The latest batch of external drives from Seagate, the so-called Free Agent series are not compatible with Linux, but some workarounds have been discovered.
The main problem relates to the power-saving systems on these drives, while the other - the NTFS formatting is used - is just a small issue, because the recent Linux kernels come with NTFS writing enabled.
The power saving timer shuts the drive off after a few minutes of inactivity and closes the USB connection. When the connection comes back, it returns as USB1, not USB0, as it is initially.
One of the workarounds is as simple as possible, but becomes annoying after trying it a few times. The user has to disconnect the USB connector and plug it back into the computer, so that the drive would return to full power mode.
The most efficient workaround is by using a method that involves Windows. Nathan Papadopulos, a Seagate "disk spinner", came up with the solution.
To disable the power management function with a Windows system, open the Seagate FreeAgent Tools Application, click 'Utilities' in the Command panel, select 'Adjust Drive Sleep Interval'. After this, set the interval from the dropdown menu to 'Never'. Click 'Apply' and then 'OK'.
For the Maxtor OneTouch 4 drive series, you will have to double click the Maxtor Manager icon on your Desktop. Click on the 'Settings' button, then on 'Adjust Power Setting' button. Click on the time field and choose the inactivity period 'Never'. Click 'Apply' and then you can use the drives with your favorite Linux distribution.
The Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus and OneTouch 4 Mini are shipped with a Linux boot CD, but this is made for working in conjunction with Maxtor Safety Drill as a bare metal restore. Papadopulos said that the OneTouch 4 and OneTouch III do not have any problems with starting the drives up after sleep mode, in Linux.