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

Eric Walstad ewalstad at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 14:07:23 PDT 2009

Hey Jim,

The current issue of Linux Journal has an article[0] on hacking the
embedded linux running on the MyBook II.  Lots of results on
google[1], too.  Might be worth trying to gain root on the embedded os
and using its BusyBox shell to format the drive for you.

Good luck,

[0] http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/10389

On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 8:19 PM, jim<jim at well.com> wrote:
> 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
>> - - -
>> I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!
>> - - -
>>  Roses are 0xff0000
>>  Violets are 0x0000ff
>>  All your base
>>  Are belong to us

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