USB external hard drive disconnecting

Ric Moore wayward4now at
Sun Feb 17 03:25:28 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-02-15 at 09:44 -0700, Reid Rivenburgh wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 9:34 AM, Reid Rivenburgh <reidr at> wrote:
> >  That made me rethink the idea of using autofs to handle mounting.
> >  There were two reasons I wasn't using it:
> >
> >  1. I'm not sure how autofs, with its potential for frequent
> >  mounts/unmounts, works with e2fsck.  If the USB drive (ext3) is
> >  configured to run e2fsck every N mounts, will it be done under autofs?
> >   If it does, would autofs just wait until the e2fsck is finished
> >  before mounting?  I guess the best thing to do in that case would be
> >  to configure the filesystem to be checked after some period of time,
> >  not after some number of mounts.  I'm still not clear on this.
> >
> >  2. The drive would usually be found as /dev/sdd or /dev/sde, but
> >  especially with the disconnecting/reconnecting issue where it'd bounce
> >  between the two, it wasn't predictable.  I thought you had to enter
> >  one of them in the autofs config file, but it turns out you can enter
> >  the drive's UUID or filesystem label, neither of which change.  Cool,
> >  that fixes it!  Here's my auto.misc entry:
> >
> >  disk2           -fstype=ext3    :/dev/disk/by-uuid/a95....
> >
> >  You could also use /dev/disk/by-label, but my labels have slashes in
> >  them, and the dev path had strange \\x2 characters in them so I went
> >  with uuid.
> Pardon following up to myself, but something just occurred to me.  I
> was thinking that autofs would be beneficial in that it would allow
> the drive to go to sleep, if that's what it was doing.  (It gets
> pretty hot when always on, for one thing.)  Autofs would just wake it
> up when needed.  But now I'm realizing that if it goes to sleep, it'll
> probably disconnect, the kernel will lose any knowledge of it, and
> autofs won't be able to wake it up after all.  I guess I still need to
> prevent it from going to sleep.  Harumph!

If it's getting hot, might it be under-powered? Maybe a couple of meter
readings would be called for? Ric

My father, Victor Moore (Vic) used to say:
"There are two Great Sins in the world...
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
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