[nSLUG] write permission on external USB HD

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Mar 16 12:48:06 AST 2006

On 3/15/06, ricardd at mathstat.dal.ca <ricardd at mathstat.dal.ca> wrote:
> Hello,
> At 30GB, storage was starting to be an issue on my IBM T23 laptop (half
> NTFS, half EXT3, dual boot XP/Kubuntu). So I bought a 200GB Maxtor USB
> external drive from Staples for storing media files and such.
> I boot kubuntu after turning the drive on, and it appears on the KDE
> desktop. It is mounted read only but I'd like to be able to write to the
> drive from Linux. I am a bit puzzled about how to go about doing this.
> Some threads I've come across on linuxquestions.org suggested using a
> FAT32 file system instead of NTFS. Do I really have to reformat the drive
> to FAT32, or is there a way to make an NTFS partition read-write? Answers,
> comments and suggestions welcome.

There have been a couple efforts to implement NTFS in linux, but AFAIK
they aren't considered robust, so write access to NTFS is only for the
very adventuresome and even then you would want to be careful to
defragment the partition regularly and avoid things like extended
attributes.  NTFS is pretty far away from unix/linux filesystem
designs, so it can never be fully functional.  Network applicances are
a far more robust approach to sharing in a small, portable, package.  
Landfills are full of old small-footprint Pentium PCs
(the ones based on laptop mainboards) that would make functional
servers running linux if you can get them to recognize a 200G IDE
drive.   Some have
Cardbus (PCMCIA) slots.  Maybe a they would handle your drive using a

There are tools to mount ext2 partitions on Win32
<http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/>  I haven't tried them.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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