usb stick doesn't mount

Nils Kassube kassube at
Fri Oct 3 20:20:05 UTC 2008

Robert Holtzman wrote:
> After automounting for months suddenly it refuses to mount when
> inserted. The hard drive light flashes briefly as it always has but
> nothing further happens. It doesn't appear to be a hardware problem
> because it automounts in Fedora and Debian which I also have installed.
> Is there a manual method to mount it? There is nothing in mtab about
> it that the system can read so I'm at a loss.

While I can't help you with the automount problem, here is one way to 
manually mount the drive. In a terminal enter the command

tail -f -n0 /var/log/messages

and then insert the USB stick. There should be several lines displayed. 
The end should look similar to this (I left away the first part of each 
line with time stamps etc.):

| sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
|  sdb: sdb1

The last line tells you that the device has one partition "sdb1". It may 
be a different device name for your USB stick. Now you can hit CTRL-C to 
stop the tail command and enter these commands:

sudo mkdir /media/sdb1
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1

For both commands replace the "sdb1" part with the partition name of your 
USB stick. Finally _before_ you unplug the USB stick use the command

sudo umount /media/sdb1

and _wait_ until you see the shell prompt again, i.e. until any data are 
written to the device.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list