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Old Jul 1, 2003, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default Can't Format X's Drive II VP2060. PLEASE HELP!!!!!

PLEASE PLEASE HELP.

Hi There.

I'm absolutely stuck and REALLY need some help.

I've got an X's II drive with a 40Gb disk. I can connect the drive
to Windows XP, and copy files to the harddisk okay. The reader
also reads the CF cards okay.

What the problem is is that the copy button works, and seems to
try and copy something from the CF card to the hard disk.
A CF0001 folder gets created, but when I open it, in Windows XP there's nothing inside.

I thought the problem might be due to a poorly formatted hard disk,
so I thought I would reformat it as FAT32.

However, in trying both FAT and FAT32, the format command tells
me that the disk is too big for either of these filesystems.

I can see the disk (H Drive) in "My Computer", but when I right
click and select format, there are no filesystems to pick to
format using the disk.

SO IN SUMMARY:

1) The unit doesn't seem to copy files to the harddisk
2) I can't work out how to reformat it.


PLEASE PLEASE HELP.

/Chris
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Old Jul 1, 2003, 10:20 PM   #2
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I have never used that device before, but I have a logical mind (comes with my job.) Here are my thoughts as I read your description:

If the folder CF0001 did not exist on the drive before you pressed the copy button, and it's there now, then the format is ok. It wouldn't have been able to make that folder otherwise.

If you can mount the drive onto the XP machine and see that CF0001 is there, then this also makes me think that the format is ok. Another way to tell would be to copy files to the drive from the XP machine and then try to read those files from another XP machine.

The instructions for the device should say what type of format to make the disk. You shouldn't have to guess.

This makes me think it's having trouble reading the CF card or the card has no data on it. Do you have another way of reading the card? Can you confirm that the card has data? Try copying a card into the X II that has no data on it... does it make an empty folder like you described in your post? If so, that would imply to me that it could be thinking that your card is empty. It might not be right in thinking that, but that could be what it thinks.

Also, has the X II ever worked for you? If not, you should contact them about a replacement. Sounds fishy to me.

Hope this helps

Eric
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Old Jul 2, 2003, 2:51 AM   #3
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The manual DOES say that only FAT and FAT32 are supported.
Currently, It appears as FAT32. (But not as a an IDE disk, but rather
a "Removble Disk".)

I know the reader that is built into the drive works fine, because
I can connect the drive to the XP machine using a USB cable, and
read the card directly (rather than onto the portable hard disk first).

So:

Drive <-> Computer : OK (apart from the "Format" command)
CompactFlash <-> Computer : OK
Compact Flash <-> Drive : Appears to work, but no data is copied. :-(

I've checked the http://www.xs-drive.com website, but that had
no help (Actaully the PDF of the manual is there).


I'm desperate to get this going, because I need to take it on
holiday in just over a week's time, and don't want to have to
heave a computer around.

Thanks
Chris
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Old Jul 2, 2003, 7:58 AM   #4
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Now HERE'S an interesting thing.

Windows XP was completely stuffed as to doing anything with the
drive. However, I powered up windows, and was able to address
the disk directly. I created a single small partition on the drive and
formatted it as VFAT. IT WORKED. When I powered the drive off
and on again, I was able to use the COPY button.

However, I've found that I can't create VFAT partitions longer than
511 cylinders..

It's a 40Gb (metric GB!) disk, with about 4000 cylinders. I'd like to be
able to use more than about 1/8th of the disk.

Any ideas

Chris
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Old Jul 2, 2003, 7:59 AM   #5
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The reader could be defective physically. The CF reader in it could not work. The making of the directory to store pictures in could be done automatically in firmware when the copy button is pressed.

It sure sounds like a defective unit to me, but I've never used one so maybe you're missing something sibtle in how it's designed to be used (I don't see what, but....) If you got it locally, see if you can swap it for another unit. This is part of the reason I don't buy mail order much (especially when it matters.) I really like that ability to go into the store and jump up and down and yell and screem until they give me what I want.

Eric
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Old Jul 2, 2003, 12:16 PM   #6
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Hi,

Try to make it a NON primairy hdd under system managment of XP. Those extended partitions can be larger than 20GB.

Greetings,
Frank
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Old Jul 2, 2003, 12:36 PM   #7
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Greetings....according to the instructions you can format a drive via the usb port but can't partition it. If this is correct, you should be able to remove the HDD, install it in your PC as another drive, set up the partition and format, then put it back.

Of course you should realise that 32Gb was the sweet spot for limiting slack space and size of the FAT table held in memory? A 40Gb drive must use FAT32 and a 32Kb cluster size, so make sure this is an option when formatting. If It's not, then you won't see more than 32Gb if the format is done at 16Kb per cluster.

I've never used XP, normally I use Partition Magic in preference to DOS as you can see exactly what's going on (but only when connected internally as an IDE drive).

Reading the following link has made me aware that with USB connected HDD devices, keeping down the FAT table size and reducing cluster size is important to keep file transfer speed as high as possible. When battery power is limited this is more important than just big hard drive capacity. Unfortunately, this unit if I read correctly, doesn't allow multiple partitions - the usual way to get the best from big drives. VOX


http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/partFAT32-c.html
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Old Jul 3, 2003, 8:20 AM   #8
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OK! EUREKA! I'VE FOUND IT!

The problem was that my vendor did something a bit stupid. He
created the drive as an NTFS partition, and used Partition Magic
to convert to FAT32. (This is a stupid thing to do, because it leads
to corruption later).

How to get around this?

I booted off of the linux bbc 50Mb rescue disk. Wiped ASCII 0s over
the MBR, and then partitioned the disk into a 32Gb partition followed
by a 8Gb extended partition.

ie Partition types:

/dev/sda1 b (WIN95 FAT32)
/dev/sda2 5 (Extended)
/dev/sda5 b (WIN95 FAT32)

Then, created an MSDOS filesystem on the disk:

mkfs.msdos -F 32 -s 64 /dev/sda1

The -s 64 is optional, and forces the cluster size to 32Kb. (The
maximum, according to Microsoft KB article 184006).

However, the "-F 32" is NOT optional. Without this, Linux will try
to create a FAT12 or FAT16 fs without this (even if you use
mkfs.vfat).

I've now tested this, and it works.

Thanks to all those who replied.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED:
===================

DON'T BUY A DISK LARGER THAN 40Gb WITH THIS DEVICE. YOU
WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE IT.

DON'T EVEB TRY TO GO PAST THE 32Gb BARRIER.

PARTITION IT WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN WINDOWS.

(How you do this for non-techies, I've no idea. With Windows XP,
it recognises the disk as a removable, and won't let you partition
it).

FYI, "[email protected]", wrote this:

== QUOTE ==
Windows XP doesn't allow to format HD with capacities higher than 35GB

You need to use Windows 2000, ME or 98.
== QUOTE ==


Once again, DO buy this drive. It seems to work well (I got a
transfer rate of about 5Mb/s when connecting it via USB2 to
Linux). But Don't go overboard on the harddisk.

(It would be nice if XS-Drive III had NTFS :-))

/Chris
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Old Jul 3, 2003, 8:23 AM   #9
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[quote="voxmagna"]Greetings....according to the instructions you can format a drive via the usb port but can't partition it. If this is correct, you should be able to remove the HDD, install it in your PC as another drive, set up the partition and format, then put it back.

True. You can do this if you have a spare laptop around. Regrettably I don't, so I found Linux was the best thing for this.

USB disks were detected PERFECTLY using the BBC 2.1 Linux disk:
http://www.lnx-bbc.org

/Chris
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Old Jul 3, 2003, 10:23 AM   #10
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I saw one of our IT guys using a laptop drive cable adaptor the other day (only wires and connectors) which allowed him to connect the drive to a desktop EIDE port. Sounds like a useful thing to have around.

So we were on the right 'track' then?
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