The question title is obviously not clear because I am not sure what is going on.

I have a 1TB external HDD. I've always been using it on my old laptop. On my new laptop running Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 I am trying to move some files to it. I tried the GUI and the cli (cp -r & rsync).

The problem is the HDD seems to stop responding. For example, rsync hangs. It fails with a read-only filesystem error. The first time I was copying the files I saw this error so I plugged it into my old laptop and change the permissions of all enclosed files to read/write for all.

When I force stop the transfer (Ctrl+C) the command still appears in htop with status D.

The processes cannot be killed with either a 15 or 9 signal. Also I cannot unmount the disk. It says one or more processes are keeping the volume busy.

  • It's an, at least, 5 years old disk so I expect it to be usb2 but lsusb -D shows bcdUSB to by 3.00. EXT4 format. No Windows (no dual boot). – user10853 Sep 16 '17 at 21:45
  • PS: The light on the disk has been turned on for quite a while. As far as I remember it used to be off when it's not being used and blink when being used. – user10853 Sep 16 '17 at 21:56
  • @user10853 as I suggested... reboot first... then start Disks... then single-click on the external drive in the left pane... then select SMART Data & Tests. If you then can't select SMART Data & Tests then your external disk enclosure don't support it. Boo. – heynnema Sep 16 '17 at 21:58
  • @DarkSinus thanks for the help, but I've got this. Check back later if I get stumped. – heynnema Sep 16 '17 at 22:22
  • @heynnema I just tested it on my old laptop. It successfully transfered a 3.8GB both ways. No SMART doesn't show up in Disks. The disk comes with a double usb on on the other side. I've always used one usb. I cannot connect both on the new laptop as I only have one usb on each side and no hub. No power supply. I believe I do have a legacy option and I think it is enabled as I needed it to install Ubuntu. I will recheck now. – user10853 Sep 16 '17 at 22:24

From the comments...

You have a 1TB external HDD that used to work fine on your old laptop, but fails to operate properly on your new laptop.

The 1TB external drive requires more power than one USB port can supply. (More so than a 500GB drive).

Either utilize the double USB cable supplied with the external HDD, or connect an external power supply to the external HDD (if it supports it), or obtain a POWERED USB hub.

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