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Thread: External USB disk not mounting

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    External USB disk not mounting

    Hi,

    My Ubuntu 11.04 is no longer mounting the 1TB external USB disk I was using. It just appears in Disk Utility as "/dev/sdb".

    Any help in order to recover the data would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    I understand that the drive could be mounted from Ubuntu before. In that case

    - Is it mounting in some other computer? With linux, with Windows?

    - What about the S.M.A.R.T. information, that you should be able to check with the disk analyzing tool
    Code:
    palimpsest
    in a command line terminal?

    - Please post the output of the command
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    - Try to repair it with an appropriate tool

    Code:
    sudo e2fsck -f /dev/sdXY
    where X is probably b and Y is probably 1, but use the values found from the fdisk command above, when booted from a linux CD or USB drive for ext2, ext3, ext4 or

    Code:
    chkdsk /f
    booted from Windows if NTFS or FAT32.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Hi sudodus, and thank you for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    I understand that the drive could be mounted from Ubuntu before.
    Yes, that's right. It had only one FAT32 partition, as I used it to share data between Linux, Mac and Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    In that case

    - Is it mounting in some other computer? With linux, with Windows?
    No, it isn't. My Mac's Disk Utility shows a "invalid BS_jmpBoot in boot block ..." error.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    - What about the S.M.A.R.T. information, that you should be able to check with the disk analyzing tool
    Code:
    palimpsest
    in a command line terminal?
    SMART status says the disk is OK (green circle), device /deb/sdb, and "not partitioned" (I'm translating from Spanish).

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    - Please post the output of the command
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    (If you need something translated, just ask).

    Code:
    Disco /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 cabezas, 63 sectores/pista, 121601 cilindros, 1953525168 sectores en total
    Unidades = sectores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Tamaño de sector (lógico / físico): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Tamaño E/S (mínimo/óptimo): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Identificador de disco: 0x1df21df1
    
    Dispositivo Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema
    /dev/sda1   *          63   104856254    52428096    7  HPFS/NTFS
    La partición 1 no se inició en el limite físico del sector
    /dev/sda2       104857600   314570751   104856576   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3       314572798  1953523711   819475457    5  Extendida
    La partición 3 no se inició en el limite físico del sector
    /dev/sda5       314572800  1901092863   793260032   83  Linux
    /dev/sda6      1901094912  1949329407    24117248    b  W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda7      1949331456  1953523711     2096128   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
        Hay una etiqueta Mac válida en este disco.
        Desafortunadamente fdisk(1) no puede manejar estos discos
        Use pdsik o parted para modificar la tabla de partición
        No obstante tenga en cuenta algunos consejos:
        1. fdisk destruirá su contenido al escribir.
        2. Compruebe que este disco NO sea una parte vital
           de un grupo de volúmenes. (De lo contrario puede borrar
           también los demás discos, si no están duplicados.)
    
    Disco /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 cabezas, 63 sectores/pista, 121601 cilindros, 1953525168 sectores en total
    Unidades = sectores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Tamaño de sector (lógico / físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Tamaño E/S (mínimo/óptimo): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Dispositivo Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    - Try to repair it with an appropriate tool

    Code:
    sudo e2fsck -f /dev/sdXY
    where X is probably b and Y is probably 1, but use the values found from the fdisk command above, when booted from a linux CD or USB drive for ext2, ext3, ext4 or

    Code:
    chkdsk /f
    booted from Windows if NTFS or FAT32.
    Then, as the disk was formatted in FAT32, should I use chkdsk rather than e2fsck? But how, if Windows doesn't mount it?

    Thank you very much again.
    Last edited by coffeecat; June 25th, 2012 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Please use code tags, not colour, for terminal output.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    You are right, if Windows does not mount it, you cannot use chkdsk to repair it.

    It might be possible to use Testdisk to repair the partition table. Otherwise I think you must resort to PhotoRec, which can recover most common file types from the information on the drive without the help of a partition table or file allocation table.

    You can download several repair boot disks (as iso files) from the internet containing Testdisk and PhotoRec.

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Livecd

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    el_GR
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Partition Table can be repaired with Parted (or Gparted) also , but i am not sure if files will be destroyed.

  6. #6
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    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    Partition Table can be repaired with Parted (or Gparted) also , but i am not sure if files will be destroyed.
    I think that means making new partitions (so that the content is wiped).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    11

    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    I have used TestDisk to repair the partition table, and it's strange, because now I can use the disk with my Mac, but still not with Ubuntu.

    This is the current output of "fdisk -lu":

    Code:
    Disco /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 cabezas, 63 sectores/pista, 121601 cilindros, 1953525168 sectores en total
    Unidades = sectores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Tamaño de sector (lógico / físico): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Tamaño E/S (mínimo/óptimo): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Identificador de disco: 0x1df21df1
    
    Dispositivo Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema
    /dev/sda1   *          63   104856254    52428096    7  HPFS/NTFS
    La partición 1 no se inició en el limite físico del sector
    /dev/sda2       104857600   314570751   104856576   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3       314572798  1953523711   819475457    5  Extendida
    La partición 3 no se inició en el limite físico del sector
    /dev/sda5       314572800  1901092863   793260032   83  Linux
    /dev/sda6      1901094912  1949329407    24117248    b  W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda7      1949331456  1953523711     2096128   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Disco /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 cabezas, 63 sectores/pista, 121601 cilindros, 1953525168 sectores en total
    Unidades = sectores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Tamaño de sector (lógico / físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Tamaño E/S (mínimo/óptimo): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Identificador de disco: 0x00000000
    
    Dispositivo Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema
    /dev/sdb1   *          63  1953520064   976760001    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

  8. #8
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    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Quote Originally Posted by anbelo View Post
    I have used TestDisk to repair the partition table, and it's strange, because now I can use the disk with my Mac, but still not with Ubuntu.

    This is the current output of "fdisk -lu":

    Code:
    ...
    Disco /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 cabezas, 63 sectores/pista, 121601 cilindros, 1953525168 sectores en total
    Unidades = sectores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Tamaño de sector (lógico / físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Tamaño E/S (mínimo/óptimo): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Identificador de disco: 0x00000000
    
    Dispositivo Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema
    /dev/sdb1   *          63  1953520064   976760001    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    Good, that at least one computer can read it. Then I suggest that you backup the files that need to be saved.

    The next step is to test if Windows can see it and in that case run chkdsk /f

    Otherwise I suggest that you use gparted to delete the partition, make a new one and make a file system in it, FAT32 if that suits you well, but maybe you want something more robust, NTFS if it should be accessed by 'any' operating system, otherwise maybe ext3.
    Last edited by sudodus; June 25th, 2012 at 11:54 PM. Reason: maybe but maybe you want something more robust ...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    11

    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Yesterday I did a backup of my data, and then ran chkdsk; although it said no errors had been found, now Ubuntu does mount the disk! Well, I'm not complaining

    By the way, this is what I did to repair the partition table with TestDisk:

    http://forum.cgsecurity.org/phpBB3/p...earch-t14.html

    Thank you very much for your help!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    1

    Re: External USB disk not mounting

    Hi, I have a problem with a ubuntu virtual machine (9.04) running in a 64 bits PC.
    When I try to connect a external disk (1 TB, 3.0) I go to VM/Removable Devices and there I can see the disk, then I connect (disconnect from host)... the message is:
    the connection was unsucessfull, the device is currently in use.
    Before this, I disconnect the disk in the windows computer.

    Maybe a problem of ubuntu version (too old?) in VM settings/USB controller, the USB compatibility is only 1.1 or 2.0

    I had used this virtual machine with the external disk before in another computer (64 bits but less sophisticated, I guess, with less powerful processor)... maybe is it the problem.

    Thanks for the help

    Monica69

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