7

The environment

I just bought a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda ST1000LM048 HDD. It's an Advanced Format drive, with 4096-byte sectors.

I planned using it with my cheap-but-trusted (and I do mean cheap, it's really generic chinese and I paid about 5 USD for it) 2.5" HDD enclosure, that's been with me for 5 years and multiple HDDs with no issues (I'm not sure if I ever used an Advanced Format HDD with it). It's basically a JMicron JM20329 Hi-Speed USB to SATA Bridge chip with some transistors and a USB port. Looks exactly like this:

enter image description here

When I bought the 1 TB HDD, I wasn't aware of the issues involving Advanced Format drives and HDD enclosures. I strongly suspect it might be playing a part here, but under certain circunstances I can access the data.

Now I'm not sure sure, because I just found an older Western Digital 500 GB Advanced Format HDD and it shows up on Windows Explorer using this same enclosure... What's going on here?!

The issue

When I connect it via USB enclosure to a Windows 8.1 laptop, no new volumes show up on Windows Explorer. When running Fedora 25 on the same laptop, connected via the same HDD enclosure, I can see the folders and files.

It works on a different Fedora 25 PC when I connect it via internal SATA. I have no Windows PC nearby where I can test it on internal SATA.

Possibly related: There seems to be something wrong / strange with the partition scheme, see bold text in the sections below. I'm really puzzled by it, as I have never seen a similar case before.

Tests and diagnostics

Windows 8.1 via USB Enclosure on my laptop

Since others have asked: I attach the drive after Windows has booted. Will see if it has any difference attaching it prior to boot.

  • The USB enclosure gets automatically detected and installed as "USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge".
  • The drive doesn't show up in Windows Explorer.
  • Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) shows the disk as "Online, unallocated 931.5 GB, MBR-style partition table":

enter image description here

Fedora 25 via USB Enclosure on my laptop

I can see the files and folders and copy data to and from the drive.

disks information

  • Model: ST1000LM048-2E7172 (SDM1)
  • Size: 1.0 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
  • There's no Partitioning entry
  • Serial Number: [redacted]
  • Assessment: Disk is OK, one bad sector.
  • Volumes:
    • Size: 1.0 TB — 850 GB free (15.0% full)
    • Device: /dev/sdc (notice there's no partition number!)
    • There's no Partition Type entry
    • Contents: NTFS — Mounted at /run/media/[redacted]

disks SMART report

  • Updated: 47 years, 1 month and 23 days ago (!!!)
  • Temperature: ---
  • Powered on: ---
  • Self-test result: Unknown ()
  • Self assessment: Threshold not exceeded
  • Overall assessment: Disk is OK, one bad sector
  • SMART Attributes: the table is entirely blank (!!!)

fdisk -l output

Disk /dev/sdc: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x[redacted]

Fedora 25 via internal SATA on a desktop PC

I can see the files and folders and copy data to and from the drive.

disks information

  • Model: ST1000LM048-2E7172 (SDM1)
  • Size: 1.0 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
  • There's no Partitioning entry
  • Serial Number: [redacted], same as above
  • Assessment: Disk is OK (33 C / 91 F).
  • Volumes:
    • Size: 1.0 TB — 850 GB free (15.0% full)
    • Device: /dev/sda (notice there's no partition number!)
    • There's no Partition Type entry
    • Contents: NTFS — Mounted at /run/media/[redacted]

disks SMART report

  • Updated: Less than a minute ago
  • Temperature: 36 C / 97 F
  • Powered on: 8 hours and 0 minutes
  • Self-test result: Last self-test completed successfully
  • Self assessment: Threshold not exceeded
  • Overall assessment: Disk is OK
  • SMART Attributes: see image below

fdisk -l output

Disk /dev/sda: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x[redacted]
  • @Walmart (1) I'd gladly reformat and repartition the drive, but I have nowhere to temporarily place the files, at least for the following week. (2) I'll check what the POST message shows on the desktop (nothing on the laptop, I suspect, but I'll check as well). (3) I've rephrased the question, but it already states Disk Management sees an unallocated drive. – That Brazilian Guy Feb 24 '17 at 3:32
  • 1
    ...looks like the enclosure doesn't like AF drives. This is very puzzling; I've dealt with several cases where an enclosure would make a 512e drive look like 4Kn, but your enclosure is making it appear as 512n! (Attention reviewers: this means it's not a duplicate, please do not vote to close.) – bwDraco Feb 24 '17 at 3:48
  • @bwDraco I thought so, but I just found an older AF 500GB HDD that this enclosure reads fine on Win 8.1... WTF! (will add that to the question) – That Brazilian Guy Feb 24 '17 at 3:50
  • Do you have 150 GB of space and a way to transfer that to the 500 GB drive to reformat, etc.? I see it stating "Size: 1.0 TB — 850 GB free (15.0% full)", and that you just found a 500 GB HDD so I thought I'd ask. – Pimp Juice IT Feb 24 '17 at 3:55
  • 1
    It's not too uncommon for USB enclosures to not support SMART. Different software handles that fact in different ways. Don't read too much into the SMART-related data looking weird or missing entirely. – a CVn Feb 24 '17 at 7:14
12

I believe the issue that you are having is that there is simply NO partitioning scheme on the disk.

What you may not realise is that Linux will allow you to treat the whole disk as a block device - ie a single big partition - and all the information you've provided seems to point to this kind of setup. I believe Windows will not support a raw block device.

The typical way to fix this problem would be to copy the data elsewhere, partition and then format the disk (using FAT or NTFS or some kind of file system both Windows and Linux can read) and then copying the data back on. If it is possible to do this whole process without actually moving the data off the disk, its high risk, and you really should back up the data first anyway, putting you back to square one.

  • Yeah, my intuition was pointing to the same conclusion. I just need to borrow an HDD and accept your answer! :) – That Brazilian Guy Feb 24 '17 at 5:08
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    The way to check is to see if the mount point under linux is /dev/sdx instead of /dev/sdx[1-9] – djsmiley2k - CoW Feb 24 '17 at 5:10
0

Extracts from provided fdisk -l output

in Fedora 25 via USB Enclosure
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

in Fedora 25 via internal SATA
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes

The USB enclosure does not let OS (i.e. Fedora) recognize the correct disk sector size.

Two possible solutions:

  1. Use enclosure that report over USB the same thing as SATA/eSATA.

  2. Use the disk one way only. i.e. through USB or SATA/eSATA and that means right from beginning, i.e. starting from partition the disk, format filesystem(s) and then use it one way only. Do not mix USB and SATA/eSATA.

If you decide to do 2 and use USB, make sure that all disk partitioning is done on 4KB boundary and filesystem block size is 4KB minimum (or any number that is multiple of 4KB). If you do not do that, disk access might be not aligned on 4KB boundary and IO would be very slow.

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