SD card suddenly read-only

Willy K. Hamra w.hamra1987 at
Tue Oct 14 00:48:18 BST 2008

cherryfinals wrote:
> --- On Mon, 10/13/08, Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at> wrote:
>> From: Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at>
>> Subject: SD card suddenly read-only
>> To: "kubuntu-users." <kubuntu-users at>
>> Date: Monday, October 13, 2008, 7:27 PM
>> I have been moving files back and forth between an PDA (Dell
>> Axim) and
>> my personal computer (the Kubuntu machine) via SD card all
>> day.
>> Suddenly, the Kubuntu machine insists that the card is
>> read-only and
>> will not write to it. Even reseting the machine and
>> switching card
>> readers does not help. The Axim still writes to the card
>> just fine.
>> What could be the cause?
>> Thanks in advance.
> Did you accidentally slip the little slide lock on the side of the
card? I've done that a couple of times, when in a hurry.
> Stan

don't think so, since Axim is still writing to it.
check your mounts. type "mount" in konsole and see it's mount options,
is there an "ro" option? if yes, umount it, and try to manually mount it
with the "rw" option, the command should look like:
sudo mount /dev/ur_sd_card /media/somewhere_here -o rw
you can of course add the "-t file)system" option if you want.
now see if you can writ to it.

as to why this might happen? sometimes, if a filesystem is improperly
unmounted, unplugged without safely removing first, and the filesystem
is a non-linux filesystem like FAT or NTFS, the system gets scared that
there might be corruption on the filesystem, and since such fs don't
have a proper fsck program in linux, they get mounted as read-only to
prevent further damage. if you type "dmesg | tail" after plugging your
card, you should see some info about this read-only mount, and it's
reasons. sometimes, like NTFS, you might need to use the force option in
order to mount an improperly unmounted fs as rw, so the command will end
with "-o rw,force".
hope this helps you.

Willy K. Hamra
Manager of Hamra Information Systems
Co. Manager of Zeina Computer & Billy Net
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