View Full Version : [ubuntu] [SOLVED] external hdd problems

August 24th, 2008, 07:12 PM
So, I'm unable to mount my external hard drive and am given the message "mount point cannot contain the following characters: newline, G_DIR_SEPARATOR (usually /). Advice would be greatly appreciated.

August 24th, 2008, 07:44 PM
can you post the output of

sudo fdisk -l
thats a lower case L not the number 1 in case you are typing it in

August 24th, 2008, 07:59 PM
When mounting a hard drive from the command line, it will not mount on a mount point with a space in the name, For mount points you should use and underscore, instead of a space.


August 24th, 2008, 09:19 PM
here you go!

Disk /dev/sda: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x3cd93cd8

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 4905 39399381 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 4906 4998 747022+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 4906 4998 746991 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x41ffc810

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 1 60801 488384001 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

August 25th, 2008, 02:34 PM

August 25th, 2008, 03:07 PM
when you plug the drive in, do you not get an icon on your desktop?

August 25th, 2008, 04:21 PM
No icon on the desktop. So I realized that what happened was that I changed the name of the mounting point in the hard drives settings, thinking that I was just changing the name of the hard-drive, now that the hard drive won't mount, I can't change the settings back to the original mounting point.

August 25th, 2008, 04:26 PM
run this in the terminal

gksu gedit /etc/fstab
and see if the drive is listed there

August 25th, 2008, 04:33 PM
this is what I get

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda1
UUID=fdca023e-13a1-4b12-9541-91e6c909eabd / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda5
UUID=af5125fd-99e6-451c-a654-8e338f416bd4 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
/dev/scd1 /media/cdrom1 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

August 25th, 2008, 04:43 PM
darn, was hoping it was there

how did you rename the drive and where did you do it?

have you tryied unplugging it, restarting and plugging it back in?

August 25th, 2008, 04:48 PM
What I did was change the mounting point from media/My Book to media/external. I have tried restarting the hdd. I changed the mounting point through Places-Computer-properties of My Book. The Harddrive still shows up in Places-Computer, only now the option to change name, mounting point, etc doesn't show up under properties (I assume because the drive isn't mounted)

August 25th, 2008, 04:50 PM
did you do that through Nautilus or command line?

August 25th, 2008, 04:56 PM
Just throught the properties menu when I right clicked the hard drive icon under 'computer.' That's nautilus I take it? (i don't have all the linux vernacular down yet)

August 25th, 2008, 04:58 PM
ok, if you right click on the drive, do you have a mount option?

August 25th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Yeah, i have 'mount volume,' when I click on that I get the error message I reported earlier in the thread.

August 25th, 2008, 05:04 PM
okay, try this in the terminal

sudo mkdir media/external
and then try to mount it again

August 25th, 2008, 05:08 PM
mkdir: cannot create directory `media/external': No such file or directory

August 25th, 2008, 05:12 PM
opps, sorry it should have been

sudo mkdir /media/external

August 25th, 2008, 05:16 PM
It's giving me the same error message still. I tried "sudo mkdir /media/My_Book" as well, just in case, no results with that either. Thanks for all the assistance, by the way. I don't know if this helps, but under it's properties, the location of the drive is listed as "computer:///"

August 26th, 2008, 04:01 PM

August 26th, 2008, 04:51 PM
this makes no sense at all

can you browse to the root folder and see if you have a media folder?

August 26th, 2008, 05:04 PM
Okay, so I went computer-file system-root. There's nothing listed in the root folder. Although there is a "media" folder listed under "file system" which contains both a folder marked "external" and "My_Book"

August 26th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Would reformatting the hard drive on a different computer possibly fix things? I only have a few gigs of music files that I could easily swap onto my main hdd if that would make things easier.

August 26th, 2008, 05:16 PM
ok, thats where I meant, sorry if that wasn't clear

so your original mount point was /media/My Book?

I wonder if we can open Nautilus as root and rename the /media/My_Book to /media/My Book

August 26th, 2008, 05:16 PM
How would one go about doing this?

August 26th, 2008, 05:18 PM
from the terminal type in

gksu nautilusit will ask you for the password and then open you in /root

August 26th, 2008, 05:20 PM
okay, done. It opened "root-file browser" but also gave me a warning in terminal

** (nautilus:6773): WARNING **: Unable to add monitor: Operation not supported

August 26th, 2008, 05:23 PM
nothing to worry about, does that to me as well

August 26th, 2008, 05:24 PM
cool. What's my next step?

August 26th, 2008, 05:33 PM
browse to /media and right click the My_Book folder and select rename and rename it to My Book and cross your fingers when you try to mount your external drive

August 26th, 2008, 05:36 PM
hmmmm, in this new root media folder, in addition to "external" and "My Book" there is also "My Book" which contains all of the files on my hard drive. whats the command I want to use to try and mount this?

August 26th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Wait, upon further inspection, the drive is mounted!

August 26th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Could you possibly give me a brief explanation as to how the root command in terminal fixed things?

August 26th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Damnit! I spoke too soon, when trying to open the hdd, i'm told that I don't have permission to browse the files within. Also, after unmounting the drive, i have to go back through "gksu nautilus" for it to remount

August 26th, 2008, 05:53 PM
I think because you manually created the mount point as root you're going to have to change the permissions on it so that nonroot users can access and use it. If you type 'ls -l /media' into the terminal it should list the contents with the owner/permissions. My external drive is listed as owned by root, but with the permissions drwxr-xr-x. You can set the permissions using the chmod command (as root in this case), but I can't recall offhand what the exact command would be. Check the man pages if you need to go this route.

August 26th, 2008, 06:06 PM
Could you possibly give me a brief explanation as to how the root command in terminal fixed things?

I think it was more the renaming of the folder that fixed things back almost to the way they were. Now we need to set permissions on it so you can read and write to it. We can either go back to Nautilus as root, right click and change permissions or there is a command chown that we can use

sudo chown -R yourusername:yourgroup /media/My Book
change yourusername and yourgroup to what it is for you

you can also change ownership

sudo chown -R yourusername /media/My Book

August 26th, 2008, 10:10 PM
Everything is working fine again! Thanks so much for all the help!

August 26th, 2008, 10:12 PM
glad we got it working for you :)

now, what did we learn today class about making changes? ;)

September 4th, 2008, 12:51 AM
I had exactly the same problem, foolishly i had tried to change the mount point in the right click --> properties of my external hdd. I found the easiest way to get back to the settings was to use gconf
If you go to the storage tab you can edit the preferences for your external drive. Basically remove the mount point line and whatever else you might have changed and the drive should work sweet as again.

Cheers :)