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How to mount an external USB 2.0 harddisk into a Knoppix  CDRom booted linux system

Posted on 2006-07-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hello,

     I am using a Knoppix boot CD to boot a linux system which is attached to an external USB 2.0 harddisk. When I try to mount the external USB harddisk using

mount -t vfat /dev/sda5 mysda5 -o rw

     The system prompts me that "wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda5". Moreover, when I try to mount the external USB harddisk using

mount -t auto /dev/sda5 mysda5 -o rw

     The external USB harddisk seems to mount correctly. However, when I try to copy files into that external drive. The system prompts something like that "cannot create regular file : '/mnt/mysda5/index.htm' : read only file system".

     I don't know whether it's the problem with the mount command or it's the problem due to the use of the Knoppix boot CD (the Knoppix boot CD is not writable). Moreover, I want to know that what file system I should use in the "-t" option of the mount command. Does anyone has some ideas of how to tackle this problem. Thanks for any suggestion.

Lawrence

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Question by:experts_tkw
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 17067287
Try:

mount -t auto /dev/sda5 mysda5 -o rw

..then:

mount

and

cat /etc/mtab

This should tell you what the system thinks that the drive is mounted as. It should also tell you if it is 'rw'. You can either try mounting it as the file system that it thinks.

If it still appears to be rw, but you can only read, then there may be an issue with either the software used to initially configure the USB stick, or a 'write protect' tab on the stick?

It's possible that if it is a smaller USB stick then the file system may be msdos rather than fat32 (effectively a fat12 or fat16 drive)?

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Author Comment

by:experts_tkw
ID: 17067313
Hello pjedmond,

     I have tried your suggested operations and find that the file system is ntfs. However, I still cannot make a directory in the external USB drive (i.e. cannot write to it) even after I have mounted the external drive using the command

mount -t ntfs /dev/sda5 mysda5 -o rw

.    I am using the root user privilege in linux. Would there be a user privilege conflict in accessing the ntfs files ?

Lawrence
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Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 17067380
Does the /etc/mtab show that the drive is mounted rw?

>Would there be a user privilege conflict in accessing the ntfs files.

Probably not - More likely that your kernel only supports reading from a NTFS partition. You probably need LinuxDefender if you wish to read and write to an NTFS partition with Linux:

http://www.bitdefender.com/site/LinuxDefender-Mirrors.html

Alternatively check whether any other distro that you wish to try has 'Captive' or other NTFS write capability included.

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Expert Comment

by:nedvis
ID: 17069563
How much data you have on that external-hard disk? You might wish to convert hard-disk file system from NTFS to FAT32.
Just wondering?!?!

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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17072995
Knoppix by default mounts in read only mode. After mounting the device you should right click on the icon of this mounted partition, and then you have the option to change it to writeable mode.
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Author Comment

by:experts_tkw
ID: 17082777
Hello Guys,

     Thanks for all your comments.

     As rindi has said, Knoppix may already have this functionality. However, I cannot open the "root shell" in Knoppix or know the detail steps in read/write a NTFS in Knoppix. Does anyone have some ideas.

     Thanks for any comments.

Lawrence
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17082832
When knoppix starts it enters KDE, the GUI. If you have already have the usb disk inserted when you boot, you should see it as an icon on the desktop. Just open it by clicking on it, then move the konqueror window which opens up and shows the drive's contents out of the way so you can again see the disk's icon. Now right click that and you should have an option to change from read only to read/write mode. You'll have to verify that and then you get full access to the disk.
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Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 17084169
>However, I cannot open the "root shell" in Knoppix.

You are automatically logged on as Knoppix. su with no password to become root.

>or know the detail steps in read/write a NTFS in Knoppix. Does anyone have some ideas.

http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=90099

All recent versions of Knoppix *DO NOT* have ntfs read/write. In order t obe able to do this with Knoppix, you need versions 3.4 to 3.7   Be aware of the risk of data corruption as a result of doing this - i.e. ensure that you have a proper backup.

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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 17084478
The newest version (5.01) does have direct write support for ntfs. It uses the fuse module now, and not the captive-ntfs tool anymore.
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Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 17084597
...I learn something every day;)  ..... and am delighted to stand corrected!...obviously I'm starting to fail miserably to keep up to date;)

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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17084628
I had a long time to wait until I got version 5.01. There were some CD's or DVD's distributed at the CEBIT I gather, and the official download version was only put online about 1 month back...
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Author Comment

by:experts_tkw
ID: 17088056
Hello rindi and pjedmond,

     I have downloaded Knoppix 5.01. It really works (read and write) with an external mounted  NTFS file system.

     Thanks.

Lawrence
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17088197
Your welcome.
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