Can not get USB drive to NOT be read only using Drive_Manager


I would consider my skill level between (beginner) and (Novice) leaning novice as I have a long background in tech but not specifically DietPi/Linux.

First. Thank you all for reading and love DietPi so far.


Setup : I have attached a 6TB USB drive to the 3.0 port on my raspberry pi 4. This drive was previously formatted as hfsplus on my Mac. I’ve loaded about 1 ish TB of data on to it. Why I don’t want to format at this time.

Ran Drive Manager and mounted the drive. No challenges, except that nothing was viewable until I rebooted the system. Upon reboot drive and files were visible.

Problem: Attempted to change permissions via PCManFM of a directory and got some errors. Realized drive was read only.

Opened Drive Manager, opened mounted drive, noticed “Read Only: Enabled” saw “select to toggle rw/ro” highlighted that line, chose OK, quick flash of the screen and back to the Drive Manager but it is still listed as Read Only.

What am I doing wrong? Or is there a bug? Is there a command I should manually run from CLI? chmod or chown or something? I imagine because the drive was configured on another OS permissions are maybe screwy. I just don’t want to make the problem worse.

Purpose of needing write access: This drive will be media storage. I need write access via “media” group (radarr, lidarr, sonarr, etc) to all folders, and media group needs access to rename files.

Further actions taken: After selecting the “RW/RO” toggle in Drive Manager I rebooted. When I logged back in the drive was unmounted. I remounted it remained ReadOnly. Tried the RW/RO toggle again but again, it left as read only. I’m not seeing any error messages of any type during the toggle.

Thank you all for your time and understanding. Here to learn, have already lurked for the same problem and didn’t find it via browsing or search.

*** Screen shot of DriveManager info if it helps.

additional history of the drive in question: Originally formatted by Mac OSX. Moved to Nvidia Shield system as external drive (no formatting) and then started network transfer of data from web based server to drive via SSH. No problems placing data. Later decided to setup pi4 as my system for managing media on the back end, while utilizing shield for the front end and moved the drive the pi4. Both systems will be 1GBLAN so transfer speeds should be more than adequate so long as my hard drive is fast enough.


many thanks for your message. I don’t have an Apple device, therefore I’m limited in testing your scenario. Anyway I was googling around and found this interesting entry

It’s related to Ubuntu but for Debian it should be similar. Probably not the best idea to use HFS+ file system on Debian. There might be options to disable journaling or to force device mount like mount -thfsplus -orw,force /dev/sdxx /media/xxx. But not sure what impact it will have on the volume.

Awesome thank you I’ll take a look. I may do some pruning of files and then move all the data off and just reformat it. I’d like a nice clean system anyway, the inconvenience of moving a TB to another drive that is a USB 2.0 drive (the only other option I have) hurts my heart.

Appreciate your time on it and will post back what happens if I try anything.

::edit:: Wow… that is a very sad article you found lol. Does not seem hopeful for me. To the pruning I go.

probably it might be easier to connect an ext4 formatted disk to your RPi4 and transfer data over network using FTP, SCP or SAMBA. Yes it will take time, but much saver than struggling around with the HFS+ device.

The copy finished after 11 hours. Went to unmount the HFS+ drive and it doesn’t unmount. Again the screen just flashes through some quick checks and then shows back up mounted and ready and still read only. Pretty odd behavior. Rebooted and it was unmounted.

If Drive manager requires reboots after making changes would be good to get a notification from it. If it doesn’t then I suspect something is wrong.

Either way, I’ve now formatted it EXT4 and have started the move process of the media back to it.

Thanks for trying to help out. Still love DietPi but a little bit less seeing some apparent wonkyness from drive manager.

well, if you are connected vie SSH terminal, you could have scrolled up a little bit once you see the drive manger screen. There you should see some messages on the command executed. I guess there was still something in use or blocked on your HFS+ drive, that’s why it could not be unmounted.

Did you format to EXT4 Using dietpi drive manager?
It takes ages for me to format using divre-manager.

The drive manager internally calls the native Linux tool mkfs.ext4 to create the file system, so if it takes long, then regardless of the drive manager :thinking:.

Interesting to read about the HFS+ issues above. I have a Macbook here so I’ll run some tests with it. In case we need to add a workaround.

I formatted it EXT4 from my Mac using the default disk utility if I remember correctly. Sorry.