WD External Disc Drive

Rob Hurle rob1940 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 26 00:18:09 UTC 2009

Dear All,

  This may sound like a Windows problem, but please read on.  I made a
mistake and bought a WD "My Passport" external 350GB disc drive for
use on several Windows machines, on some of which I don't have admin
access, and a couple of FreeBSD systems.

  On first use on Windows the disc shows up only as a virtual CD (I
assume this is the firmware), "unlock.exe" has to be run and the
software installed (admin privileges necessary).  Once it's unlocked
and the software installed, the big disc appears, the software can be
uninstalled, and the big disc reformatted as NTFS.  From then on, the
virtual CD can be ignored and the big disc used on any Windows system.

  Now to FreeBSD.  The newly formatted (as NTFS) disc appears as two
devices - /dev/cd0 (never seen this before) and /dev/da0s1 (the normal
USB disc drive device).  They can be mounted as follows:

freebsd [10:45] ~#mount_udf /dev/cd0 /mnt
freebsd [10:45] ~#mount /usb0

(/etc/fstab describes the NTFS file system type, and the virtual CD is
a UDF file system).  We now have:

freebsd [10:46] ~#df
Filesystem     1K-blocks        Used           Avail  Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/cd0            582962    582962                 0   100%    /mnt
/dev/da0s1  311877845  2332729 309545116       1%    /usb0

If we look at each device, the virtual CD has the WD software, as expected:

freebsd [10:45] ~#ll /mnt
total 6300
drwxr-xr-x   3 501  staff         2048 12 Sep  05:32  Extras
-rwxrwxrwx  1 501  staff   3680544  5 Sep   08:20  Unlock.exe
drwxrwxrwx  5 501  staff        2048  5 Sep   08:30  User Manuals
drwxr-xr-x    3 501  staff        2048 12 Sep  05:28  WD SmartWare
-rwxrwxrwx  1 501  staff   2770208  5 Sep   08:20  WD SmartWare.exe
-rwxrwxrwx  1 501  staff           695 19 Jun    03:06  What is this.html
-rwxrwxrwx  1 501  staff             88 19 Jun    07:12  autorun.inf

No problem.  Now for the FreeBSD problem.  If we look at what's on the
big disc (newly formatted as NTFS on a Windows system):

freebsd [10:45] ~#ll /usb0
total 75200
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel           2560 23 Apr  2009 $AttrDef
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                 0 25 Oct 14:37 $BadClus
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel     9746184 23 Apr  2009 $Bitmap
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel           8192 25 Oct 14:37 $Boot
drwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                0 25 Oct 14:37 $Extend
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel   67108864 25 Oct 14:37 $LogFile
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel           4096 25 Oct 14:37 $MFTMirr
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                 0 23 Apr  2009 $Secure
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel       131072 23 Apr  2009 $UpCase
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                 0 25 Oct 14:37 $Volume
drwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                0 25 Oct 15:54 MyStuff
drwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                0 25 Oct 16:23 RECYCLER
drwxrwxrwx  1 root  wheel                0 25 Oct 14:37 System Volume

The only thing that shows up in Windows is the "MyStuff" directory,
which I put there.  I can copy anything from "MyStuff" to anywhere
else on the FreeBSD system, no worries.  But if I attempt to copy a
new file into the "MyStuff" directory, I get the following:

freebsd [10:46] ~#cp ~/tmp/test /usb0/MyStuff
cp: /usb0/MyStuff/test: No such file or directory
freebsd [11:08] ~#

What on earth is going on?  Why do I get the message that "test" does
not exist, on the directory that I'm copying to?  I can copy nothing
to this big disc from FreeBSD, but can copy from it OK.  Why are those
other files there?  Are they part of the standard Windows NTFS
formatting?  Can I use newfs(8) to make an NTFS file system on the big
disc?  Any pointers to a solution would be most welcome.  I'm also
trying to ask similar questions on the WD lists.  Thanks for any help.

Rob Hurle
Rob Hurle
ANU, College of Asia and the Pacific
School of Culture, History and Language
e-mail:              rob1940 at gmail.com
Telephone (ANU): +61 2 6125 3169
Mobile (in VN):  +84 948 243 538 (Currently in Australia)
Mobile (in OZ):  +61 417 293 603 (Currently in Australia)

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