Connecting external SATA drives to the workstations

Each workstation features a SATA enclosure (a small black box with a slot in it), usually located to the left of the workstation. The enclosure is connected to the machine with the SATA cable, which provides fast access to the disk - in fact, as fast as access to the machine's internal hard drives. If needed, the enclosure can also be connected to the computer via the USB cable (however, access to the device will then be much slower). If the USB cable is used, the SATA cable should be first unplugged from the enclosure before the enclosure is turned on. The power to the enclosure is turned on and off using a small sliding switch on the back of the enclosure.

The following instructions explain how to work with external SATA drives on the Linux workstations (cbsuwrkst2-4).

Drives formatted under Linux (ext2, ext3 file systems): Due to issues with Linux file ownership and permissions, moving such drives between different machines usually requires administrator's intervention on each of these machines. If you need to work with such a drive on any of the lab linux workstations, contact us for help.

Drives formatted under Windows with FAT32 file systems: We do not recommend using the FAT32 file system due to its multiple limitations. If you have to work with FAT32 drive, follow these steps:

Drives formatted under Windows with NTFS file systems: NTFS file systems are quite versatile as they may be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac machines, although in the latter two cases, additional driver software needs to provide both read and write access to the disk. Without any additional software, Mac will mount an NTFS drive for reading only, and Linux will not be able to mount an NTFS drive at all.

In order to use an NTFS external SATA drive on any of the Linux workstations, follow these steps:

The following instructions explain how to work with external SATA drives on the Windows workstation (cbsuwrkst1). The windows machine can mount only drives with NTFS or FAT32 file systems. To connect the drive, follow these steps: