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Hey guys- got a little samba server running for a small personal file share, and was having some trouble with a very specific scenario. So let's take it from the top:

My samba server is a CentOS 5.3 box, and is running a large share for simply dumping files. The main partition works fine- ext3, internal disk. That's not the problem. The problem was introduced when I thought to help a colleague who had an external disk he simply used as a dump as well. I offered to add a share on the server and mount his disk, so he wouldn't need to move it around the office, which is all he would do with it. Here's where I start asking for trouble. It's an NTFS partitioned disk, mounted over USB. When it works, it's great, but every so often (in regrettably undocumented conditions, but NOT upon reboot- that works fine) it corrupts the mount folder. So that leads to something like this:

ls -l /mnt
drwxrwxrwx 11 root smb_user 4096 Jun 22 15:28 bucket
?---------  ? ?    ?           ?            ? matt_external

Weird, yeah? Connecting it to his machine again, all of the data is fine. It's only the mount folder getting clobbered. This has happened multiple times, and remounting to a different folder makes it work again for a time. Anyone know what's causing this? I know I'm asking for trouble, but this is a low-risk scenario, and it's an interesting scenario. It'd be cool to figure out how to make this setup sustainable.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Linux in-kernel NTFS support is known more or less broken in write mode. It's OK in read-only mode, though. If you want to use an NTFS drive under Linux, use ntfsmount to mount (with FUSE) your drive, NOT mount -t ntfs. I suppose this wouldn't prevent sharing it with samba, because samba is in userland too.

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The fuse NTFS implementation is known as "ntfs3g". You can then share this with samba, although not with NFS. – LapTop006 Jul 11 '09 at 8:41
I'll give ntfsmount a try- I had been using vanilla mount. Hopefully this works, though! – Casey K Jul 11 '09 at 9:08
So it turns out that my problems are not rooted in NTFS, but rather in having the drive mounted externally. Inevitably it times out and corrupts the mount point. I tested NTFS with another internal partition formatted to NTFS, and it works beautifully. My colleague does not want to gut his drive, however, so gimped it shall stay. Thanks for your answer! – Casey K Jul 16 '09 at 22:03
Weird, I never had any problems with USB drives under Linux. Maybe something to check : is the USB port OK? the cable? – wazoox Jul 17 '09 at 10:41
The drive is getting on in years, and in further observation, it actually drops out of /dev when it encounters problems, fixed only by restarting the drive. Seems pretty sure that the enclosure is not long for the world. – Casey K Aug 11 '09 at 20:46

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