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Thread: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    38

    How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Hi All,
    The USB stick I used on my laptop, running Ubuntu 20.04, is no longer recognized after I copied some files on it from the hard drive. It does not show up when I stick it into the USB port and it also wasn't recognized on a Windows computer.

    On another forum, I came across the following recommendation:

    -try repairing the stick using ntfsfix in linux
    and/or
    -try repairing the stick using the
    ntfs filesystem of a Windows computer.

    Do any of you have any experience with this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    You can analyze the problem according to this link, and if you are lucky, find a solution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    38

    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Hi Sudodus,
    Thanks very much for the link, which is very helpful.

    I am a real newbie, so pls allow me to ask a follow-up question:

    is there anything I need to watch out for if I wan't to make sure not to lose the current data on the USB stick (assuming the stick is not totally corrupted)?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhubunt View Post
    The USB stick I used on my laptop, running Ubuntu 20.04, is no longer recognized after I copied some files on it from the hard drive. It does not show up when I stick it into the USB port and it also wasn't recognized on a Windows computer.
    Quote Originally Posted by bhubunt View Post
    is there anything I need to watch out for if I wan't to make sure not to lose the current data on the USB stick (assuming the stick is not totally corrupted)?
    If the USB stick is not recognised in both Ubuntu and Windows, that is probably an indication that the device is damaged?

    Boot up your Ubuntu OS, plug in the USB device, open a terminal and enter:-
    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    Please post the output in code tags via Adv Reply

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    38

    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Hi Tea for One,
    Thanks very much for the helpful hint. I will try to do that and post the results later. It may be a little while.
    Regards

  6. #6
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    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    If the USB stick is (or seems to be) read-only, yes, backup the files that you want to keep to another drive before it is too late.

    The repair actions might fix the drive, but wipe its content, so again, backup the files that you want to keep to another drive.

  7. #7
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    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Hi Sudodus,
    Can I get the data off the USB stick if it is in read-only mode and not totally damaged? I used this stick on the Ubuntu laptop about which I have questions in my other thread:

    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2469611

    Regards
    Last edited by bhubunt; December 4th, 2021 at 11:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    If the drive is read-only you can read the data on it. If you cannot read, it is in a worse condition. Please notice that I am talking about the drive hardware.

    The file system might be damaged, and might be possible to repair, if the drive hardware can still be written to. And in this case it might also be possible to recover some files or all files (depending on the damage).
    Last edited by sudodus; December 5th, 2021 at 12:24 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    6,418

    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    In your initial post, you mention suggestions from elsewhere to use a windows operating system to attempt to repair the usb drive but you do not indicate what type of filesystem you have on the usb. Using ntfsfix or a windows computer assumes a windows ntfs filesystem. Do you in fact have an ntfs filesystem on the drive? What exactly was on the usb stick before you copied 'some file' to it? Being 'read-only' means it can be read but not written to. Your initial post states that you could write to it as that was the beginning of the problem, copying/writing files to the usb.

    What was on the usb prior to copying these files to it, what had it been used for? Did you have some iso file copied to it to boot, just data files?
    Have you tried the usb in different ports?
    With the usb plugged in, run the "sudo parted -l "command suggested above and post the output.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Re: How to repair a USB stick on Ubuntu 20.04?

    Yancek, thanks for the clarification. Yes, I tried the stick in different ports on the Ubuntu laptop and on a Windows computer, but it was not recognized. The stick simply contains LibreOffice docs and PDFs, nothing else, so no windows ntfs filesystem. Thanks for warning me against trying that one out. I will try and post the output using sudo parted -l some time in the next few days.
    Regards

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