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Seagate snubs Linux

Latest drives show no visible means of support
Fri Dec 07 2007, 07:30

SEAGATE'S latest batch of drives, the ironically titled Free Agent series are not compatible with the Open Sauce operating system Linux.

As an INQ reader, who owns two 320s and 500s (USB2) pointed out to us, Seagate designers must have been working overtime to manage that feat. Linux runs his ancient Arcnet card, the latest DVB-c/s/t cards and even the more obscure studio-grade A/D/A converters. It cannot manage the latest from Seagate.

The problem is to do with the power-saving systems on Seagate's latest range of drives and the fact that it is shipped already formatted to NTFS.

The NTFS is only a slight hurdle to Linux users who have a kernel with NTFS writing enabled or can work mkfs. But the "power saving" timer is a real bugger.

It will shut shut the drive off after several minutes of inactivity and helpfully drop the USB connection. When the connection does come back it returns as USB1 which is apparently as useful as a chocolate teapot.

As our reader points out this is a, "fairly shit idea perfectly implemented, " unfortunately while Windows can handle it, Linux and Mac's can't cope.

There are a few work-arounds but Seagate Tech Support says they do not know what they are. Instead they are telling man plus dog that their latest drives do not support Linux.

Rose Allen from Seagate Tech support said that work-rounds may succeed, but there is no way that she, or her band will support that sort of thing. µ


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