Seagate Doesn't Need Linux
Seagate Technology, the world's largest producer of hard disks, has decided it doesn't need Linux users — or Mac users, for that matter. The realization of this new philosophy comes with the release of Seagate's "Free Agent" series, which are apparently useless on anything but Windows.
According to reports circulating through the blogsphere, the problem seems to be the drives' power management features, which cut the drive off after several minutes of inactivity. When the drive shuts down, it close the USB connection — when it wakes back up, it reconnects as a USB 1.0 connection, causing the Linux/Mac incompatibility.
Seagate technical support is advising Linux and Mac customers who purchased the drives that they're out of luck — the drives simply don't support anything but Windows. Even worse, Seagate is telling customers that while someone out there might find a workaround, they won't find Seagate supporting it.
UPDATE: It looks like something got Seagate's attention, because they've gotten in touch with The Inquirer — the source of our post — to issue an official workaround (though, according to The Inquirer, they originally refused to do so). It looks like they were also nice enough to post it for us right here on LinuxJournal.com. We love it when there's a happy ending.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.