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I've just upgraded from Debian stable to Debian Etch, and I can't get anything involving usb to work. I've tried a usb memory stick, a usb mouse, and a usb external hard drive. All of these still work when I'm using my Knoppix live cd, so I am fairly sure it's not a hardware problem. I have a feeling this might be related to a change from devfs to udev, but I'm not quite sure how to check for or fix such a problem. I'm not getting any real error messages, things just aren't working.
Here's what I've tried:
$ mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /media/usb0
mount: /dev/sda1 is not a valid block device
$ fsck /dev/sda1
fsck.ext2: No such device or address while trying to open /dev/sda1
Possibly non-existent or swap device?
$ fsck.vfat /dev/sda1
open: No such device or address.
$ dmesg syslog | tail
usb 2-1: new low speed USB device using address 2
usb 4-1: new high speed USB device using address 4
$ fdisk -l /dev/sda
The low speed USB device is my mouse, the high speed one is my usb stick. lsusb and fdisk do nothing whatsoever (I presume because they can find nothing to list).
Also, and this is related or not, when I upgraded to etch, all of my keyboard settings disappeared (I had configured it to toggle between English and Ukrainian keyboard layout).
I have a feeling there's a very easy solution to this, I just don't know quite where to look for it.
Part of the problem may be trying to mount the usb memory stick to /dev/sda1. It's my understanding that IDE hard drives are named hdX, where X is a letter (a, b, c, etc). And SATA drives are named sdX (same conditions as above).
In that case, the device should be listed in /etc/fstab, naming the device and the mount point. It they are not in fstab, one gets the error message: not a valid device.
Usb deives are normally assigned names dynamically: when the device is plugged in, or during boot if it's plugged in, a name and mount point are dynamically assigned. Which means the mount point may change from one boot to another.
It's possible to edit the udev configuration files to override the default dynamic naming process (just comment out one or two lines) and create a file with appropriate entries to create persistent device names and mount points. With persistent names/mount points, you may then make the entries in fstab.
The last time I did anything with configuring udev for persistent mount points, I used a document I found while searching the web.
Writing udev rules
by Daniel Drake (dsd)
It has examples of udev rules, how to find the correct information for them, etc. I hope you find it useful.
Last edited by bigrigdriver; 04-04-2007 at 11:59 PM.
Thank you for your help. I'm afraid I'm having some trouble understanding your reply. I suppose I should have mentioned before that I'm a bit of a newbie, and I'm not very good at technical jargon.
I don't know what IDE and SATA mean. My usb stick is listed in /etc/fstab as /dev/sda1 mounting at /media/usb0. Before I upgraded to etch, I mounted it using:
When I tried that after upgrading, I got:
mount: I cannot determine the file type and none was specified.
Hence trying with the -t option. Knoppix also lists the memory stick as /dev/sda1
I don't quite understand this dynamic naming process. Is this something that happens just with udev, or would devfs use it too? If devfs uses it, why didn't I have this problem with my previous distribution?
To be honest, I don't care if it has a persistent mount point or a changeable one, as long as I can get it to mount. Is there a different way to get it to mount using this dynamic naming thing? I mean, if the mount point changes from one boot to another, there must be a way to tell it to mount without specifying a mount point. As a newbie, I'd much rather figure out how to work the existing rules than try writing new ones.
I have trouble believing that the usb key not working and the mouse not working are entirely unrelated. I wouldn't think a problem with mounting configuration would effect the mouse, but again, I don't really know much about this. Is there a way to test it to find out what the problem is?
Thanks again for all your help, and sorry I'm being so thick.
If you have an IDE (ATA), not (SATA), hard drive --> (/dev/hda), then the first partition on the first USB drive would be /dev/sda1. If you had a SATA hard drive it would be /dev/sda for the internal drive & the first USB drive would be /dev/sdb. If you had two SATA hard drives, your first USB drive would be /dev/sdc, because the /dev/sda & /dev/sdb would be the internal (SATA) drives. If you had two internal SATA drives and a USB Pen drive plugged in before you plugged in your USB external drive, the pen drive would be /dev/sdc, and the external hard drive would be /dev/sdd. If......, well, you probably get the point now.
Which desktop environment are you using?, you probably have an icon on it called "System", in there is another icon called "Storage Media", clicking on that will show all storage media (drives) that are visible, if there is an icon called "removable media" or a device by the name you gave your USB drive when it was formatted, click on it to mount it. Usually though, with Etch, a window should appear asking what you want to do just like Windows XP when you plug a USB drive in.
If that does not happen, or there is no icon in System thingy on the desktop.....I don't know what to recommend because I trashed my Woody/Sarge and just downloaded the Etch DVD's. When I upgraded from Woody to Sarge, there were allot of compromises. Then after a bout of absence, I went to catch up on updates and Sarge looked at me in the morning with black eyes and white lettering and would not let me do dick sqwat. So I choose not to do the "dist-upgrade" thing because Sarge was having a major tantrum anyway. Now that old computer is back to a good distro, "Woody".
EDIT: And thin out a little, being thick is too typical for newbies.
Last edited by Junior Hacker; 04-05-2007 at 04:18 AM.
Debian and I have had our differences, I've been haling the Red Hat derivatives for various reasons, they're alright, that rpm stuff is OK, look at my distribution profile!. But lately I've a need for a serious system and some serious software. Etch is the "KING". Wonder what Sid has under the covers?. Etch seems to have better control over memory usage also. I'd hate to see someone get frustrated and jump over the bridge without knowing exactly what they ran away from. Here is a link that shows the best way to install Etch, the dist-upgrade thing needs some refinement.:
I use KDE. There is an icon on my desktop for the USB drive, but only because I put it there (it tells the computer to mount /dev/sda1 on /media/usb0).
Today I noticed an error message regarding udev that appears while my computer is starting up. However, it flashes by so quickly that I can't get more then "udev" and "failed". It may have mentioned the kernel as well, or that might have been just a nearby message. Is there a way to make it slow down, or to read the startup messages again once everything is loaded?
Hit the pause button on the keyboard, for some operating systems you have to hit resume to continue, some only pause for a bit and continue.
You don't have a "System" icon on the desktop? in there is a "devices" icon that shows all devices, if you don't have the "System" icon, something is not right with KDE.
I've figured it out. It came down to not reading the instructions.
It says right in the distro release notes that udev does not work with kernels older than 2.6.15, and that apt-get dist-upgrade does not automatically upgrade your kernel. So I'll get a new kernel and that should put everything right. The release notes also say lots of other things which I should have done before upgrading. Oh well.