Linux

Latest Seagate drives won't run on Linux

The latest batch of Seagate's hard disk drives, which come already formatted to NTFS, are not compatible with the Linux operating system.

The latest batch of Seagate's hard disk drives, which come already formatted to NTFS, are not compatible with the Linux operating system. The official response from Seagate Tech Support is that its drive "does not support Linux."

The issue at hand has to do with how its "power saving" time works.

According to The Inquirer:

It will shut shut the drive off after several minutes of inactivity and helpfully drop the USB connection. When the connection does come back, it returns as USB1, which is apparently as useful as a chocolate teapot.

The joke is that Seagate designers must have been working overtime to mess it up this way. From the same article, a reader claimed that:

Linux runs his ancient Arcnet card, the latest DVB-c/s/t cards, and even the more obscure studio-grade A/D/A converters. It cannot manage the latest from Seagate.

It seems to me to be the case of a bug that slipped through because someone only tested the final product on Window and failed to do the same to Linux.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

52 comments
wessonjoe
wessonjoe

if they want to tie themselves to M$ i don't really care. stopped trusting their tech. a while back. and since i prefer AMD tech., and windows is optimized to run on Intel, i don't really care about them either. so it's most likely i'll never buy another seagate drive. :) .

mdhealy
mdhealy

I like that phrase, it reminds me of the classic Larry Niven story "What Can You Say About Chocolate Covered Manhole Covers?" which can be found in the collections All the Myriad Ways and N-Space.

apoorvkhatreja
apoorvkhatreja

If this information is correct, it will mark the end of Seagate as a large memory producer. The number of Linux users is increasing, and taking such a step will kill their market.

lesko
lesko

As far as I know the only thing that does not work is the agent tools which means you can find a buddy with windows, run the seagate tool to change the sleep mode to never and you're in business as it changes it permanently in the external case's bios ... is this not correct ?

ppyo
ppyo

ooookay... no more Seagate for me then. I rather buy something else and keep my Linux humming happily in my machines. Santuccie: That is odd. I have been a Linux user since 96 and never had a Linux problem I could not solve. OTOH I have been a Windows user since 1985 and have had multiple problems that sometimes not even Microsoft support could fix (had to reinstall the whole danged shebang). No wonder then that I decided to switch to Linux and never looked back. Santuccie, if you are a happy Microsoft slave, nothing will make you change...

santuccie
santuccie

I seem to be one of those rare people who have tried to replace Windows with Linux and found problems outside of driver support and available applications. If I left Linux Mint, Ubuntu, or Mandriva idle long enough for the screensaver to shut off, then tried to resume, my USB mouse wouldn't work. When I added a PS/2 adapter to bypass this problem, I found that my flashdrive, which holds my e-mail client and some eighty other portable apps I use, would stop responding as well. I thought this was a stability issue, until now. This and terminal mania are just a couple points indicative of how stone age Linux really is. In its defense, Microsoft is acknowledging the fact that their own decade-and-a-half-year-old kernel is getting too bloated and needs to be replaced. I think the open source communities should look into this as well. I love Linux, I love its responsiveness; unfortunately, it doesn't facilitate my needs in its current form. I need portability, I need backups of frequently changing files as simple as drag 'n' drop, I need a handful of everyday applications stored on media independent of the fixed drive, in case I swap drives, switch OSes, buy a new computer, etc. Linux doesn't make the cut here, at least not yet.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Every company drops the ball from time to time, I have a server room with dozens of sas Seagates in it that work flawlessly. Same with their laptop hard drives. If you buy a notebook with a 7200 rpm drive you'll get a seagate 9/10 times...from any manufacturer. The only drives I've seen bite the bullet more often than others are the Hitachi "DeathStars"...I mean deskstars :)

santuccie
santuccie

Seagate will never survive a boycott by that less than 10 percent which has actually decreased over the fiscal year, as millions more computers were shipped and purchased, most of them running Windows. How can the largest hard drive manufacturer in the world, and the only one that makes all its own parts, ever make it? Perhaps it's Linux that stands to be hurt by this. But rather than making excuses here in TechRepublic, my plan is to start poking and prodding the makers of the popular distros until something happens. That's how you get heard; attacking those who already disagree with you only serves to weaken your cause.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Yep, that less than 10 percent of the market will kill them overnight.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

that's what it sounded like. And this sounded like it is only for the Seagate USB drives? They're weirded out anyway: the seagate freeagent 750gig has some sort of software installed on it that keeps my w2k p4 system from booting (even if set to boot directly off internal HD). If I hook it up after power is on sees it fine. Had to return it. If I understand Paul's post, this is just the USB drives and only because of power mode which you could turn off. People love to hate big companies and attribute conspiracies to them. Well, there probably was no conspiracy with M$ to kill linux; as mentioned above, just an oversight, and the number of drive companies is decreasing daily so you may not have a choice where to buy.

Oktet
Oktet

format to the Seagate hard drive? I thought it would just work like a regular hard drive after that;for example, if you use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN)to format the drive. After that just change the file type FAT 16 or 32 or whatever you flavor is and run you Linux distro. DBAN might not work on the USB drive; however, the concept of writing zeros to that hard drive can be easily duplicated and no more problems hopefully. http://dban.sourceforge.net/

santuccie
santuccie

I'm sorry you've suffered multiple instances in which you had to start from scratch (that's what drive imaging is for, that and hardware failure). Anyhow, if you would slow down and read my post thoroughly, you might notice that I said I like Linux myself. But the problem I mentioned is apparently in the UNIX core itself (I don't know if Macs are affected, but this problem exists in more than just Debian distros). Furthermore, my problem is related to the reason why Seagate's new drives do not support Linux. There's no need for trolling here; I speak of objective facts, not subjective fanboy-ism. I simply stated that people who use USB mice and/or run applications from a USB device might not have much use for Linux; your "slave" tone sounds like you're defending a deity or something. BTW, if you've never had a Linux problem you could not solve, perhaps you could tell me how to fix mine. I'd love to use Linux full-time, but the greater half of my productivity software is on my flashdrive. Until someone comes forward with a fix for me (the head developer of Linux Mint could not), the fact is that Windows is the only platform which facilitates my needs. This being the case, I am indeed a happy Microsoft "slave," if that's the term you prefer.

theillien
theillien

...doesn't make Linux "stone age". Linux is far ahead of the curve on numerous fronts. My guess is that you just don't want to put in the time to learn something that isn't Windows.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

To many of them already on the net No one cares what the trolls think

pgm554
pgm554

If you want to use the Seagate or any external drive,I reccomend using the eSATA interface on the pro models as opposed to USB. USB is not a particulary reliable interface when it comes to disks. It's not just Seagate.

Oktet
Oktet

I use Ubuntu 7.04 with my USB keyboard and mouse and it works, even when I plug in a 1GB flash drive. Same with PCLinux2007 on my Vaio laptop- my 1 GB USB pen drive works on the laptop also. The only thing with Ubuntu 7.04 that does not work is my Linkys Wireless adapter; however, I have two wireless adapters on the computer so I just switch to my Netgear Wireless PCI adapter and it works for the most part. Nevertheless, I thought there were so many Linux distros out there to fit everyone's need or needs that you don't entirely have to stick to one distro if it does not suit you needs-right?

santuccie
santuccie

...doesn't mean I don't want to put in the time to learn something that isn't Windows; your guess was wrong. Like I told the last troll, if you could slow down your pounding heart enough to calmly read my original post, you would see that I like Linux for its pros. And you might also notice that the problem I stated is directly related to the problem Seagate describes when they say Linux is not future-ready. For the record, I've gotten Linux to do everything I've wanted it to do, as far as functionality is concerned. I can install proprietary drivers and fonts, read and write to NTFS, play encrypted DVDs, run a majority of my collection of portable .exe apps in Wine, make Linux my own by importing Windows documents and settings, make Firefox my own with SiteAdvisor, NoScript, Secure Login, and Foxmarks...etc. No one is spitting their dummy pacifier out here. One of the reasons I prefer portable apps is because they're portable. I'm glad to hear that Linux is ahead of the curve on numerous fronts (such as having no need for defragmentation, hunting down updates, cleaning a registry...etc.), but they're behind on the basics. When the hard drives shut down in Linux, then resume, all USB devices are dismounted and remounted with different logical locations. This causes my apps to stop responding, in which case the drive running them becomes inaccessible until I reboot. Now, like I told the last troll, please enlighten me: What does this have to do with a lack of technical savvy? Have you a solution to my problem? If you do, you'll be the first. The fanboys before you put their feet in their mouths because they subjectively jumped to their deity's defense; they hadn't really read my post (just skimmed over it while contemplating their rebuttal), and they didn't think about what they were saying. Unless you have a solution for me, you've just done the same. How does it taste?

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

You should get your self an alias Using your email address is not to wise There are some real psychos in these forums Some of the replys are beyond sanity Have a look at this page see if you can find yourself http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I love using my old outdated piece of crap to run Linux as a fileserver, but the minute I mention I run Vista on my brand new gaming rig I get flamed. I prefer to link those guys to this page: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Linux

santuccie
santuccie

Yah, I don't intend to. Otherwise, their response (whether they verbalize it or not) might be, "Screw you, and screw Seagate!" That's not what I want to happen; I would like to be using Linux again myself. Cheers!

santuccie
santuccie

I can access a drive if it just got disconnected and reconnected, but anything that was running at the time (including pointing devices as well as applications) crashes, and I can't access that particular device again until either they terminate, or I reboot. I'm actually in the middle of writing a letter to Clement Lefebvre, head developer of Linux Mint. I've found a page that seems to describe exactly what happens in terminal jargon. Hopefully he'll understand what it all means. I'm writing him first because Linux Mint is my favorite distro; I'll be writing some of the other popular names after that.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

I don't have ANY other USB devices in use when the USB drives are running. And I only use the USB large# of gigabyte hard drives not the flash drives.

santuccie
santuccie

But I'd just as soon call it a bug. Basically, it's just lines of code that produce an unforeseen, undesirable result. It looks like everything UNIX might have this problem; The INQUIRER says Macs have it too. I don't know if BSD has this problem, but I'm assuming it does. I believe this page describes the problem in full detail: http://alienghic.livejournal.com/382903.html Here, it almost looks like the problem is specific to a certain hard drive. I suspect it has to do with USB handling in general. Devices get disconnected from time to time; the OS should always use the same logical location when the connection returns. Hopefully the issue is fixed in the next kernel update. (Correction: It looks as though they change the specification, rather than the logical location. USB becomes USB 1.1.)

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

Is the term I was trying to remember Unmounting clears the cash Some times the OS hasn?t got the fact This drive is removable Bug? Don?t know Your guess may be as good as mine

santuccie
santuccie

Windows and Linux mount and unmount pretty much the same way, as far as the user interface is concerned. But I haven't seen Windows dismount by itself unless the USB plug accidentally got disconnected. And even if there is another reason, Windows will remount the device with the same logical location. Under Linux, the logical location is changed. If you have something open on the flashdrive when it gets dismounted and remounted, it will crash. In Windows, it should not. I don't know about OS-X, since it runs a UNIX core, but I wouldn't assume they have this problem.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

Windows has the same problem with any removable hard drive You can use the disk manager to remove the drive letter (unmount)before you unplug it That is one solution

santuccie
santuccie

I've not had problems in "Windoze" with file corruption unless I'd unplugged a device while it was still in use (not Microsoft's fault). But do you have portable programs on your flashdrive that are always on? As long as I'm using a PS/2 mouse, and not constantly running Thunderbird and PStart (menu launcher) or any other portables, I can still access files after my flashdrive has been dismounted and remounted. But if you have a program running when this happens, or a USB mouse, it will stop responding. The device will not be accessible until you reboot. If you know the trick to circumventing this problem, I'd like to hear it. And it makes the open source community look better than trolling does.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

I had the seagate 300 gig models before the free-agent. Used them for over a year editing large PPTs with graphics, 100 - 500megs. They never wavered or died (I have them on a UPS), just slow. Only time one got corrupted was when power went out on it (before I put it on a mini-UPS). This appears to have been because Windoze keeps the directory open and corrupts even tho you are not writing the disk at the time. (the PC stayed on, being on a UPS and actually told me it failed writing to the disk). bad design for windoze. I simply reformatted it and re-copied the data to it. I would have gotten the eSata card but Fry's only had the PCI-X which doesn't fit in a PCI slot so had to use the USB. But a USB device should NOT keep your PC from even completing the BIOS scan! that was very strange. never even gets to point of asking for my bios password if the free-agent is connected. Seagate support just blew me off! So it is now a returned item.

ppyo
ppyo

Santuccie, I apologize if I sounded harsh, never my intention, but sometimes Micrsoft fanbois truly get to my nerves. I assumed you were one, my mistake. 8) On to more interesting things. I am baffled by your problem, as you have tried many distributions and none has worked for you. I am guessing you may have a very special setup. I have a Dell B110 with USB keyboard and USB mouse. I installed Kubuntu 7.04 besides Windows XP (I keep it to play Age of Empires *big grin*), and I have never had any problems whatsoever with any USB device (I also have an Iomega USB DVD-RW drive, works like a charm). Now I am no Linux guru, but always tried to make my stuff work, the pleasure for me lies in the fixing process. With Windows I got frustrated because many times the fix was outside my reach, i.e, always depending on M$'s support, which I found is really bad, or with other sw supplier. I hated being locked in, so that's why I switched. So, as a peace offering 8) I am game re trying to help you solve your problem in any way I can. Cheers!

santuccie
santuccie

But actually, Ubuntu was the first distro I tried. Not only did it buckle under the strain of constantly running programs from USB, but it hung during shutdown, corrupting some of the files on my 40 GB Seagate USB hard drive. I've tried Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, OpenSuSE, CentOS, SimplyMEPIS, and Freespire. All of them I used long enough to see them freeze a USB mouse except the last four. The last two wouldn't even boot on my machine, so they forfeited. And I couldn't get online with OpenSuSE, CentOS, or PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS actually could see my network using the ra0 driver, and I was able to set it up and have it say it was connected, but I never once saw a remote Web site load in the browser. :S If nothing else, small communities don't have the time or resources to test their software on thousands of different machines and hardware configurations. Novell might be the exception. Neither their CD nor DVD ever once crashed in my machine, and their interface looked so neat and professional, but I couldn't read the hieroglyphics on how to install a Windows driver via NDISWrapper. The very first terminal command did nothing. There must be something the Linux vets know that I don't, because everything has always worked perfectly according to them. Yet Clement Lefebvre knew exactly what I was talking about when I described my problem to him, and said he never could figure it out. What I will say is that my hopes for the near future are high. Seagate is the largest hard drive manufacturer in existence, and to my knowledge, the only one that makes all its own parts. Survival will be strife well beyond what Linux has faced in the past, if something doesn't change. It is my expectation and fond hope that something does. P.S.: Nothing personal, Oktet. I appreciate your disposition of helpfulness. It's just really frustrating that everywhere I look for something that can replace or defeat Windows turns out to be a dead end.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

I agree with most of what you said Sometimes experience tells us the so-called facts are wrong The Internet contains so much contradicting information that it is getting harder and harder the find the truth My opinion of today?s IT hardware and software is it sucks So I have no real favourites But what can you expect from multinational corps that do just enough to keep the money rolling in It is amazing that it works as well as it does most of the time I will be waiting for the fan boy attacks Fan boy I spell it that way it is not a mistake Inexperienced blow hards

Tig2
Tig2

I hear you. The fanboys give EVERYTHING a bad name. It's time to shift the paradigm. Stop focusing on the tool, start focusing on the NEED. Meet the need. Period. The fanboy BS gives me a rash. Countering with flames just gets the fire hotter. Countering with CHANGE may work. Santuccie is a great case in point. What no one was hearing him say was that he COULD NOT meet his needs with Linux, no matter how much he wanted to. And he went to great lengths to TRY to meet his needs with Linux. Heck, he went further than anyone I have known of and I hope he is finally able to. In the end, it is up to US to stop the fanboys. WE need to be the ones to say "Defend your position with facts... or shut up". We need to stop the tolerance for myopic view points. And we need to tell business that we are willing to do just that. My experience has been that we aren't seen as trusted advisors because we are unwilling to see all of the alternatives. Instead we insist on shoving our preferences in their faces. Or we are sullen because our personal fave wasn't the front runner. I actually had a senior guy on a project that became a major roadblock because he wanted a specific technology chosen and it wasn't. So he blocked all efforts to implement. WTF??? Fanboy screaming has to stop. With every yell, IT loses credibility.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I hate those Mac commercials! They make me want to smash my g/f's iPod, lol. Personaly I use whatever OS fits my purpose at the time, or whatever puts the most money in my pocket if it's for my business. At times they both suck so some one needs to reinvent the wheel here...

WoW > Work
WoW > Work

I guess I don't notice the Windows pushers as much (aside from M$ employees or plants.) Perhaps its the Mac commercials that are getting on my nerves because they are as bad and annoying as Head-On commercials. Any way, don't read into my statement as a Windows pusher either, I'm not the biggest fan of M$. In fact, when the first Xbox came out, I initially wanted it to fail. I guess for my needs, for now, Windows is what I get the most use out of. But telling someone to fix their computer issues by switching OS's simply because M$ sucks, is kind of couterproductive. And it's the fanboys. Sadly, no matter where you go, there will be a fanboys. "FORD RULES!!1!" "NO CHEVY KICKS FORD'S AZZ!!1!" and so on.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Is that while it reads NTFS Partitions it tends to only read NTFS Partitions that it has made. This is supposedly for Security but renders moving applications like you are doing fairly useless unless you remake the drive on a Vista Machine. Seems that Vista is several steps forward and a few back just like all M$ new products. Hopefully M$ will fix this very soon as it's more than a nuisance and in a case like you would prevent you from continuing to work if you have to move to Vista though a NB theft. Col

santuccie
santuccie

I've used Vista, but it was never dual-booted with XP. It uses NTFS 3.1 like Windows XP and 2003, though it did introduce a couple new features. It would most certainly be backwards compatible, though. What I will say is that Vista could read an external NTFS drive without a problem. If it doesn't detect (or at least show) separate NTFS partitions on the fixed disk, it's probably another security feature. This is just a guess; I don't really know.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Most external HDD formatted with a XP machine remain invisible to Vista which is a fairly big nuisance. Col

santuccie
santuccie

To each his own, and that is that. My younger sister is taking architecture in Berkeley, and also uses a Mac. Everybody knows that, back in the 90's (and probably even the first year or so of the new millennium), Macs had superior graphics capabilities. The school my sister attends requires Macs, and even specifies the model. I like Linux and Windows mostly, because of the upgradeability of a PC. But I've found a problem in Linux that inhibits its usefulness to me, at least for now. I have nothing against Linux or its users; my antagonism is toward the fanboys. P.S.: I'm glad your Mac is working for you. Cheers!

Tig2
Tig2

ANY fanboy behavior is unpleasant. I get teased mercilessly over my new Mac. Thing that people don't realize is that I chose my Mac because it does what I want. To me, the choice of OS, hardware, software, etc should be based in its ability to provide the desired result and no other consideration. The discussion should never be Windows or Mac, it should be ease of use, familiarity of system (or desire to move away from the familiar), ability to complete specific tasks. My step-son is a graphic artist and photographer. Mac meets his requirements. My partner is an Application Architect. He likes to design programs when he gets home. The Windows platform is the right tool for the job. Santuccie has been saying that he needs to be able to do a specific thing that can't be done in Linux. Then Linux is the wrong tool and Windows the right one. It really is just that simple. I don't defend my choice to anyone. Mostly because I bought my machine for ME. You buy your machine for you. I don't expect you to defend your choice. Edit: I misspelled Santuccie's name. I fixed it.

Tig2
Tig2

Firewire is the recommended for external storage on a Mac. I use a USB Western Digital and don't seem to have the problem described.

santuccie
santuccie

And I think they're getting worse, actually. Mac users usually aren't as savvy as Linux users (same with Windows users), and are less likely to fire back when they get corrected. A Linux fanboy can't tell the difference between a Linux enthusiast and a Linux basher, because they basically stop reading the moment they read about something being wrong with their "holy" operating system. It takes a bit more clarification (and sometimes humiliation) to shut them up.

Oktet
Oktet

I thought Mac OS X Darwin used a Unix based core for the Mac OS.

WoW > Work
WoW > Work

...or are Linux pushers getting to be as bad as Mac pushers? "If it isn't (said operating system) you're just a M$ slave!!1!"