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Old 01-05-2005, 11:43 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Texas
Distribution: openSUSE 10.3, Yoper Linux 3.0 , Arch Linux 2007.08
Posts: 253

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USB Memory Stick Problem...

I am using Mandrake Community 10.1 (just installed a short while ago). I tried plugging in my USB memory stick and didn't get very far. On my other Linux distros (SuSE and Yoper) it shows up as /dev/sda1. In Mandrake, I just get a message that "special device /dev/sda1 doesn't exist" when I try to mount the drive. I checked dmesg - zilch. No indication that the system even saw the drive. On a whim, I restarted with the USB Memory stick in place. Bingo! It showed up on the KDE desktop and a quick check of fstab showed it was.... you guessed it... /dev/sda1! I can then mount and umount and read and write it to my hearts content, but as soon as I remove the memory stick from the USB slot, /dev/sda1 disappears, and I can't get it back, except to restart with the memory stick in place. Sort of makes a removable drive not very useful!

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? I suspect Mandrake must treat USB memory sticks differently than other distros do? Is there some kernel module that needs loading? SOMETHING finds the drive on boot up - I need to be able to kick that something manually as part of the mount process when I insert the memory stick. Any and all insights MOST welcome! Thanks!
Old 01-06-2005, 03:33 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Northern CA
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 835

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I'm not sure about Mandrake. I know that SuSE uses the hotplug system. I think hotplug is a new (but standard) way to interact with hardware changes on the fly (I know the term has meant that for a long time, but this is linux specific). When the system boots, there is a phase called coldplug which is really just hotplug setting up hardware that is connected at boot time. The name of the program in charge is stored in /proc/sys/kernel/hotplug, and I think is normally /sbin/hotplug.

I don't know if I've been much help, I know that this is what my distro uses.

Something else you might want to check. Try

cat /proc/partitions
This will give you a list of all drives and partitions on your system. Try this with the USB in and out. If it really isn't being detected at all (as a drive), then there will be no difference.
Old 01-06-2005, 09:37 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Texas
Distribution: openSUSE 10.3, Yoper Linux 3.0 , Arch Linux 2007.08
Posts: 253

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Thanks! You have been very helpful! This gives me a place to start. I can dig into the hotplug man pages, scripts etc. and see if I can figure out what is goign on. Thanks again.
Old 01-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
Posts: 240

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10.1 loads the USB flash drive automatically into /mnt/removable

I didn't even have to mess with fstab to get it working.


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