PDA

View Full Version : Can't see external HD (WD Passport)



TriCappy
9th August 2008, 10:32 PM
Hi,

I'm getting ready to install Fedora 8 (booted Live CD) on a WD Passport HD. I launched GParted to partition the drive but don't see it listed. (It does show up in "Computer" though.)

Could someone please tell me what I need to do to get the drive to show in GParted?

Thanks,
Rob

TriCappy
9th August 2008, 10:56 PM
Okay, I'm an idiot, I admit it!

I found the drop-down that lists the drives and was able to locate the Passport. However, when I right-click it, the "Resize/Move" option is disabled. Does this mean I can't partition the drive and/or install Fedora to it?

Thanks again for any help. I'm obviously a Fedora newbie!

Cheers,
Rob

stoat
9th August 2008, 11:45 PM
Hello TriCappy,

When I use GParted, that "Resize/Move" button is disabled until I select a partition for it to resize or move (so are the "Delete" and "Copy" buttons). So select an existing partition to resize or move first and the button becomes active. But it sounds like maybe there are no partitions at all on this drive yet. In that case, click the "New" button to create a partition.

But before you do that, why not just use the Fedora installer (aka anaconda) to create the partitions for Fedora? It has a so-called "disk druid" that is more than capable of creating Fedora's partitions. A nearly standard practice is to start with some unpartitioned space on the drive, and let anaconda's disk druid create Fedora's partitions in that unpartitioned space. You can choose either the Use free space on selected drives and create default layout partitioning option which will use all of the free space and create an ext3 boot partition and an LVM physical volume for the main system, or you can choose the Create custom layout option and use all or part of the free space to create your own partitions.

Just an idea. Many people do what you are about to do (create partitions in advance with a third-party partition manager). But I have always wondered why since it is not really necessary.

TriCappy
10th August 2008, 01:53 AM
Thanks for the reply, stoat.

I went back into GParted but, even after clicking on the partition, the "Resize/Move" button was disabled. The "New" button was as well so I decided to take your suggestion and use the Fedora Installer by clicking "Install to Hard Drive" on the Live CD desktop. However, when I got to the "Select drives for installation" window, and selected the Passport drive, it said it was going to "remove all Linux partitions (and ALL DATA on them)."

There are currently no Linux partitions on the drive (it's fat32) but there is data. Just want to make sure the installer won't mess w/ the non-Linux partitions/data, and give me the option to add a Linux partition, before going forward.

Thanks,
Rob

stoat
10th August 2008, 02:25 AM
Just want to make sure the installer won't mess w/ the non-Linux partitions/data...Well, I could never give you assurance of that. In fact, quite to the contrary, I usually warn people that installing something as significant and potentially destructive as a new operating system places all data on all drives running in the case in imminent danger and a single unwise click away from ethereal vaporization. If the data on that drive is valuable, then you should immediately stop what you are doing and make a verified backup to an off-disk medium before proceeding any further.




I went back into GParted but, even after clicking on the partition, the "Resize/Move" button was disabled. The "New" button was as well...Maybe that GParted is busted. I seem to remember complaints about the version on that LiveCD. I use the GParted LiveCD (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php) for partition manipulation. Not the version on the Fedora LiveCD (which I also have and use for maintenance chores from time to time).




However, when I got to the "Select drives for installation" window, and selected the Passport drive, it said it was going to "remove all Linux partitions (and ALL DATA on them)."Forgive me if I insult you, but words are all that we have here for understanding each other... That anaconda partition option to remove all Linux partitions and install the default layout is the default partition option. There is a button to drop down a whole menu of other options at the end of it. That is where you will find the "free space" option and the "custom layout" option that I mentioned earlier. If I misunderstood you, or told you an obvious thing that you already knew, then I apologize and retreat.

TriCappy
10th August 2008, 07:18 PM
Forgive me if I insult you, but words are all that we have here for understanding each other... That anaconda partition option to remove all Linux partitions and install the default layout is the default partition option. There is a button to drop down a whole menu of other options at the end of it. That is where you will find the "free space" option and the "custom layout" option that I mentioned earlier. If I misunderstood you, or told you an obvious thing that you already knew, then I apologize and retreat.

You didn't insult me at all. In fact, being a newbie, I'd rather have someone take the chance by giving me more details than less. So, thanks again for your assistance!

I went back into the Fedora Installation, selected the external drive for installation, then clicked "Next" after that warning about deleting Linux partitions/data came up, and got the following error:

"Could not allocate requested partitions: Not enough space left to create partition for /boot."

This seems odd to me as the drive is new and the only data on there is what came with it (autorun and a couple maint apps). There is a ton of free space. But maybe the problem is that it's all in the single partition on the drive?

Sorry if these are such basic questions/problems, I'm rather confused!

Update: Downloaded GParted Live CD and am able to partition the drive. Will attempt to install after resizing is done.

The saga continues: Well, I did the install from the Live CD. However, when I rebooted, with the Live CD out of the drive, it went right in to XP--no boot loader. Guess I shouldn't have chosen to install the boot loader on the external drive???

So, can I reinstall over the current Fedora installation (or is there a "fix" installation option) and put the boot loader on the internal hard drive?

stoat
11th August 2008, 12:46 AM
I don't think you should install the GRUB boot loader on the internal drive with Fedora on an external drive because it (GRUB) will be busted if you boot the computer with the external drive off or disconnected. Nothing (including Windows) would boot unless the external drive is connected and on because part of GRUB will be on the internal drive and part on the external drive.

If your computer allows booting from an external drive, you can install GRUB in the master boot record of the external drive and select the external drive as the boot drive when you want to boot Fedora. If your BIOS has a splash screen boot menu, that would be a very reasonable solution (if it works).

If that doesn't or can't work, you can try installing GRUB in the first sector of the Fedora boot partition on the external drive and configuring some other boot loader (another Linux or Windows on the internal drive) to boot Fedora.

Another idea is to boot Fedora with a boot CD or a Super Grub Disk (http://www.supergrubdisk.org/). It's not convenient, but some people prefer that method.

Details for those ideas are being omitted for now in case you are not interested or somebody has a better idea.

TriCappy
11th August 2008, 01:02 PM
Okay, I tried the Boot Menu but that doesn't seem to work--still can't boot from external.

So I went to the Super Grub site and see several download options: CDROM, USB, ...

Wondering, since Fedora is installed on an external USB drive, if I should download the USB version or just go with the CD?

stoat
11th August 2008, 01:11 PM
Okay, I tried the Boot Menu but that doesn't seem to work--still can't boot from external.For that to work, GRUB should have been installed in the master boot record of the external drive. Is it? It matters. You didn't say.




...if I should download the USB version or just go with the CD?For the USB version to work, your computer would have to be capable of booting from a USB stick. Can it? I would just create the CD version. And even if it turns out not to be the way you want to boot, keep it anyway because it's a very handy utility to have around.

TriCappy
11th August 2008, 01:22 PM
For that to work, GRUB should have been installed in the master boot record of the external drive. Is it? It matters. You didn't say.

Hmmm... I'd have to say, "no," as I added the partition to the end of the existing space on the external drive and installed Fedora there.



For the USB version to work, your computer would have to be capable of booting from a USB stick. Can it? I would just create the CD version. And even if it turns out not to be the way you want to boot, keep it anyway because it's a very handy utility to have around.

Again, have to say it can't boot from a stick. However, the Boot Sequence in the BIOS does allow me to boot from an external drive. But, as mentioned, that didn't work--guess that confirms GRUB wasn't installed in the master boot record of the external.

I'm going to download the Super Grub CDROM version and give that a shot.

Thanks again for your help and patience, stoat!

Update: Okay, burnt a copy of Super Grub CD, placed in drive and rebooted. Menu came up but, as usual, I'm not sure what to do. The only thing I can get to come up are test utils.

stoat
11th August 2008, 01:43 PM
Yeah, the Super Grub Disk is not a beautiful point-and-click GUI app. But there is a site with a nice HOWTO (http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/SuperGrubDiskPage.html) and screenshots. Look at that for a moment and try. It will be a good test of the Fedora system because if the Super Grub Disk can't boot it, probably nothing can.


P.S.: Another reason the Super Grub Disk can be helpful now is because if it works to boot the Fedora system, then you can re-install GRUB in the master boot record of the external drive using a terminal in the running Fedora system (much easier). When that moment comes, I (or somebody) will help with the terminal commands. If your computer is capable of booting from an external drive, then installing GRUB in the master boot record of the external drive should be all you need to do to boot Fedora by using the BIOS boot order to select what boots.

P.P.S.: Even though the Super Grub Disk is a simple menu-driven app, that does not diminish its usefulness in emergencies. You can learn your way around its menus in a matter of minutes, and it becomes a valuable and powerful utility to have in your desk when that day comes.

TriCappy
12th August 2008, 01:31 PM
I went to the HOWTO site, printed the page off, and will give it a shot.

More to come, I'm sure...

stoat
12th August 2008, 02:37 PM
Hello again TriCappy,

I sincerely regret this is taking so long for you. I didn't intend for the Super Grub Disk to derail this project. Sorry. You could also just try installing GRUB in the master boot record of the external drive to see if that will allow it to boot from the BIOS boot menu if you want to try that booting method. It should take only a few minutes to do with your Fedora LiveCD. If you want to try... Boot with your Fedora 8 LiveCD.
Start a terminal.
Start the GRUB shell...
su
/sbin/grub
Enter these at the grub> prompt...
grub> find /grub/stage1
grub> find /boot/grub/stage1NOTE: Run both. One or both of those two commands will produce a result, and one will be the Fedora boot partition. If you have more than one result, you have to figure out which is the external drive. I believe you can.


Enter this at the grub> prompt...
grub> root (hdx,y)NOTE: You change x & y to the drive & partition of the WD drive and the Fedora boot partition on it that was learned in the previous step.


Enter this at the grub> prompt...
grub> setup (hdx)NOTE: Again, change x to the WD drive as learned above.


Exit the GRUB shell with this...
grub> quitReboot and try selecting the external drive in the BIOS boot menu or by changing the drive boot order somehow. Hopefully, Fedora should boot now. But, no promises. Okay? It may not work. And there is some risk of wrecking other systems if the commands are botched and the wrong MBR gets targeted. Just offering some other ideas trying to help.

TriCappy
15th August 2008, 12:52 AM
Hi Stoat,

I'm back.

I think I've decided to take Fedora off the external HD and just install to the internal. I'll move some of my data files from the internal to the external, which will give me more room for both XP and Fedora on the internal drive.

Q: How do I get back the space I made for Fedora on the external in GParted? Right now I have:

/dev/sdb1 fat32 My Passport 129.51 GiB
/dev/sdb2 ext3 /boot 196.11 Mib
/dev/sdb3 unknown 19.34 Gib

I'd like to delete the sdb2 and sdb3 partitions and add the space back to sdb1 -- all fat32.

After I do that I'll install Fedora from the Live CD.

We're getting there... ;)

stoat
15th August 2008, 12:52 PM
Q: How do I get back the space I made for Fedora on the external in GParted?If GParted doesn't remove that LVM physical volume (/dev/sdb3), you can delete it with XP's Disk Management utility (Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Disk Management). Anyway when the two Linux partitions are gone, use GParted to grow the FAT32 into the unpartitioned space.

P.S.: Linux NTFS support is now considered very reliable. It's installed by default in Fedora since version 7.

TriCappy
15th August 2008, 11:38 PM
The external drive is now back to 1 NTFS partition. I'm making space on the internal HD for the Fedora installation. Do you have a recommendation of how much space I should allocate using GParted? I'll only have about 15 GiB to work with. :o

stoat
16th August 2008, 12:35 AM
I have always considered ~10 GB to be sort of a minimal comfortable size for a general purpose desktop Fedora system nowadays. It can be squeezed down certainly. If you can use the whole 15 GB, it would be better. I presently have Fedora and Debian each in 13+ GB partitions and they share a swap. I just do ordinary desktop computer work, Internet browsing, etc. with no space issues.

I presume that you plan to shrink an XP partition with GParted to make room for the Fedora system on the internal drive. Some general comments to consider...Backup important files to an off-disk medium in case of a mistake or disaster. GParted has never harmed any of my data, but I read about partition manager disasters all the time.


Next, I recommend shrinking the XP partition from the "back end" or "right end" as seen in GParted leaving the XP partition's "front end" alone to prevent creating new partitions "in front of" XP busting its boot loader.


Don't overdo it. People regularly ruin operating systems by over shrinking their partitions. Leave the XP system some "breathing room" and space to grow some and continue taking on updates. I don't know how much that is.


Do some house cleaning first such as getting rid of junk and unneeded files, clearing Internet caches, compacting email folders, defragmenting.


Finally, I recommend using GParted to shrink XP leaving unpartitioned space for Fedora's installer (aka anaconda) to use for the Fedora system. Some people like to create partitions with GParted in advance of installing Fedora. I have never understood the need for that. Anaconda'a disk druid is up to that job. It is also a nice, graphical, and easy-to-understand app to use for creating Fedora's partitions.