Linux -> USB Hard Drive Enclosure Question/Problem

Hi there,

I need to take out my Linux installation which sits on a 3.5" IDE harddrive; but as I still wanted it to be usable, I thought I’d try putting the drive as is into a USB Hard Drive Enclosure and setting the BIOS Boot Order to use USB-HDD as priority.

It boots into the boot loader just fine; I select the Suse kernel as usual and off it goes… until it bombs out with a file system error (unfortunately I don’t have the error message to hand). Tried again using the Fail Safe mode and I can see it has a good go at loading, its managing to load usb drivers and main modules etc. before it drops out to a shell.

It reports something about not being able to find “part 2” of the file system?

Is it possible to do something to get this existing file system working from USB without reformatting? Or am I being completely niave in even thinking it would work?

I could get the exact error message tonight if anyone thinks its a remote possibility that transplanting drives like this could work.

Thanks guys.

Something about not being able to find partition with a long name ending in part2 (2nd partition) perhaps? When you move a drive into a different position or controller, the path to the partitions changes.

Get out the install DVD or CD and boot into the repair system, make sure it detects the external USB drive and then let it repair the bootloader and mount specs on your drive.

That sounds exactly like it, yes.

Cheers for the advice mate - what you’ve said makes sense and I’ll give the repair a whirl.

I wasted five hours last night on a separate wireless routing problem so when I hit this issue as well, I thought I’d better give up and make sure I wasn’t on completely the wrong lines before continuing. :slight_smile:

Thank you.

Most likely you will have to update /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst to, reflecting the new device names.

An alternative is to use volume labels rather than devices names, which then lets you move disks onto different controllers. tune2fs lets you retro label. For swap space you need to re-format it with mkswap.

LABEL=<volume-name> can replace a device for mount points. swap space for recover, may be given by using the /dev/disk/by-label directory.

BTW, the repair system has some bugs in it. At a couple of places it claims that it could not repair the bootloader when it actually has worked. So just click continue at those spots and most likely the boot loader and fstab have been fixed.