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Knoppix does not recognize sata drive on usb adapter

Posted on 2012-03-20
Last Modified: 2012-03-26
I have 2 drives from a Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo. The housing failed and I am trying to get the data from the drives.

The drives were configured as RAID 1 and Buffalo advises that they are in xfs file system and I should be able to see them in Linux.

I have created a boot disk with Knoppix 6.7.1 which boots into Knoppix fine. I then connect a USB powered drive adapter to one of the drives from the Buffalo unit and connect that to the PC.

I can see the local hard drive and browse successfully, but when I select the option for "my computer" I do not see the external drive.

I see an icon for the local drive (160G), I see an icon for file system, which displays the contents of the local drive. I can also see the WD Passport USB drive that I want to transfer the data to. I see four "documents" that are all labeled RAID -1 Array... that do not display anything.

Where do I go from here, or what am I doing wrong?

Thank you for any suggestions.
Question by:Tomster2
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Assisted Solution

Leigh_Marsh earned 100 total points
ID: 37742546
Try this:
Software-RAID HOWTO: Error Recovery

Seems like you haven't recoverd form the raid setup yet, and it needs to have the Raid 1 mirror declared inactive before linux will read it as a single drive.

Good luck.

Edit: Let me know if I need to simplify the instructions. I just don't have the time this moment for a long post. Thanks.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 37742561
First of all, I wouldn't use Knoppix for that, but rather the PartedMagic LiveCD, it is more suited for this type of scenario:


It is also smaller and boots faster than knoppix, and if you want you can put it on a USB stick instead of a CD (you could probably do that with knoppix too). For this you would use the unetbootin utility:


I'd also rather connect the HD directly to the PC, not via USB, as that can add additional problems, but it should still work...

Once you are in partedmagic, you can try mounting the drive (there is a "mounting" utility, the icon right next to the "Start" button equivalent). If it can be mounted, then you may be able to copy files off the disk, if you can't mount it, then you can run testdisk and photorec which are tools on that CD to scan the disk and recover data.

Author Comment

ID: 37743508
Created a partedmagic CD and booted.

I found the mount button.  This utility, recognized the drive and labeled it as a Linux Raid Member, but when I clicked on "Mount" nothing happened.

I then looked at photorec, and this tool looked like you can select the drive (the linux drive from the buffalo) and then pick a destination to restore all the contents to.  The choice of destination drive show local folders and also

drwxr-x---  0 0 400 20-March-2012 10:46  .


drwxrwxrwt 0 0 240 20-March-2012 10:39  ..

How do I interpret these?  Are they the WD Passport Drive which has room for the files, or are they the local drive which does not have room?
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 37744078
In linux the drives don't have letters, rather they are normaly referenced in a format similar to this:

/dev /sda

sda is normally the first disk it finds, while sdb is the 2nd and so on.

Then you also have partitions on your disks. Sda1 would be the first primary partition on the first disk, Sda2 the 2nd primary partition on Disk 1, and Sdb5 the first logical partition on Disk 2 etc.

So Sda or Sdb, or Sdc etc tells you what disk it is, and the number after that tells you the partition it is.

Author Comment

ID: 37745125
Thank you for the explanation of the naming conventions.

As far as not being able to see a destination drive, that was my error.  With various boots, and reboots today, I had unplugged the western digital passport.  No wonder the computer couldn't find a destination drive. It finds it much more easily when it is plugged in!!!

In the meantime, I have had a thread on the Knoppix forum, and with some helpful command line comments there, I was able to mount the drive and browse and copy what I needed.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 37745927
Ahhh, you hoped the disk was air-powered and had a wireless connection?....;)

Expert Comment

ID: 37747278
So it is resolved? Please post results and solution for others to see.

Thank you.

Accepted Solution

Tomster2 earned 0 total points
ID: 37748355
Be glad to...

I found a way  to do it with Knoppix thanks to contributors at forum.Knoppix.net here:


 Knoppix is a version of Linux.  Their home page knoppix.com has an iso download that you can burn to disk in the language of your choice.

To burn the CD I used CDBurnerXP.  This is free on the internet and has the redeeming quality of being very simple to use... and when used... it works!

Once your machine is booted in Knoppix, the rest of the steps using the command line are nicely spelled out in the knoppix thread above.

For hardware, you will need a USB Drive Adapter... this are available from various sources for about $30.

The steps taken are:

1) Boot the PC using the Knoppix disk

2) Plug in one of the drives from your Buffalo Unit using a USB Drive Adapter

3) Plug in another external drive to copy the data to (if the local PC drive does not have room)

4) Find the name of the partition with the data using the command line tools described in the thread

5) Deactivate the RAID 1 for that partition using the command line (also described)

6) Mount the drive (also described)

7) Open the Knoppix file manager (located under Accessories) to view the files you want

8) Copy and Paste as desired

9) unmount the drive using the command line

10) Stop the drive using the command line

 11) Exit Knoppix

12) Remove CD, after Knoppix exits

Hope this proves helpful to anyone else that encounters this situation.


Expert Comment

ID: 37748994
Glad you found the answer. I figured declaring the Raid inactive would do the trick.

CraigsList should turn up one of those, but you might want to look underneath for the Tesla stamp of approval. :D

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37764955
Although I tracked down the final solution, the timely comments from both of you keep hope alive that this was indeed doable.  Rindi received more points because of his multiple and detailed replies.

My thanks to both of you.

Now if I can just find an air powered, wireless USB drive... :-)

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