external HD (SOLVED)

Hi All,
I am thinking of purchasing a Seagate 1TB hard drive to be used as a backup.
Will this be ok to use on my Linux system.

It should be fine as long as it doesn’t use some weird kind of windows only encryption.

Can you give us the exact model ?

I mean I have 3 of these of differing capacities

and they all work fine … as should any other basic USB HDD as long as it doesn’t have some weird hardware encryption that requires a Windows only app to read … basic USB HDD’s should be fine.

Hi Mark
I saw this on Amazon and thought I might buy it if suitable.

Seagate 1 TB Expansion USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 Inch External Hard Drive for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (STEA1000400)

Don W

Yeah any of the Seagate “Expansion” models should work.

Now I can’t say for sure how reliable they are, you hear different things from different people (a lot of which seems biased by a bunch of different model drives Seagate made some years ago being known to be short lived) … but they will work.

I personally haven’t had any problems with my 3.5" “Expansion” models … but then they don’t get heavy use, so that’s no guarantee.

Your call, but they should work fine, and I’d personally have no qualms about getting one … or indeed ANOTHER one to add to the 3 I already have :slight_smile:

Oh and BTW, when connected to a USB3.0 port transfers are stupid quick (at least they are on the 3.5" ones).


The ONLY negative on the 3.5" models is you cannot remove the HDD from the case and expect to use it as an internal HDD … the USB3.0 port is actually part of the drives PCB, in other words it’s not a SATA drive in a case with a SATA to USB3.0 adapter board … dunno if the 2.5" are the same, but if it’s to remain external this is irrelevant anyway.

The only time this would really become a problem is if you bought one of these thinking you’d rip out the drive and use it as an internal HDD in your laptop/desktop (you can’t) … a lot of people fell into this trap because there were some VERY attractive deals on these things that often made them cheaper than an equivalent capacity internal HDD (specially during the HDD shortage a while back).

It does however highlight the need to look after the USB port on the drive … if you damage that, you’re not going to be able to rip out the drive and put it in another case to recover the data … but be careful when inserting the USB cable, and don’t stress the connector/port and it should be fine.
(personally I just leave the USB cable inserted permanently, so I’m not continually wearing the connectors)

Thanks Mark,
I will report back when I have this up and running.
Could I install Pep 9 on this drive ?, could I then transfer what I want from this computer to the Pep 9 drive ??, could I then install Pep 9 on this computer ???, and can I then bring back the stuff I saved on the drive and use it on the Pep 9 computer.
In essence, I want to upgrade my computer to Pep 9 and I want to install an HD backup ‘just in case’. I seem to have loads of unused/unwanted rubbish clogging the system and want it slimmed down (dramatically), is this the way to do it ??

take care
Don W

Sure you can install Peppermint to it, that’s another beauty about Linux … it’s happy to boot/run from an external drive :slight_smile:

And if connected to a USB3.0 port you’ll not notice too much of a performance hit either.

Thanks Mark,
My 2TB drive arrived today.
I don’t really need the speed as I am going to use it only as a backup.
I don’t think there is a USB 3.0 port on this machine, is there any way I can check ??
It keeps saying that Windows is easy to install ?? is it just as easy to format it as a Linux drive ??

Yes it’d be easy to format it with a Linux file system … but then no Windows PC would be able to read it.

When you say “as a backup drive”, what do you mean ? … do you mean doing actual backups of Linux, or just more as a “storage” drive where you save say docs/pics/videos/music to ?

If the latter, I’d probably format it as NTFS … that way it’ll be useable on both Linux and Windows PC’s


Or you could do as I’ve done and partition it in half … first partition as NTFS (so readable by both Windows and Linux, used for file storage), and the other formatted as EXT4 so can be used for Linux backups that preserve permissions and symlinks.

Thanks again Mark,
You seem to know what I want before I do :wink:
I was going to use it as a “storage” drive to save docs/pics/etc but I like your suggestion of partition in half so it can be used with a Windows PC.
Is there a ‘Sticky’ somewhere that explains how to format the external drive with 2 file systems ?? or do you have time to explain it here ??
Thanks again
Don W

Install GParted

sudo apt-get install gparted

fire it up from the menu.

and have a look around it.

Any questions, just ask

but before making any changes to the drive, MAKE 100% sure you’re operating on the right drive (selected top right of the GParted UI) … you wouldn’t want to screw up your internal drive now would you :wink:

Thanks Mark,
I have had a look and I have used it before (some time ago).
I will look further tomorrow evening.

I have had a look at the Seagate drive and in the directory there are folders to use the MAC OS and the Win OS also a folder for registration.
My question is, does this drive need to be registered ?? if not can I use my Win 10 computer to automagically set up the drive with the ntfs system and then split it in two and format the other half as Ext 4. Orhave I looked at this from the wrong direction ??

When I open the drive in Gparted it opens as /dev/sdb1/ with a ntfs file system and a size of 1.82TiB and an Unallocated space of 2.64 MiB

I am becoming quite confused here so I will await your recommendations.

If I had to guess, I’d say the MacOS and Windows OS folders simply contain free backup software for those respective OS’s
(if you wanna keep that, just copy it off to a USB stick … then copy it back to the NTFS partition when you’re done … though I suspect you’ll never use it, the free backup software that comes with HDD’s is normally a pretty crippled version of the full thing)

Yeah you can use Windows 10 to create an NTFS partition (using say half the drive) … you can even use it to create the second partition if you’d like, but Windows 10 will NOT be able to format that second partition as EXT4 because Windows cannot read/write EXT4 file systems.

You’ll need to use Linux to format the second partition as EXT4

Nothing stopping you using Win10 to create 2 NTFS partitions … then using GParted to reformat the second one to EXT4 though :wink:

Thanks Mark,
Will have a go at setting 2 partitions as ntfs and plugging the drive into Peppermint machine and changing 1 to Ext 4.

Had a look at the Registration and guarantee and it looks pointless, I think I need to prove it is a MANUFACTURING fault before they will look at it.

Prove what is a manufacturing fault ?

HI Mark,
I was reading through the folders on the drive and the Registration folder had a copy of the warranty in it and it was on the warranty it said ‘did not cover accident, misuse etc’, which, knowing me, was the most likely thing to happen.
I hope to get to this drive later today and get it up and running using this Linux machine as the Win 10 machine has only 1 working USB port and I don’t like using the touchpad to enter commands etc.

Had a look at the Registration and guarantee and it looks pointless, I think I need to prove it is a MANUFACTURING fault before they will look at it.

What fault ?

Sorry about the confusion Mark. It was just that the warranty mentioned that only manufacturing faults would be looked at IF the drive throws a wobbly.

Well that doesn’t affect your statutory rights to a 1 year warrantee from the seller.

But that’s a standard warrantee for hardware … they’re not responsible for mistreatment, but formatting isn’t ‘mistreatment’, it’s a normal function of the drive.

Hi Mark,
I have connected this external drive and used Gparted. The top right hand box lets me select/dev/sda (465.76 GB) or /dev/sdb (1.82 TB).
When I select /dev/sdb/ the screen shows 2 boxes, /dev/sdb1 (928.96GiB) and /dev/sdb2 (924.06 GiB) beneath that is 2 lines saying
Partition File System Size Used Unused Flags
/dev/sdb1 ntfs 938.96 GiB 93.79 MiB 938.87GiB boot
/dev/sdb2 ext4 924.06 GiB 14.07 GiB 909.36 GiB

My problem is I can only access /dev/sdb1. I can access this using Linux and Win 10.
When I try to access the ext4 formatted /dev/sdb2 I get an error message. ‘You don’t have permission to access this folder ?’
When I use the ‘Properties’ > Permissions it has the owner as ‘Root’ and at the bottom says ‘You are not the owner, so you cannot change these permissions’

Can you tell me where I have went wrong and help me rectify it ?? please.

Don W
PS Can I apply to be a Beta tester for the next Peppermint ?? I seem to be the original ‘Murphy’ (as in 'Murphy’s Law) :-[ :-[

with the drive attached, what’s the output from:

mount

and

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