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Old 02-13-2005, 08:13 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Slackware 13.1
Posts: 127

Rep: Reputation: 18
Unable to use new USB memory stick

Hi all,

I'm having a little difficulty with a USB memory stick I recently bought off Ebay. I've already posted the details once in the hardware forum with little response... apologies if you're having deja vu! Anyway...

I have a laptop and a main PC, both of which run Slackware 9.1. I've been using a 128Mb Discgo to transfer files between the two as the laptop doesn't have a network connection. The Discgo is automatically recognised as /dev/sda1.

I've now bought a 512Mb device off Ebay, which works perfectly in Windows XP. Trying to mount it in either of my Linux setups produces a message saying that it is not a valid block device. Having tried and failed to mount the new 512Mb device, any subsequent attempts to mount the 128Mb device also fail until the computer is rebooted, when it starts working again.

Running fdisk -l as root initially produced the following output:

Disk /dev/sdb: 524 MB, 524025856 bytes
17 heads, 59 sectors/track, 1020 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1003 * 512 = 513536 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 ? 775809 1913904 570754815+ 72 Unknown
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(357, 116, 40) logical=(775808, 8, 13)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(357, 32, 45) logical=(1913903, 14, 4)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb2 ? 168185 2098423 968014120 65 Novell Netware 386
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(288, 115, 43) logical=(168184, 16, 27)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(367, 114, 50) logical=(2098422, 8, 24)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb3 ? 1864289 3794527 968014096 79 Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(366, 32, 33) logical=(1864288, 10, 12)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(357, 32, 43) logical=(3794526, 1, 20)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sdb4 ? 1 3626348 1818613248 d Unknown
Partition 4 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(372, 97, 50) logical=(0, 0, 1)
Partition 4 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(0, 10, 0) logical=(3626347, 7, 42)
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order

I then reformatted the 512Mb device in Windows XP as a single FAT32 partition. The output of fdisk -l was largely unchanged, but showed the USB device as /dev/sda instead of /dev/sdb. Attempting to mount any of the individual partitions listed produced the same invalid block device error.

Any ideas? Please, I'm begging you...
Old 02-13-2005, 09:01 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware,Ubuntu
Posts: 389

Rep: Reputation: 30
try to upgrade your kernel....
Old 02-13-2005, 12:06 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Georgia
Distribution: SlackWare 10.1+, FreeBSD 4.4-5.2, Amiga 1.3,2.1,3.1, Windors XP Pro (makes a fair answering machine)
Posts: 287

Rep: Reputation: 30
Sounds like my Camera (Fiji)...
Anyway I went to a 2.6.7 kernel and use udev/hotplug.
When I first boot or reboot I turn the camera on (it is always connected to the usb port). Once the cpu is booted I turn it off... Any time that I use the camera as long as the cpu has remained on (all the time) I just plug the camera in to the usb port and under gnome click the icon and it is mounted... Do note that you must have the /etc/fstab properly set up.
Now I would assume a usb drive would work the same way...
If however the usb drive is for 2.0 usb protocol and is not backwards compat to 1.0 and that is what you have then you got a problem...

Last edited by Nichole_knc; 02-13-2005 at 12:10 PM.
Old 02-13-2005, 12:21 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Texas, USA
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
Everything I needed to get my USB stick and my SD card reader working can be found in the first item of this thread:

I'm using Slackware 10.0 w/ kernel 2.4.26
Old 02-13-2005, 12:46 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Slackware 13.1
Posts: 127

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 18
Hmm. General conscensus would seem to be that an upgraded kernel is the way to go. If this is the case I will continue using the Discgo for now - at some point in the next few months I'll be hosing down both computers and doing a fresh install, so that would be the logical time to perform the upgrade.

In the meantime I'll continue tinkering, and if I can find a way to make it work with 2.4.*, I'll post it here for posterity.

I should also add that I've had more responses to this query on the Slackware forum than the general hardware forum, and that the responses seem more helpful. There's a general assumption sometimes that Slackers are unhelpful RTFM types - another myth destroyed...

Thanks all.

Last edited by erraticassassin; 02-13-2005 at 12:48 PM.


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