Unable to mount ext2 filesystem on USB SATA drive with Live CD

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Unable to mount ext2 filesystem on USB SATA drive with Live CD

Postby donallen » 23 Jan 2009, 14:11

I am in the process of moving my systems from Gentoo Linux to FreeBSD and have hit a snag. I back up my systems on SATA drives in USB shoeboxes. These drives all have ext2 filesystems. With FreeBSD 7.1 running normally, I'm able to mount these drives successfully with

mount -t ext2fs /dev/da0s1 <mount point>

My issue is that I periodically take a snapshot, using tar, of the whole system and want to do that with the Live CD (I've done this for years with the Gentoo Live CD), rather than the running system, so that things aren't wiggling around while backing up. The issue is that with the FreeBSD Live CD, I am unable to mount the USB drive with the same command as above. I get "Operation not supported by device" and the mount fails. This is currently blocking my ability to properly back up my systems.

Thanks in advance for any help ....

/Don Allen
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Postby ale » 23 Jan 2009, 21:45

Do you think that the problem is related to ext2 of with the usb device?
And the output of the last lines in /var/log/messages when you plug the device?
Did you try with frenzy or freesbie?
What after [cmd=#]kldload ext2fs[/cmd] ?
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Postby donallen » 24 Jan 2009, 01:15

I don't know if the problem is ext2-specific. Your suggestion to look at the tail of /var/log/messages is a good one. The answers to your other questions is that I did not try any of them, but I will.

I also have several of these USB drives and if trying your suggestions (which are easy to do) fails to solve the problem, I will blow away the ext2 filesystem on one of them and replace it with a UFS filesystem containing the same backup data (I want to do this anyway as part of the FreeBSD migration). I can then test with the Live CD and see if things improve.

Thanks for your help and I'll get back when I know more about this ...

/Don
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Getting there

Postby donallen » 24 Jan 2009, 14:18

Your suggestion to look at frenzy and/or freesbie was very helpful, since I knew about neither of them (I'm new to FreeBSD, though not to Linux, which I've used for many years, and not to BSD, which I used 25 years ago in those dark days of running 4.3BSD on a VAX 780).

I tried frenzy and it's very nice. I got my USB drive mounted and my backup script running (the fact that it looks around and mounts the available partitions simplifies my backup script). But .... I did have one instance where I got the same error message and failure to mount the USB drive while running frenzy as when I was running the standard FreeBSD Live CD and I think I now understand what caused it. My hypothesis (not yet carefully tested, so it could be wrong) is that if the USB drive is plugged in and running when the system is booted, it leads to the error. If you instead boot the system (from the frenzy disk or the disc1/livecd combo) and then plug in the USB drive, things are happy. I will test this notion and report.

But the main thing is that I am now able to do my backups, thanks to your help and a lucky guess by me.

/Don
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Postby ale » 24 Jan 2009, 16:12

donallen wrote:I tried frenzy and it's very nice.
Yes! I'm sad that their recent release will be the last one. It was a good tool/OS for a small download.

donallen wrote:My hypothesis (not yet carefully tested, so it could be wrong) is that if the USB drive is plugged in and running when the system is booted, it leads to the error. If you instead boot the system (from the frenzy disk or the disc1/livecd combo) and then plug in the USB drive, things are happy. I will test this notion and report.
Uhm, in that case I'd start checking if and how the dmesg messages differ booting with the usb device plugged/unplugged.
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