... I was wrong :-(

however, reading your attached file and the lines of your /var/log/messages,
seems that the driver is working and the usb HDD is recognized.

what is exactly the mount command you run? what error do you get?


Re: External USB and Linux

I'm using

mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb

or sda2... with error

/dev/sda1 is not a valid block device

Thanks again! Ciao
Claudio Cilloni
Honored Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux

the mount command is right.
If I try to mount /dev/sda1, I get the same error; and i haven't any scsi disk. So /dev/sda1 isn't the right device.

Try looking in this file:


this should show the attached scsi devices of your system.

I'm trying everything comes in my mind :-)

Mogens Kjaer
Frequent Advisor

Re: External USB and Linux

Don't you get any messages after
this in the log?

It will use SCSI emulation on this drive,
that's why it has to be mounted as a SCSI

Re: External USB and Linux

in /proc/scsi/scsi there's an amazing

Attached devices: none

Let's try to provoke this forum: for such things, Windows is better than Linux :-)
Esteemed Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux


First of all the Linux is the best!!!
The usb on linux is used by scsi so if you
use storage on usb then you use devices
od scsi.
This mean that you will use /dev/sdX
If it's the only usb & scsi device (storage)
then it's /dev/sda
Try fdisk -l /dev/sda
will show the partitions (or some errors)
then mount /dev/sdaX /mnt/disk


Re: External USB and Linux

Hi Caesar,

I was just kidding ;-), linux is great.

Technically I agree with you, but practically is another story. fdisk -l /dev/sd* just does not reply, because as I mentioned there's no such attached device. Thank you! Best

Esteemed Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux


What kind of adapter you use from IDE to USB?
Did this disk work on the other systems?
Do you use other USB devices and they work ok?


Re: External USB and Linux

Hi, it is a common external USB device. Under Win it currently works ok both for my HDD and my CD reader, you know it was really useful... just plug a disk and enjoy...

Khalid A. Al-Tayaran
Valued Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux

I think also you need to manually (sometimes) to mount the drive. In Gnome go to disk manager and mount the the drive. You can also umount when done.
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux

common to $49 Billion Microsoft is not common to Red Hat. They have a fraction of that amount of cash in the bank.

They can't test everything.

If its not on their hardware list, it may work, it may not.


Red Hat 9

Its the bug fix for 8. It does increase hardware support in most cases.

Suggestion 2: Don't buy hardware that doesn't have the little Pengiun logo. If Red Hat has tested the device then kudzu will pick it up at boot, configure it just like windows(if not better).

Its really a matter of choices. If the device works under windows, that may be how you want to use it.

What about running Windows under Red Hat? Does that pick up the hardware?

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
Esteemed Contributor

Re: External USB and Linux


Check if you have tool called usbscan
It do the scan on usb (i have it on RH9)
And you may check upgrate of usb drivers
to the newest (or upgrate to RH9)


Re: External USB and Linux

Ok mates, thank you very much for all your help.
You have been very useful. I think I'll follow Stephen wise suggestion. I'm going to leave a small partition for the evil Windoze. But... just to use it as Linux slave!! Best,