[sf-lug] how to use fdisk to repartition a 1TB USB hard drive? (jim) [sf-lug Digest, Vol 41, Issue 8]

jim jim at well.com
Sat Jun 13 20:19:49 PDT 2009

responses in-line: 

On Sat, 2009-06-13 at 16:19 -0700, the_elkhorn at yahoo.com wrote:
> Jim -
> I suspect that the problem may be in the USB - to - actual hard disk
> interface. Is your "1TB USB stand-alone hard drive with a vfat file
> system and called itself "My Book"" a pre-packaged, "plug & pray"
> device, or is it a 1TB disk stuffed into a USB to PATA (or SATA)
> interface box?
> If the former, it may be that the software (and cpu) on the "My Book"
> device is preventing you from doing what you want.
> JS:  
>    i can't answer that surely. it's a cute little 
> black box with a usb cable connecting it to my 
> laptop. i'm guessing "the former", and i'm 
> guessing you're right: some software-hardware 
> combo is in the way. it advertises that it works 
> with windows and mac, no mention of linux. 
> I took a look at WD's "My Book" web pages, and it seems like the box
> is designed to work with Windows & Mac, do backups, etc. This implies
> that there is a bunch of on-board software to talk to those systems,
> especially as it has  My Book Premium II Firmware Update - Mac and My
> Book Premium II Firmware Update - PC links.
> Likely, your linux isn't actually talking to the actual hard drive,
> but to a virtual hard drive interface in the "My Book" box.
> Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a linux version of the thing.
> I would contact their customer support and find out what's going on.
> At least, get an RMA and return it to them, as it doesn't suit your
> needs.
> If you don't mind voiding your warranty, open up the box and see what
> kind of actual hard disk is in it (probably a SATA drive). Take the
> disk out and plug it into your system and fdisk it directly.
> JS: 
>    i'm tempted to "void the warrantee", and take 
> it apart. trouble is, how to connect it to my 
> laptop without voiding that warrantee, too? 
>    it works as is. all the fdisk-ing in the 
> world probably won't do anything one way or 
> another. i'll try copying tons of files to the 
> thing and see if it'll reliably hold 200GB worth. 
> i'm guessing it'll hold them, tho' i'm not 
> guessing as to reliability. 
>    the  dd  command failed: /dev/sdb wasn't 
> valid or wasn't there or some such. 
>    i may bring it back to the store and hope 
> they credit me and/or sell me something else 
> that will work with linux: i.e. that i can 
> repartition as i please. 
> jim 
> Good luck.
> Cheers, 
> Elkhorn
> - - -
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> - - -
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