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Date:      Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:51:07 +0000
From:      Arthur Chance <>
To:        "Ronald F. Guilmette" <>,
Subject:   Re: Mount NTFS from "Live" system?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On 29/11/2017 21:32, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> In message <>, I wrote:
>> ...
>> I just now installed 11.1-RELEASE on a USB stick and booted from
>> that into the "Live" mode, and I was hoping to use that to try
>> my test(s) again on the (possibly failing) harddrive, but it
>> seems like maybe in Live mode there is no way to mount NTFS
>> filesystems.  Bummer. :-(
>> Is that actually true?  Is there an easy/fast way around it?
>> P.S.  Should I maybe file a PR, suggesting the enhancement that
>> the "ntfs-3g" tool be included in the Live mode image?  (It
>> really does seems a pity if it ain't in there.)
> It was suggested to me that I ought to post a follow-up / post mortem
> regarding this issue, just to close out the topic.
> Bottom line:  After much fiddling and gnashing of teeth, it turned out
> that I had a failed/failing harddrive.  The specific one that failed...
> in a rather odd way... was a 3-year-old out-of-warranty WD "blue" 320GB 2.5"
> laptop drive that I'd been using on occasion as a scratch drive.  (I've
> got these clever things called Kinwin KF-255-BK "trayless" hot-swap bays
> on the front on my systems that let me easily insert or remove a 2.5"
> or 3.5" drive any time I want.)
> Anyway, the drive was failing, but I didn't know it because it just
> started to get real real slow.  The fact that it was failing was ultimately
> confirmed by attempting to run the built-in "long" form firmware diagnostics.
> That should have taken only about 1 hour to run.  I left it running overnight,
> and it -never- finished.  The drive is now in my e-waste pile.
> I have -never- had any WD "black" drive fail on me, but I don't believe
> that I'll be buying any more of the "blue" ones.  (The fact that this one
> failed is rather inexplicable, because even though it was 3 years old,
> it had less than 1,000 power-on hours on it, and less than 200 power-ups.)

As a matter of curiosity, did you note the Start_Stop_Count value and
was it far higher than the power cycle count?

I've had WD Blue drives fail on me as well. I think it's because the
2.5" Blue drives are aimed at laptops and their firmware has (or had)
the same aggressive power saving/head parking behaviour as the Green
drives, which interacts badly with Unix style regular syncs. I got round
that by installing smartmontools and using

	-e standby,off

in smartd.conf to prevent the disk idling. It may seem paradoxical that
making the disk work more stops it failing, but it worked for me. It
will tend to eat a laptop's battery, but my machines were all mains powered.

These days I mainly use SSDs so spin up/down isn't a problem.

> In this case, having a FreeBSD "live" system with support for NTFS may
> perhaps not have gotten me to the ultimate resolution of the problem any
> faster, but I still do think that it would be a Good Idea to include the
> ntfs-3g thingy in the normative release images... because you never know
> when this might be a great help.
> Then again, perhaps if I had just started with a mini/memstick image then
> I could perhaps have loaded ntfs-3g, over the net, into the "live" system.
> Would that have worked?  I dunno.  I didn't try it.  Does anybody know?

An amusing coincidence: log2(58) = 5.858 (to 0.0003% accuracy).

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