How to unmess usb drive using Mint13 Mate?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by act8192, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I have a 120gig portable external USB drive.
    In Windows it's just one primary partition, 111.79 gig, NTFS. Ocassional flaky connecting, but otherwise drive is ok. It never boots from this drive.

    But gparted in Linux Mint sees two things, which make no sense to me, since no other external drive looks like this one.
    (1) /dev/sdc1, boot partition, FAT32, 200meg, and the drive label. When I look at the details, it can't read this file system, displays UUID and the sector range.
    (2) /dev/sdc2, no flags, unknown file system, 111.59 gig, no label, it can't detect this file system, displays UUID and the sector range.

    HowToCleanThis.jpg

    Mint has no trouble displaying all directories and contents thereof inspite of what gparted said.

    I have no idea why this boot sector is there, though it's possible MAC created it when I loaned this drive loooooong ago to somebody and subsequently reformatted. A wild guess on my part. Few months back I saw in windows "Active" on this drive, and subsequently changed it to inactive after trouble safely removing. So that might be related.

    That said, I'd like to regain 200meg, so it'll be just like in windows.
    Can I delete this partition? If so how do I give a drive label to what's now unknown without jeopardizing the current data so that both windows and Mint can continue using it.

    Screenshot is from yesterday, when this drive was sdb not sdc as it is today, 'cause I was looking at other drives.
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Did you ever format that drive or used it as since purchasing?

    Sometimes vendors bundle their stuff in tiny partitions for who knows what.

    And Windows, to the best of my knowledge, cannot display more than one partition for external usb-connected devices.

    Mrk
     
  3. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i have 2 partitions on my USB external hard drive. (NTFS)
    Windows does see both partitions.
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Which Windows?
    Mrk
     
  5. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    8.

    i did not try booting from it or anything.
    i just created a second partition so i could keep my disk images there.

    makes defragging faster.
     
  6. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Are you referring to external USB hard drives? I have an external drive partitioned into 1 primary and 4 logical drives. Every Windows PC I've plugged it into (98Fe thru XP) reads them all just fine.
     
  7. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    The drive had some backup software installed, and I formatted it since I didn't want that backup. Later this drive was a loaner to a MAC-using friend. When I got it back there was all sorts of stuff on it with a "." in directory names. So I formatted NTFS again. I didn't know about that boot partition 'till I saw it through Mint's gparted.

    In Windows 2000 and XP, I never had any issues with USB external drives containing several partitions on each.

    As I described when I started this thread, I don't have booting problems, nor using problems. The problem/annoyance is that darn boot partition which I need like I need a hole in my head.

    My friend has the same drive. It too has this boot partition and the dot files. When we looked at gparted, it doesn't call it "unknown" but calls it EFI + boot flag.

    On her advice I loaded and ran a linux utility in Windows with which she's not that familiar. This link is to instructions:
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

    In TestDisk, there is a non-destructive way to look at partition structure for all sorts of partition types.
    When I select EFI GPT type it reports:
    This might be a cause of some MFT error fixed by chkdsk, but I ran chkdsk long ago and I don't recall any details.

    There were also messages about bad relative sector, unusual media descriptor and similar stuff, none of which I understood. I want this thing gone, but probably not worth the effort, especially that my googling indicated it might actually contain partition table.

    Should I have posted it in the Backup section? It appears there are some drive discussions there.
     
  8. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Do you have room to copy the data to another drive? It would be easier to save what you need, then nuke the drive and start over with it.
     
  9. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice, which really is sound, except that I was trying to avoid that. Yes, I do have space on other drives, but not 120g in one piece, so will have to do a section here, section there.
    I was under the impression that all those Linux tools will permit fixing without killing the data. Oh, well...
     
  10. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    i have 6-7 partitions on external drive but i home made i just bought external casing and put a HDD in it i install diffrent linux on it with no problem in windows linux drives usaly not shows also if you old OS like Xp they show like what you seeing cant say about windows 7

    best is run a live cd/DVD and then check what your drives are showing from gparted tool without messing with them also check if your linux works well then i dont see any problem :)
     
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