View Full Version : [ubuntu] USB hard disk stopped working after eject

December 26th, 2012, 11:33 AM
Hello everyone :)

Yesterday I tried to remove my external USB harddrive (500 GB Samsung S2) from my laptop (running Ubuntu 12.04.1). I clicked "Eject" and once the window containing my files was closed I physically removed the drive. Since I have removed the drive it does not seem to work anymore, both on my laptop or on a different pc (which is running Windows 7). I plug it in but simply nothing happens.. The drive does not have its own power supply, its powered via the USB port. My laptop also has an internal 500 GB harddrive. When I open the "Computer" screen it lists:

- 500 GB Hard Disk: 243 GB Filesystem
- 500 GB Hard Disk: System Reserved
- CD/DVD Drive
- File System

The first of these contains the data from my internal drive. I hope someone has a clue as to what happened to my drive, any help is greatly appreciated!

Kind Regards,

The Cog
December 26th, 2012, 11:49 AM
With the drive plugged in, can you open a terminal and enter the commands
sudo fdisk -l
dmesg | tail
and post the output here? That should show us if the drive is seen and perhaps some error messages

December 26th, 2012, 05:51 PM
pascal@pascal-laptop:~$ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for pascal:

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x8f18b459

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 2048 27080703 13539328 27 Hidden NTFS WinRE
/dev/sda2 * 27080704 27285503 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3 27285504 502028287 237371392 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4 502030334 976771071 237370369 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 502030336 968665087 233317376 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 968667136 976771071 4051968 82 Linux swap / Solaris
pascal@pascal-laptop:~$ dmesg | tail
[ 20.038804] NVRM: corruption and stability problems, and is not supported.
[ 26.384898] wlan0: authenticate with 38:60:77:5c:30:4b (try 1)
[ 26.387670] wlan0: authenticated
[ 26.393394] wlan0: associate with 38:60:77:5c:30:4b (try 1)
[ 26.396738] wlan0: RX AssocResp from 38:60:77:5c:30:4b (capab=0x411 status=0 aid=2)
[ 26.396742] wlan0: associated
[ 26.405614] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan0: link becomes ready
[ 37.382150] wlan0: no IPv6 routers present
[ 155.565826] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: Tx aggregation enabled on ra = 38:60:77:5c:30:4b tid = 0
[ 514.860847] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: Tx aggregation enabled on ra = 38:60:77:5c:30:4b tid = 2

December 26th, 2012, 07:19 PM
dmesg is a monitor of ALL events in the OS as they happen. So you want to type that immediately after you've plugged in the hard drive, to see if any errors are reported at that moment. If you wait two minutes, more events (nothing to do with the hard drives) are added to the end of the file so you won't see potential messages related to the hard drive.

fdisk shows the drive isn't registering at all, though, assuming it was plugged in while you typed that.

Do any lights come on on the hard drive when you plug it in? Do you hear anything?

Hard drives do fail all the time, of course, sometimes without warning.

December 26th, 2012, 11:01 PM
Nope, nothing happens when I plug it in\ (normally there's a blue LED flashing on the drive (and in Win7 a sound)) :(

December 26th, 2012, 11:14 PM
Check the cable and the connectors. Sometimes the connectors on the drive can go bad or you have to wiggle the cable to plug it in firmly. I've also had USB cables fail.

If you can't get it to work at all (the light never comes on, you can't feel a vibration, etc.), your next resort might be to crack open the case and remove the drive inside. Of course, that voids any warranty that you might have on it. If you're lucky just the enclosure itself failed and the drive itself could be fine (if you had data on it or something). You can buy a new USB enclosure for a laptop drive (which is probably what's inside) for about $5 on eBay.

December 26th, 2012, 11:15 PM
Nope, nothing happens when I plug it in\ (normally there's a blue LED flashing on the drive (and in Win7 a sound)) :(

I guess you should keep trying a bit more, but maybe you will come to the conclusion, that there is a hardware error.

I know some cases, when that error was in the electronics of the enclosure, and it was possible to open it and take out the HDD (which is usually a standard HDD, that can be attached via a SATA cable directly to a computer or inserted into a new enclosure for an external disk).

The Cog
December 27th, 2012, 12:51 PM
I would expect the act of plugging something into the USB port to show up in demsg. But the dmesg tail shows nothing happening since the wireless lan came up.

It makes me wonder if there's a problem with the USB port driver under Linux. Does any other USB item work in that port when using Linux (mouse for instance)?