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Old 07-16-2010, 08:52 AM   #1
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Wish to access files in USB pen drive in Ubuntu Linux


I'm a newbie and wish to copy files from USB drive to some location in Ubuntu Linux and have tried with the command 'sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb' and have received following message 'mount: /dev/sda1 already mounted or /mnt/usb busy. mount: according to mtab, /dev/sda1 is mounted on /boot'.

I don't understand what it says, since I don't find the usb drive neither in '/boot' path nor I find it in '/mnt/usb'. So please make me understand how do I access the files on flash drive and copy at the desired place.

Thanks in advance
Old 07-16-2010, 09:05 AM   #2
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My experience with Ubuntu mostly consists of the little I have seen/done on my room-mate's Ubuntu machine, but from that experience, I have noticed that Ubuntu is pretty good for auto-mounting USB sticks and drives when they are plugged in (this is AFTER you have booted the OS and logged in, NOT when the device is connected right from bootup.)

So, one of the following commands should verify whether or not the device is actually mounted somewhere:

sudo mount


sudo fdisk -l
So if those commands indicate that the device is mounted, then navigate to the mount-point and begin your copying. If the device is NOT mounted and NOT shown anywhere, unplug the device, wait a moment (30 seconds or so) and plug it in, and wait another moment for it to mount somewhere. If for some reason it won't auto-mount, then your mount command that you were already trying *should* be fine, and if it doesn't work, we'll need the help of a regular Ubuntu user here to shed some insight on what may be wrong.

Something else you could try if it insists on telling you it's already mounted when you are sure it is not, is try:

sudo umount -a
which will unmount ALL partitions except the root partition (note that this may also unmount the /home partition if it is on a separate partition than the main filesystem is, so if that happens, your regular user account will not work correctly until the /home partition is remounted.

Here's a snippet of what I see regarding a USB stick on my machine when I use the `fdisk -l` command:

sasha@reactor: fdisk -l

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sde: 16.1 GB, 16064184320 bytes
5 heads, 32 sectors/track, 196096 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 160 * 512 = 81920 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sde1              51      196096    15683648    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
and here's what `mount` shows me after mounting the stick:
root@reactor: mount /dev/sde1 -t vfat /mnt/temp
root@reactor: mount

/dev/root on / type ext4 (rw,noatime,barrier=1,data=ordered)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
usbfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbfs (rw)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
/dev/hda12 on /home type ext4 (rw,noatime)
/dev/sde1 on /mnt/temp type vfat (rw)
EDIT: Please make sure your mount command is formatted correctly, similar to the `mount` command I used in my example above; it may be something that simple!

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 07-16-2010 at 09:06 AM.
Old 07-16-2010, 09:07 AM   #3
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I assume that you are trying to copy some files from a external usb HDD to your system.Which version of ubuntu you are using?.. usually ubuntu will mount usb drives automatically. just chek the output of 'mount' command to check whether your drive is already mounted or not. Check the output of 'dmesg' also it will show the errors ,if there any.
Old 07-16-2010, 09:36 AM   #4
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Hi Friends!

Thanks for your quick responses! however, I must have mentioned two things (1) I'm using EBox 1.4.2 with Ubuntu (perhaps version 10.4). Further it is running on vmware server 1 (which further runs on Windows XP), which shows CD Drive, Floppy drive, hard drive and network card on it's taskbar, but not the usb drive, so may be it's fault of VMWare Server.
Old 07-16-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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Should show up under /media I thought.


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