Not seeing multiple drives.

After recently switching to a linux box for my computer at home, I previously had 3 extra HD’s that had software, music, and movies on them. I just popped them into my Linux box and hooked them up but I don’t really know what to do to be able to see them and use them. I really need to do this without wiping them out because I have a lot of irreplaceable items on them.


If you hooked them to a motherboard IDE slot or if you hooked them to a usb port gives two different situations. If they’re NTFS or FAT32, or ext3 gives three different situations.

The answer depends on what the format of the drives is and how you “hooked them up”. Please elaborate.

1 drive is IDE and is NTFS
2 drives are SATA and are NTFS
1 USB Drive

For the drives that are permanently attached to the motherboard use the application ntfs-config. You have to install it first then activate it in a console by these commands:


Don’t get the usb drive tangled up in that process; have it disconnected when you do that for the permanent drives.

For he usb drive, assuming it’s NTFS: I’m surprised you can’t “see” it in the Desktop “My computer” icon, or are you using Gnome? There you look in the Nautilus icon “Computer”. Try that – but perhaps get the permanent drives fixed first or we’ll have too much confusion going on :slight_smile:

I’m really new to Linux and I’m not quite sure how to do what you just told me to do… I can tell you that I’m running Suse 11.0 with GNOME desktop.

No problem.

Open Computer Icon → Yast → Software → Software Management: On the LHS in Filters put ntfs-config. Click the icon labeled ntfs-config that appears in the RHS. Then click Install (lower right). Then → Apply.

When that’s finished open a console at Computer → Applications → More Applications → System: On RHS you should see Gnome Terminal – drag it over to the Desktop and you have a permanent link to it now on the Desktop. But one way or another, open the terminal and enter su and supply password when asked. Then enter ntfs-config. That should open a GUI where you see the internal NTFS partitions. Click “Advanced Configuration” and tick the appropriate internal drives (NOT external drives) and close.


now my NTFS drives show up.

I really appreciate it.

That’s great. Now for the NTFS drive that you attach by USB. It should appear in Nautilus if you click the Computer icon. The files will be read-only for USB drives because that’s the way the developers set things when they put openSUSE 11.0 together for us.

If you want to write to the USB drive you have to adjust the automount for external NTFS drives to cause them to be automounted as read-write when you attach them to the usb plug. You can do that by entering this command into your Gnome terminal:

sudo ln -s /sbin/mount.ntfs-3g /sbin/mount.ntfs

That command puts a redirection link into the system whereby system calls to mount.ntfs (which gives read-only mounts) are redirected to mount.ntfs-3g (which gives read-write mounts).