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Thread: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

  1. #1
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    Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    I cannot connect any of my flash drives via USB. I get the following error message:

    Error mounting: mount exited with exit code 1: helper failed with:
    mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb1,
    missing codepage or helper program, or other error
    In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
    dmesg | tail or so
    dmsg | tail give the following:

    john@NightHawk:~$ dmesg | tail
    [ 2478.178413] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
    [ 2478.178421] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
    [ 2478.182137] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
    [ 2478.182146] sdb: sdb1
    [ 2478.187268] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
    [ 2478.187276] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
    [ 2478.301923] EXT4-fs (sdb1): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem
    [ 2534.418408] EXT4-fs (sdb1): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem
    [ 2646.435024] EXT4-fs (sdb1): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem
    [ 2680.374443] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, address 5
    john@NightHawk:~$
    I don't know why on USB computer is looking for ext4 filesystem instead of VFAT?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    Are you trying to mount these manually? If so, what's the command you are using? If not, where are you seeing this error?

    A search of the error message came up with a similar thread here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1524759) that seemed to be related to entries in fstab. Can you post the contents of this file: /etc/fstab

  3. #3
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    No, not manually, automatically when inserted into the USB port, like it used to do before. Before I tried to mount a WD "Elements" external HD, that would not mount. Somehow it appears that I changed something in the OS that has caused no USB devices to mount either automatically or manually.

    I have a persistent sdb1 in my /media file that I cannot remove. The error I get with it is that sdb1 is not present. I was trying to get the WD 320-GB HD to work so that I can back-up and then do a new install of 12.04LTS and be done with 10.10. I do have a partition for /home so I might be able to install 12.04LTS without any problems to my data.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    Hmm, I'm not sure, but hopefully someone else can suggest something. Also, more information would be more useful than less information...

    Can you copy and paste the output of the following commands?

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    Code:
    cat /etc/fstab
    Code:
    ls -l /media

  5. #5
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    As requested

    Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xfe282769

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 1698 13631488 27 Unknown
    /dev/sda2 * 1698 1710 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 1710 6300 36864000 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4 6300 38914 261970945 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 6300 6361 487424 83 Linux
    /dev/sda6 6361 6871 4100096 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda7 6871 10518 29295616 83 Linux
    /dev/sda8 10519 38914 228084736 83 Linux

    john@NightHawk:~$ cat /etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
    # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
    # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
    proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
    # / was on /dev/sda7 during installation
    UUID=1ac2efbb-1409-4878-89d5-1aaa7b9d891d / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
    # /boot was on /dev/sda5 during installation
    UUID=f62ec458-671d-4fd2-a09d-a49a4b221b72 /boot ext4 defaults 0 2
    # /home was on /dev/sda8 during installation
    UUID=f63eadad-6024-4da2-a3cb-725b9e93db45 /home ext4 defaults 0 2
    # swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation
    UUID=546f9a8e-a173-41ff-8d94-8886cf8d5d37 none swap sw 0 0
    /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1 ext4 noauto,user 0 0

    john@NightHawk:~$ ls -l /media
    total 40
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-02 10:16 floppy
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-18 13:09 sdb1
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 2012-05-21 14:33 usb -> usb0
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb0
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb1
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb2
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb3
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb4
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb5
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb6
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2012-05-21 14:33 usb7
    john@NightHawk:~$


    Okay- I discovered that if I plug in a USB device as a place holder then when I plug in the second USB device I can open it, ditto for the third USB device. Device two is USB0 port, and device three is USB1 port and I presume that the fourth USB device would be USB3.

    I now looks like I need to be able to delete the sdb1 in the media file, also remove the floppy so that I can use my USB floppy drive.So how do I change the media file?

    I hope you can help.
    Thanks
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  6. #6
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    Ok, I assume you don't have a separate ext4 partition or hard drive that you are wanting to mount to /media/sdb1? If so, first you'll want to remove the entry in fstab - or at least comment it out for now.

    Code:
    gksu gedit /etc/fstab
    Scroll down to the last line and put a hash symbol (#) in front of it, so the line will now read:

    Code:
    #/dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1 ext4 noauto,user 0 0
    Save and close the file. Now "refresh" the mounts:

    Code:
    sudo mount -a
    Next delete the folder in /media (again, assuming here that there is nothing actually there):

    Code:
    sudo rm /media/sdb1
    Now try a USB drive again...

  7. #7
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    Followed your suggestion: I commented out the sdb1 and it no longer shows up in my Places menu. Then I hit this problem, it says can not remove because it is a directory. The system added it somehow, there should be a way to remove a directory.

    john@NightHawk:~$ gksu gedit /etc/fstab
    john@NightHawk:~$ sudo mount -a
    john@NightHawk:~$ sudo rm /media/sdb1
    rm: cannot remove `/media/sdb1': Is a directory
    john@NightHawk:~$
    My USB flash drive shows up on the usb0 port, I can not drag a file into it. It also gives a "empty trash" notice, and then when clicked, I get a message that says:
    Unable to unmount usb0
    umount: /media/usb0 is not in the fstab (and you are not root)
    So my flash drives are not being treated like they used to when the name of the drive was listed on the desktop and I could drag files.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    I noticed that I have in my /media directory sdb0, sdb1, ..... sdb7, and sdb, as well as floppy and sdb1. I don't believe that any of those were there a week ago, which was prior to my trying to mount an usb floppy drive.

    That is when I started screwing every thing up with the usb ports, when I tried to get the floppy drive to work. I don't understand why the usb floppy drive didn't work like a flash drive as far as mounting.
    WhiteBoxComputer:GigabyteGA-A75-UD4H MB,AMD A6-3670 APU, 640GB HD, 16GB RAM, System76 Lemur Laptop,4GB RAM,250SSD w/15.04OSAcerAspireOneNetbook725 6GB RAM, 320GB HD :AcerOneNetbookAO150,1.5GB RAM,120GB HD,2GB RAM 320GB HD. 14.04LTS

  9. #9
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    Quote Originally Posted by jlh68 View Post
    I commented out the sdb1 and it no longer shows up in my Places menu. Then I hit this problem, it says can not remove because it is a directory. The system added it somehow, there should be a way to remove a directory.
    Oh right, it's a directory, so do:

    Code:
    sudo rmdir /media/sdb1
    If it's empty, that should work - I don't like suggesting rm -rf, but you can use that instead if all else fails (double-check that it's empty first before using that).

    Honestly, I don't really know why USB drives still aren't mounting correctly, though. What does the mount command show when you plug one in?

  10. #10
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    Re: Cannot connect USB flash drives, external HD

    I used rmdir last night while waiting for your reply and removed all directories in the /media dir.
    That made my flash drives work, my usb external HD work, and I found a way to mount my usb floppy drive, using the code below.

    udisks --mount /dev/sdb
    On the floppy I have to mount it with the insertion of each floppy disk used. Funny it won't load corrupted files. Maybe I had something magnetic near one of my floppy discs. I hadn't looked at them since 1999. I intend to capture my files from the floppy disks and burn to a CD-R or DVD+R for archiving.

    kanikilu - I really appreciate your help and interest in my problem. You have helped me in several ways, one to correct problem, secondly I worked around and figured some things out from your prompting. Isn't Linux great? You can break it in either major ways or minor ways, and with patience, perseverance, and listening to others, we can un-break the system and get it working again. Thanks for your help.
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