Re: Need info on an external USB drive

On Fri, 23 Jul 2010 14:27:06 -0600, Will Honea wrote:

A friend of my daughter just brought me an external USB drive she had
been using for saving a bunch of pictures on a Windows laptop that went
tits-up a few weeks back. She replaced the laptop with an Apple laptop
- new, model unknown other than it is an Intel based machine. She can't
get the pictures off the USB drive (SURPRISE!) and wants me to help.

The drive is a SimpleTech 320GB external unit. It mounts just fine
under 11.3 and hwinfo identifies it as a Hitachi HTS545032B9A300. The
root directory appears to contain some OEM software to use the drive as
a backup device (folders/programs like "getting started with Apple" and
"getting started with Windows" plus a bunch of only vaguely identifiable
folders and files. The format appears to be vfat (fat32) but if there
are any .jpg files they are stored in another format.

Before I start mucking with this, does anyone have any experience with
this equipment? My best guess is that she bought the drive when she was
using Windows and likely installed the Windows software on the disk.
Unless someone can suggest a better approach, I'll try installing the
Windows software in an XP VM. If that won't install, I also have an old
Thinkpad I can use for a testbed so I can get the software installed.

Not knowing squat about what the OEM programs do, I'd appreciate any
info about it before I go blindly along and potentially lose any data
the drive might contain. Anyone got a clue?

Have you tried the manufacturer's web site? They may have some technical
information or a FAQ that might shed some light on things. If they have a
'contact us' or help area, that might net something as well - just don't
mention Linux - they'll flip and totally tune you out.