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I'm running DD-WRT on a consumer router that has a usb port. An external drive that I've connected isn't being mounted for some reason. I have confirmed that the external drive works by connecting it to a PC. And I also know that the router's usb port works because I can mount other external drives with it. Since I have the Optware busybox installed, I could use ssh to troubleshoot the issue (more on that below). But I'm not sure where to start.

My router is a F7D3402 Belkin Play running DD-WRT v24-sp2 (mega version), build 17084M with the "NEWD-2" 2.6 kernel. The drive I'm connecting is a ~1tb sata drive, formatted as one large ext3 partition, in a Veris MX-1 enclosure:

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DD-WRT's web interface displays no information about the MX-1 drive whether it is directly connected, or connected by way of a usb hub:

enter image description here

Here is the output from dmesg:

usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 2 
usb 2-1: device descriptor read/64, error -62 
usb 2-1: device descriptor read/64, error -62 
usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 3 
usb 2-1: device descriptor read/64, error -62 
usb 2-1: device descriptor read/64, error -62 
usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 4 
usb 2-1: device not accepting address 4, error -62 
usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 5 
usb 2-1: device not accepting address 5, error -62 

I confirmed that the MX-1 drive worked on a Windows PC, where it was identified as a "usb-to-sata bridge." The drive/partition also showed up under Disk Management. The enclosure has it's own power adapter, so it doesn't need to draw USB power from the router.

Using SSH, I have installed a set of packages called Optware on a thumbdrive. The Optware packages I've installed include busybox utilities, which flesh out the tools available to the command line. I use a USB hub to connect both the thumb drive along with MX-1 drive. For instance, I can do fdisk -l, which shows the thumb drive (/dev/sda) and any other connected drives, except the MX-1. This is not normally possible on stock DD-WRT.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This could be a couple of things, the USB cable you are using may be faulty or may not meet the USB Specs or the router may not be capable of providing sufficient output current to run the drive.

I would first try a new high-quality USB Cable. If that doesn't work, connect a powered USB Hub to your router and then connect the drive to the hub. It's important to try a powered hub, an unpowered hub must draw its own power from the router, leaving even less for your disk drive.

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1  
I doubt a powered hub will help, because his enclosure has its own power supply. I do however agree that the cable could be at fault; I remember buying a hard drive that came with a cable which occasionally produced errors. –  Ambroz Bizjak Jul 19 '11 at 20:29
    
@Ambroz correct. Plus I also use a usb hub on it under normal circumstances. Regarding the USB cable though, I confirmed it works when I connected the MX-1 drive to a PC. I will still try to get another one though, just to be sure. –  briankb Jul 20 '11 at 5:44

His dmesg messages indicate an USB-level failure, not a failure to recognize a partition or filesystem. The "device not accepting address" is in fact a common error with broken USB devices.

I'm not suggesting that the device is broken, since it works on a PC. It's possible that both the device and the router (with its USB driver) are broken in a subtle way that makes them fail when used together.

It might help to put a USB hub in between (even if non-powered), because the hub may tolerate device problems that cause the failure.

You can also try the drive on a Linux PC. The drive may in fact have the same issue on a PC, but you don't see it because the Windows drivers tolerate it.

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Thank you for the explanation of what that dmesg meant. I found another usb cable a couple day ago and finally took the time to try it out. Lo' and behold, the drive mounts! It seems the first usb cable had some "subtle" problem, as you described. –  briankb Jul 25 '11 at 9:29

Use brainslayers 24 build possibly below 19519

Partition using Linux or a software.

Swap is required for older router with low memory

Create swap of 32 MB atleast

Create remainder as ext 2/3 partition

Also create OPTware partition if you need optwares to be installed

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How is the drive formatted (or even partitioned)? I'm sure that NTFS would not be recognized, and most likely GPT partitions would not be, either. Try FAT32 and an MBR partition.

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The partitioning of the drive has nothing to do with this problem, which appears to be hardware-related. –  Ambroz Bizjak Jul 24 '11 at 23:01
    
"Appears". So you don't know what's correct, but only what is not? How can that be? –  Abraxas Jul 25 '11 at 0:38
    
"formatted as one large ext3 partition" –  briankb Jul 25 '11 at 8:07

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