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Maxtor OneTouch4 with Ubuntu Linux

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I got the Maxtor OneTouch4 500 GB external hard drive during the Thanksgiving deal. Maxtor uses it's own software to access/backup files from/to the external drive.

I used Windows OS to setup the hard drive the first time. Maxtor installed it's desktop software and I backed up my files using it's software. I then booted into Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. Ubuntu 7.10 recognized the external hard drive, but when I tried to access the files, I got a message similar to 'cannot access the drive or you do not have permission to access the folder'.

More Here

About that Maxtor external HDD...

I have a Maxtor OneTouch III 300 GB external USB/Firewire drive, similar to the one this person's talking about.

  • It came formatted as NTFS.
  • The included software installs a program/process that starts with Windows, via a "Run" key in the Windows registry, with an icon in the system tray. It recognizes when you push the button on the external drive and starts the backup software.
  • The backup software Maxtor provides doesn't image partitions; it only backs up individual files. IMO that limits its usefulness. But the "one touch" part is convenient.
  • None of the above has much of anything to do with Linux.

I reformatted my Maxtor drive as FAT32 (using gparted) for use with any live Linux CD that has the partimage utility, whether or not the CD also comes with ntfs-3g. (Plus, I don't really trust ntfs-3g not to screw up NTFS partitions.) And I can still use it with Windows.

Parted Magic is a good 50 MB live CD to use for system backup and disk partitioning, as well as other system recovery tasks. It's small enough to load into and run from RAM, and is fairly well self-documented. Another live CD that looks good, but that I haven't tried, is SystemRescueCd.

(QTParted hasn't been updated since 2004. NTFS most likely has. That may be why it wouldn't recognize the Maxtor drive when this blog poster tried using it.)

Getting Maxtor 500GB Driver to work -- HERE ARE THE STEPS!

1. Connect the drive to an available USB and supply power.
2. sudo mkdir /mnt/external {you will be asked to enter your password}
3. sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/external -o force {this works even though may say NTFS drive was not shut down properly}

To access your files, issue am ls /mnt/external command.

You have RW to the NTFS.

All this assumes that you have configured your system to recognized NTFS partitions and the USB port.

Note: /dev/sdb1 may be different on your system, but issuing the command dmesg | tail will show you what device is being

[ 466.540000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
[ 466.540000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 2d 08 00 00
[ 466.540000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 466.540000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] 976773168 512-byte hardware sectors (500108 MB)
[ 466.544000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
[ 466.544000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 2d 08 00 00
[ 466.544000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 466.544000] sdb: sdb1
[ 466.544000] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
[ 466.544000] sd 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0

You see on the 8th line above, the sdb: sdb1. The sdb1 is the reference used for mounting.

Hope this helps!

Hey after about 4 hours of

Hey after about 4 hours of trying to get this (no the command line) my bro went to control center
and click on (manage disc partitions)
well if you can use the command line then go to "control center" and it should be sum what self explanatory.=D

my box wouldn't see the

my box wouldn't see the device until I actually hit the button on the unit, then it showed up as /dev/sdb1, then I formatted it ext3 so I can use it on my laptop for backup, which I did like this:

umount /dev/sdb1

fdisk /dev/sdb

p (to print current partition table)

d (to delete current partitions)

n (to create new Linux ext3 partition)

select primary, then 1 to create one big partition, or more to suit your taste

hit enter when prompted for max partition size

p (shows your new prospective partition table)

w (this makes your changes permanent, make SURE you are ready to do this, you WILL lose all the data on the Maxtor onetouch)

then format the partition you just made:

mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sdb1

now you have a single large Linux ext3 partition on the Maxtor, which you can mount without using the ntfs-3g driver.


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