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Old 05-12-2005, 11:13 PM   #1
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu, Jolicloud
Posts: 136

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trouble mounting usb drive

I have been trying for a while now to get my pen drive working. I have searched around the net on the subject but have gotten nowhere. I restarted before doing any of the following.
When I run 'lsusb' it shows the following:
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0ea0:2168 Ours Technology, Inc.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

And when I enter 'dmesg | grep -i "SCSI device" ' I get
SCSI device sda: 512000 512-byte hdwr sectors (262 MB)

using 'cfdisk /dev/sda' gives me:
ERROR: Bad primary partition 0: Partition begins after end-of-disk
Press any key to exit cfdisk
FATAL ERROR: Cannot open disk drive
Press any key to exit cfdisk

I used 'mount /dev/sda /mnt/sda' because it said sda in the previous part and it mounted fine (always seems to work on first try after restart). I then used 'umount /mnt/sda' to unmount. I mounted and unmounted in the same fashion without unplugging the usb drive. During this time the small light on my usb drive was blinking green. I than unplugged it and tried the same thing again. This time the light stayed solid and when I tried to mount it gave me the following message:
'mount: /dev/sda is not a valid block device'

When I used 'dmesg | grep -i "SCSI device" ' again after unplugging and reinserting I received 2 lines instead of one like before:
SCSI device sda: 512000 512-byte hdwr sectors (262 MB)
SCSI device sda: 512000 512-byte hdwr sectors (262 MB)

so it seems like as soon as I unplug it, plug it back in and try again it gives me the preceeding message but if I dont unplug it it seems to keep working. I also tried sda1 instead and it also gave me the same mount error. Also sometimes the light on the usb drive does not come on at all but still shows up if I use 'lusb'.

I am not really familier with linux to know how to use many commands but I thought if I shared this information someone may be able to help. Any help is appreciated.
Old 05-13-2005, 12:10 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: SuSE 9.2 Professional
Posts: 2

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sorry im kinda new to linux myself but isntead of mounting /dev/sda maybe try /dev/sda1 ?

edit: whoops just noticed that you said you tried that...sorry...are you doing it as root?

Last edited by irishharp2m6; 05-13-2005 at 12:16 AM.
Old 05-13-2005, 12:37 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Neverland
Distribution: Slackware / Ubuntu
Posts: 171

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i think sda1 is usb as far as i know... pls correct me if iam wrong.(in my old knoppix it was sda1
Old 05-13-2005, 01:43 AM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Distribution: Mandriva Slackware FreeBSD
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Sounds like your system (you didn't say what distro you were using) is mounting it when you plug it in. Then when you try to cfdisk it can't because it's a mounted drive.

Looks like it detected the drive. Did you check /mnt first to see if there were any additional mount points added. Try running:

cat /proc/partitions
ls /mnt
before and then after you plug your drive in and see if there is an listed sda there...


What you may have done is add another mount point /sda when there may have been one already like /Thumb_Drive or something.
Old 05-13-2005, 08:29 AM   #5
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu, Jolicloud
Posts: 136

Original Poster
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Thanks for your replies, I am using Damn Small Linux. Here are my results:
cat /proc/partitions (without usb drive plugged in):
major minor #blocks name
8 0 256000 sda
8 1 84344761 sda1
8 2 934940732 sda2
8 4 1717556736 sda4
3 0 2062368 hda
3 1 249952 hda1
3 2 1812384 hda2

ls /mnt (without usb plugged in):
auto floppy hda sda sda2 sdb1
cdrom hd hda2 sda1 sda4

cat /proc/partitions (with usb drive plugged in):
major minor #blocks name
8 0 256000 sda
8 1 84344761 sda1
8 2 934940732 sda2
8 4 1717556736 sda4
3 0 2062368 hda
3 1 249952 hda1
3 2 1812384 hda2

ls /mnt (with usb plugged in):
auto floppy hda sda sda2 sdb1
cdrom hd hda2 sda1 sda4

so it shows the same whether the drive is plugged in or not, even though 'lsusb' see's it. I am not sure what this means. All of the folders set up under /mnt were done by the system so I am not sure why there are so many. I also noticed that under /mnt/auto there is 'floppy' & 'cdrom'. I appreciate the help because all of this is still confusing to me.
Old 05-13-2005, 02:33 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Melbourne Australia
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 184

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What distro are you running? I run Fedora, all USB configs happen automatically & works perfectly.
I am unfamiliar with the term "pen drive". What kind of USB device is it? Flash card reader, memory stick, external hdd, etc.

You posted that "cat /proc/partitions" shows sda1,2,4 as existing. Do you have any scsi or sata devices installed? If not, what are these entries referring to? /dev/sda, sdb, etc. is first & foremost used for scsi devices. Linux usually uses the next /dev/sd? that is available for USB drives, sata drives & other non IDE data storage devices.
If you don't have any scsi devices, or you know that you have no other use for the sda mount-point dirs in /mnt, delete them all & reboot. Then plug-in your USB device & check /mnt for any new entries.

Post results.


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