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Old 06-13-2004, 07:49 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Fedora 10
Posts: 182

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Linux "broke" USB-mass storage device? - no longer workable in Windows XP

Hi there.

I have an MP3/usb storage device (256mb).. it worked fine in Windows XP, and I mounted it in linux using

mount /mnt/usbstick /dev/sda1
(after a modprobe usb-storage)
I created the dir /mnt/usbstick before, yes, yes...

I could read/write.. and it worked fine.. the first time I did it I didn't specify -t vfat .. but it read it fine though. I added mp3s, deleted them, works fine.

However, when I try load it up in Win XP, it doesn't recognise it anymore. I tried rebooting with it plugged in after, to make sure, umm.. just doesn't "see" it. I think one time it did, but it saw an "invalid device" or something.. but I can't get it to repeat that error..

I'm starting to worry. Still works in linux. But I need to transfer it between linux/windows! It's FAT (not FAT32)..

any help?
Old 06-13-2004, 09:55 AM   #2
Registered: May 2004
Location: My own little world...
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 16
Have you checked the actual format on the device just to be sure? I've recently set up my first dual-boot system with WinXP on hda and Debian Woody on hdb. After I partitioned and reformatted hdb to ext2, WinXP told me it had detected a new device, but that was it. I can see the drive itself in the hardware manager, but it no longer shows up anywhere in the filesystem.

I could be wrong, but don't they always say to check the simple things first?

Old 06-13-2004, 05:42 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Crux 2.0
Posts: 66

Rep: Reputation: 15
Get those files off in linux, then reformat that thing in windowsXP.
Then write again on that thing in linux, this time using -vfat.
Then see if it now is readable in XP.

Just one important thing. In linux, before pulling out that USB drive, MAKE SURE YOU UNMOUNT IT FIRST !

It might not let you do that if there is still data in the write buffer.
To let linux write that buffer to the flash drive run


then unmount the flash drive.
Should work fine then.

Just a rule of thumb, ALWAYS unmount removable writeable media in linux before removing them.


Last edited by bareego; 06-13-2004 at 05:45 PM.
Old 06-13-2004, 10:56 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Fedora 10
Posts: 182

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
I think the lack of the -t vfat did it.. however, supposing I do remove the files.. then go to my winXP, and it doesn't detect the device, how am I supposed to reformat it?

also, is there a way to check the filesystem on linux? maybe file ... ? not sure

btw, thanks, it's a great help


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