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Author Topic: strange USB problem - I'm clueless - any ideas?  (Read 1079 times)
frisil
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« on: October 24, 2008, 12:38:52 PM »

Since about two weeks my desktop computer shows strange behaviour with usb-harddrives. It seems to mount them correctly, but sometimes only the first layer of a folder is displayed in konqueror. If I go to a sub-folder, it seems to be empty. But it is not, on my laptop everything works correctly.

When my desktop displays folders correctly after mount (happens sometimes) and I start copying folders and files from the USB-drive to my internal harddrive, copying process stops after some time and I get an error message that the file I'm trying to copy does not exist.

When I copy to my external drive, I get a "cannot write" error after some time. It seems the computer somehow loses the connection to the USB drive.

This happens with all external drives and it's not Pardus specific, it happens with all three Linux distributions on this computer. Any idea what could be wrong? I have tried the onboard USB-plugs and a card with four additional usb-plugs, both show the same problem. I've never encountered anything like this before and I think something is wrong with my computer (hardware related?). Any ideas what it could be?
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Mhmrcs
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 12:57:40 PM »

I've never heard anything like this before, the only rational and sensible thing to suggest would be that you're haunted...

Have you tried Windows? Does the same error occur?
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Lisa
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 17:54:50 PM »

Need more input, frisil.  What is the computer motherboard and cpu and it would also be helpful to know what make of external hds?  Any thing happen that you could think of that was signigicant two weeks ago? The specs of the system may give a clue. I'm thinking host controller.

Lisa Marie
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 19:38:59 PM »

Do you have the same behaviour with USB memory sticks ?
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frisil
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2008, 00:22:27 AM »

The problem does not happen with USB-sticks, I just copied 8 GB from my mp3 stick and it worked. Then I tried my harddrive again - no subfolders again, but only on the 2nd partition?!? The harddrive is a western digital 1 TB sata drive and has 3 partitions (all ext3). Only the 2nd partition seems to be problematic, but only with this computer. Really strange is: 4 weeks ago I bought a harddrive from Maxtor, also 1 TB sata external.  On this drive, I created 2 ext2 partitions and formated them with reiserfs. I set up an encrypted second partition by using:

cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda2
luksformat -t reiserfs /dev/sda2   

I didn't have pardus then, so I did it with Sidux Erebos, it worked fine (at first)

I mounted the partition by using:

pmount /dev/sda2 secret

and accessed files at /media/secret

and unmounted:

pumount /dev/sda2

This worked for about a week, then the problem first happened. After entering the parapharse, the drive was mounted, but there were no subfolders. On my laptop, it worked all the time. I think the problem started when I wanted to open the 1st partition (not encrypted) with Mepis 6.5, also on my desktop computer. It didn't automount and pmount told be about a bad superblock. I booted back into Sidux and it worked, but Mepis refused to mount the first partition from now on. Then the problem with missing subfolders started, both with sidux and mepis. I installed a third os, Pardus, but it couldn't access the encrypted partition at all (encryption routines missing, I wanted to compile and install later). Then I accidently knocked the hard drive from my computer, the case shattered and it didn't work anymore. A week later, I bought a new drive, western digital. As I was suspicious about the encrypted partition and the errors it caused on my old Mepis, I didn't create an encrypted partition this time, just 3 normal ext3 partitions. I heard about encfs and encrypted folders and wanted to try that later. First I just used my new harddrive to backup some important data unencrypted.
But call it haunting, curse, geomantic echo or whatever (just kidding) - my computer seems to remember the problems with the old harddrive and its encrypted partition, because it's back with any partition 2 on any external harddrive! I am really clueless what that could be! Any ideas now after I gave more details? Or are you just as puzzled as me???
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 00:26:02 AM by frisil » Logged

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Lisa
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2008, 17:44:46 PM »

Hi frisil,

And sorry to say I for one do not have  an answer, but maybe someone will.

I don't know if it matters, but one thing I always do before installing an operating system on a partition or a blank hard drive is wipe it with zeros, and sometimes I do this four times.  I use Ranish from the disk, Ultimate Boot Utility.  Again, this probably wouldn't solve your problem, but I have noticed that if I don't run zeros over the disk and re-install the same OS over it, it is like it remembers some  of the data from the previous install.  I also do this to remove any possible virus that could be on the disk from the manufacturer.  I guess this is my tip for day.  But you probably were already aware of this. 

You are using more than one LINUX OS, are these all chain loaded in one grub menu.lst?  Just a thought, but yesterday when I plugged in my speakers I had no sound in both Pardus and Linux Mint KDE.  I had done some updates for both distros in the past week, and one of them was alsa and one arTs, besides lots of other updates that always shows up in Ubuntu distros.  But, this is for another thread.  I couldn't help but think that an update I did in one distro affected both.  Probably just a coincidence. 

Lisa Marie
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frisil
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2008, 22:04:09 PM »

Thanks for your reply, Lisa!

But I will most certainly not wipe my internal harddrive with 4 OSs on it with zeroes, it would be too much work reinstalling everything. My workaround for now is to hook up the external drive to my laptop and access the laptop from my desktop via samba, complicated, but this way I can copy data from and to the drive. I think I will buy a new desktop computer in the near future anyway, as mine is already over 5 years old and rather slow (so no compiz for me).

I just want to know what is wrong with this thing, as I have no explanation for it...
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The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. (Lovecraft)
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