Different bevahiour by USB falsh drives formatted in ext3/4 and Windows' formats

Basil Chupin blchupin at iinet.net.au
Wed Oct 6 04:32:32 UTC 2010

On 06/10/2010 07:31, Dave Woyciesjes wrote:
> Basil Chupin wrote:
>> I noticed this for a while but after doing this today to confirm my
>> observations, I thought I would mention this because there was some
>> discussion recently about how to properly remove an USB flash disc from
>> Ubuntu (at least 10.04 which I am now using). The same applies, BTW, to
>> an external USB HD.
>> When the device is plugged in, or switched on in the case of the HD, the
>> appropriate icon appears on the workspace (desktop) and nautilus runs
>> and shows the contents of the device. All normal. In nautilus the device
>> shows up in the left-hand-most panel with a pyramid-looking "up pointer"
>> at the end of the device name.
>> However, as you know, when it comes to 'disconnecting' such a device,
>> one has to "Safely remove" the device and not simply "Eject" it or just
>> pull it out of the connection on the computer (or switch off the
>> external USB HD).
>> If the device is formatted in ext3/4 then you can right-click on the
>> *icon on the workspace* and select "Safely remove" - and watch the light
>> on the flash disc or the HD if you want to ensure that any unwritten
>> data has been written to the device and the device can then be "removed"
>> from the system.
>> However, if the device has been formatted in FAT/ntfs then using the
>> above method results in an error message stating that the device cannot
>> be accessed (or some such - I'm working from memory). What you need to
>> do is to either go to Places>(device) which will start nautilus or to
>> nautilus itself and use the "up pointer" at the end of the device name
>> to Safely Remove the device.
> 	Sorry to burst your bubble, Basil, but all of my FAT32 USB drive, and
> the 2 partition FAT32/NTFS USB HDD all have the Safely Remove option;
> which works correctly. On Ubuntu 10.4...
> 	Maybe you standing on your head?

A follow-up to my earlier response, here is a screenshot of the error 
message when one tries to Safely Remove an USB formatted in FAT:



@MODERATOR: please delete the message awaiting your "looksee" because it 
exceeded the size limit when I posted the above as an attachment. Sorry 
about that.

"So where's the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?"
           Christina Aquilera

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