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Old 03-31-2004, 05:32 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 240

Rep: Reputation: 30
USB Flash drive stopped working after Windows exposure

I recently got an Apacer HT202 USB Flash drive. I followed the setup instructions for Linux in the manual (fdisk /dev/sda, delete all partitions, create one primary dos partition, save, exit, mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1 (at least, that's what the manual said to do... I didn't have a mkfs.vfat so I used mkfs.msdos instead)) and it worked beautifully. I could mount and unmount /dev/sda1 just like any other device.

Today, I took it to school with me, and used it with a Windows 98 computer there. The Windows computer insisted that it was not formatted, and (since I didn't have any important data on it) I allowed it to format it for me. Everything went fine, and it worked at school. When I got back home to my Linux machine, it didn't work anymore.

I can see it if I type in "cat /proc/scsi/scsi", but I can't mount /dev/sda1. If I just try "mount /dev/sda1 /flashdrive", the way I used to, I now get the error:
/dev/sda1: Input/output error
mount: you must specify the filesystem type

If I try "mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /flashdrive" "mount -t msdos /dev/sda1 /flashdrive" or "mount -t umsdos /dev/sda1 /flashdrive", I get the error:
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda1,
or too many mounted file systems

I tried to take a peek at the partition situation on the drive with fdisk (although I only formatted with the Windows computer, not partitioned). Unfortunately, "fdisk /dev/sda" now gives me the error:
Unable to read /dev/sda

I have tried the same mount commands with /dev/sda* /dev/sdb* /dev/sdc* and /dev/sdd* and had no success with any of them (with the exception of /dev/sda[1-4], which gave the error already mentioned above, they all were "not a valid block device"). I have also tried to fdisk /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc and /dev/sdd, with /dev/sda saying "unable to read" and the others saying "unable to open".

The drive still works with my parents' Windows 98 machine. How can I get it working with my Linux box again? Is it possible to use it for both Windows and Linux (and how)?
Old 03-31-2004, 10:18 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 240

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Nevermind, got it fixed.

In case anyone else finds this post while searching for a solution to the same problem, the problem was that when I partitioned the drive with fdisk, I left it as type 83 (Linux partition), and then Windows formatted it. I couldn't get fdisk to even look at the drive on Slackware, but on a RedHat machine I got fdisk to open it and have a peek to figure this out. Windows had created four partitions on the drive, with all sorts of pretty errors that I didn't copy down (sorry). I deleted all four partitions, created a single DOS partition table, created a single primary partition in it, set it from type "83" (Linux) to type "c" (Win95 FAT 32) and used mkfs.vfat on it, and everything is fine now.


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