Problems with Debian

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Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-06 19:25

I can't get my external drive detected or mounted.

When I tried to install one of the GUI parted programs, I couldn't install them. The site would not download required packages.

I can mount the drive automatically in AntiX. This is on my laptop. I only have three partitions, Windows XP, AntiX (based on Mepis) and Debian Squeeze (LXDE).

What's going on?!?

I can mount easily in K/Ubuntu, Fedora and even sidux.

I guess Debian is mostly for expert users as this is not the first time I've had a problem. I guess working on this trivial task for a while via google will solve it and/or when I figure it out, mounting via fstab would do but still...

Also, I might have it mount more than one method and it might not always be connected to the laptop so I wasn't sure fstab was the way to go.

I was just wondering why there is no detection. This is via USB since the laptop is old and only has USB ports.

It seems Debian, in general, has MAJOR issues with USB as there are often 'usb' messages during boot up.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby bluesdog » 2010-04-06 20:58

pmount?

Which gui parted program(s)?
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-06 21:07

I got gparted to work just now. But, as expected, it doesn't detect the usb drive either.

Should I install 'pmount?'

I thought udev being installed (hotplug) would allow the usb drive to be detected????

fdisk -l only shows my laptop's IDE/ATA disk drive.

lsusb doesn't show the drive, only the mouse that I use with the laptop.

I tried dmesg and I get the infamous output of:

Code: Select all
hub 1-0:1.0: unable to enumerate USB device on port 4


I don't know if that is a sign of something but it seems that there is an ongoing problem in Linux and devices connected via usb. I notice that some other distros have users reporting a similar output. However, I don't have a problem (yet...knock on wood) with other distros but I only one other one installed on my laptop. When I use the usb (connected) drive on my desktop, there are no problems. I was recently using eSATA on my desktop with these (two) drives, though. But, my only option right now with my laptop is with USB.

But, like I said, AntiX can detect it fine and it's on the same laptop. Debian, however, doesn't 'see it' at all. I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this but googling the issue is so far not coming up with anything to get me any closer to a solution.

I figure it's some usb conflict or something is not installed but those are all guesses.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-06 21:17

As an experiment, I switched the cables around. I only have two usb ports on this old laptop. So, now the message output is:

hub 1-0:1.0: unable to enumerate USB device on port 3


I believe this to be a bug. It's only been around since.....

Sorry, Debian, this is a server distro for experts to play around with.

At least Ubuntu has an organized bug report system and pretend they're trying to fix bugs.

I'm really disappointed, frustrated and annoyed. I will have to find another distro for this old laptop, I guess.

I don't want to have to google for hours when I want to use my drive with it. I know the laptop is old but I should be able to use Linux with it, still.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby bluesdog » 2010-04-06 21:20

Yeah that's weird.

Some things to try:

Could be some other module which loads before the usb one is interfering.

lsmod to see what modules are running

compare using antix

modprobe -r any you consider unneeded

modprobe the one(s) needed after
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-04-06 21:38

It is possible on an "old" machine that the USB 1. moduals are being loaded instead of the USB 2. moduals. While your mouse would most likely be backwords compatable your much faster drive may not be. My suggestion would be to check which USB moduals are being loaded and correct as nessary using the above advice from Bluesdog. It may also be helpful if you provided the errors you are getting at bootup concerning your USB. If you can't make them out try turning on bootlogging.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-09 13:57

I tried 'lsmod' but I don't see much difference between the two. Even if I try to troubleshoot looking at the various modules being loaded, I'm not sure what to look for. I looked for any mention of 'usb' but nothing looks out of the ordinary. I'd say around 99% + similar to the AntiX output.

This is weird, if you ask me. AntiX is built on Debian but a very recent Debian can't detect my drive?!?

I don't know what else to do but if I don't solve it soon, I'm going to install Ubuntu or something, sorry.

I'm not advanced enough for these types of problems. I don't mind having to diagnose wireless issues, for e.g., but something simple as reading a usb drive, USB 1.0, USB 2.0 notwithstanding, shouldn't require advanced/expert/server type knowledge, imho.

I'm not saying this problem means Debian is a bad distro, it's just that there must be extra customizations needed that is beyond my knowledge. I want to learn but this should be a simple function and if this is happening to a basic task, I can only imagine other circumstances that I would run into later. :(
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-09 14:38

I tried unloading/loading these modules with no success of solving the problem:

uhci_hcd and ehci_hcd. (not at the same time)

I am wondering if the node is not being activated somehow. I mean, it's not able to activate via the usb for some reason?

I know that AntiX mounts the drive detected at 'dev/sda1.' The main OS drive is PATA as the laptop has ATA/IDE. The 'external drive' is SATA and I'm using it in an enclosure but it's connected to the laptop via USB. The laptop is a Thinkpad T41.

I don't know what is missing in Debian Squeeze (LXDE) but nothing that needs to be loaded is getting activated. In other words, I believe whatever needs to pick up the usb connection of the drive is not doing it.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby tuxracer » 2010-04-10 12:15

Update...for anyone that cares... :) ...

I solved it, more or less. I read in a forum, with a similar issue, to try 'dmesg | tail' first. Initially, I didn't think that was going to help. The only output that looked particularly peculiar was this:

usb 1-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 7

So, I googled that. Ultimately, there was a forum post in which one of the replies had a suggestion to do this:

try to unload module ehci_hcd
modprobe -r ehci_hcd

source:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... rk-231930/

This is what worked! As soon as I ran the command, I tried 'fdisk -l' and voila, my drive was detected and the info presented!

Can any experts explain the circumstances? :) I assume that Debian is not loading the modules properly at boot or something? The unloading of ehci_hcd is what mounts the drive or? I was hoping someone can explain what's going on here. In case, you didn't get the specifics of my hardware and situation, here is the quick info:

1TB SATA HDD connected via USB to Thinkpad T41 that only has USB ports. Debian OS is Testing/Squeeze w/ 2.6.32-trunk-686 kernel (if that might be relevant). Drive works 'out of the box' on AntiX OS based on Mepis.

I'd be quite appreciative of any explanations and thanks to all who replied! I probably didn't explain the problem very well and didn't provide very detailed info of what output was given, perhaps.

So, now I will see what happens upon a reboot. Do I have to run this command each time or can I have it automatically be run some way?
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-04-10 14:03

I wont call myself an "expert" on this topic but it is possible that the USB modules were being loaded out of sequence. With out the boot info on that error message I asked about previously we may never know. Also, there are several USB modules that are tried, you are using a fairly old piece of equipment and it is possible that ohci_hcd was being over-taken by the newer USB 2.0 module ehci_hcd which does not work with some of the older USB 2.0 hardware.

You may find that your drive is now only using USB 1.1 unless the ohci_hcd module is controlling it now. In which case you may or may not get USB 2.0 as this module supports both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 (older) hardware.
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Re: Problems with Debian

Postby bluesdog » 2010-04-10 16:51

tuxracer wrote: Do I have to run this command each time or can I have it automatically be run some way?


Try adding the module name to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
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