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i tried to mount it but when the sda1 folder comes up in media i clicked it and it just brought me back to the file system menu
Because in your case sda1 is obviously the root file system. That's why you should check dmesg or look for it in "$ fdisk -l"
btw... you usually don't have to be root to see removable devices with "fdisk -l"... and you certainly don't have to become root permanently "sudo su"... As root there are so many ways to do permanent damage just with typos.
wait 15 seconds and try again... (you did this right after you connected, right? ) This should show up almost instantly though.
If not, post the output of "fdisk -l" and "sudo fdisk - l" if the first one returned nothing.