feisty laptop not recognising usb stick

Peter N Spotts pspotts at alum.mit.edu
Wed Aug 29 00:44:32 UTC 2007

On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 10:01:36 +1000
Peter Schwenke <peter at bluetoad.com.au> wrote:

> Hi Karl,
> Karl Goetz wrote:
> > hi all,
> > I got given a feisty laptop which has stopped recognising usb
> > sticks.
> > 
> > When i gave it to the person, usb worked fine. they say they
> > unmounted a usb stick (or eject, whatever the feisty GUI says),
> > waited a few seconds then pulled it out.
> > Since then its not accepted new usb sticks, and the kernel doesnt
> > seem to look.
> So it's not appearing in /proc/partitions?


If you haven't tried this yet, plug in the stick, wait a moment or two,
then call up a terminal and enter fdisk -l at the prompt. That will
give you a list of available memory devices. I've noticed that if I
remove a USB drive or stick without unmounting it first, or when I plug
it back into a different USB port on my laptop, Fiesty gives it a
new device designation that doesn't show up in /etc/fstab, a file that
governs mounting of all your file systems and auxiliary drives. You'll
know it's your stick by the amount of memory displayed.

The output of fdisk -l looks like this:

Disk /dev/sdb: 300.0 GB, 300090728448 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 36483 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1       36483   293049666   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdc: 20.0 GB, 20000268288 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2431 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1        2431    19526976    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

It's the Device Boot entry you're looking for. (In this
case, /dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1.) If that device isn't in fstab, the stick
won't mount so you can use it. When that happens, I have to call up an
editor as root and change the old device designation for the stick
to the new designation in fstab manually. 


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