How to mount a Firewire Drive using an iLink (1394/Firewire) port with Mepis Linux Live CD on a Dell Inspiron 8200

What To Do

  1. Open a root terminal and type in "modprobe ieee1394 ; modprobe ohci1394 ; modprobe sbp2"
  2. Download and then "sh".
  3. "Fdisk -l" to get a list of all available drives. You should be able to see the firewire drive listed along with what devices (e.g. /dev/sda1 or /dev/sdb1 or whatever) its partitions have been assigned to.
  4. For each partition you want to mount (e.g. for each /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc.) create a directory somewhere to mount to. I created /mnt/sda1, /mnt/sda2, etc. Then run "mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1" where you replace sda1 with the actual device of the partition you want to mount. Repeat for all partitions you want to mount.

Why It Should Work (in case it doesn't)

  1. Mepis ships with support for firewire/ilink/1394 but doesn't seem to load the support automatically. What the modprobe command does is load up a kernel module that puts in new features. In this case the three modprobe commands load up the modules needed to support firewire.
  2. In theory plugging in a firewire device should cause Linux to automatically detect it, but that doesn't seem to work with my Dell. The script I link to fixes this problem by telling the scsi bus to rescan itself. Or in English, there is a standard for connecting devices called SCSI and one of its jobs is to create a 'bus' which is essentially a highway for data. Firewire devices all show up as SCSI devices on the bus. But the computer won't know that if it doesn't look at the bus to see who is on it. Normally this happens automatically but for some reason the Dell isn't doing it so this script forces the rescan.
  3. Fdisk is a really powerful (and very dangerous) program that lets you know all sorts of things about the disk devices attached to the machine. The "-l" command asks Fdisk to list all attached disks, such as a firewire drive. This then tells you what device location the kernel put the firewire disk at.
  4. Mount tells the kernel to make the contents of a disk available at a certain location. The -t command tells mount what type the drive is. The 'auto' argument tells the kernel to figure it out itself.

4 thoughts on “How to mount a Firewire Drive using an iLink (1394/Firewire) port with Mepis Linux Live CD on a Dell Inspiron 8200”

  1. Thanks for the description, but
    no success:

    # modprobe ieee1394
    FATAL: Module ieee1394 not found.

    I'm using an Adaptec 4300 (PCI). Suggestions?

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