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  • Linux Mint not mounting External USB HD

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Linux Mint not mounting External USB HD

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      • #2287291 Reply
        Mike
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi,  I could use some help getting a USB HD to mount at boot.  There’s something weird going on and I probably screwed it up fiddling around in fstab trying to follow online tips. My fault.

        The drive shows mounted in the Disks Management program, I can format it (FAT) but it shows not mounted in the Desktop Home folder, in fact the Eject button is missing.  Same drive works in a Win10 machine. Drive is in an USB external enclosure with a jmicron controller.

        I’d like to get into the fstab check things out and delete and fix any bad entries but I’m hesitant without some help on the commands.

        Mike

      • #2287315 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If it shows in Windows but not Linux is it the format?
        I would expect Linux to see exFAT and ext2/3/4, but maybe not NTFS.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2287316 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Is the USB port on the Linux machine OK?

        cheers, Paul

      • #2287336 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Mint uses udisks to automatically mount USB drives, so there should not be an entry for it in fstab. If you can find the entry (or entries) you may have made for it in fstab and comment it out, that might get things working properly again.  You should be able to match the ID options in fstab to the appropriate volumes on the external by checking the ‘disks’ utility, which will list the UUIDs for the partitions (the usual way that volumes will be identified in fstab… though you can do it in other ways too).

         

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

        • #2287356 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Mint uses udisks to automatically mount USB drives, so there should not be an entry for it in fstab. If you can find the entry (or entries) you may have made for it in fstab and comment it out, that might get things working properly again.

          Yes, this is what I found very confusing back when udisks was new… but I’ve learned to live with it.

          Summary, IF it’s in fstab, THEN udisks won’t touch it.

          With a “sudo blkid” you should find currently attached physical block devices (as in disks), compare its output with fstab to find entries that don’t belong in fstab. (Or in some other situations, entries that need to be fixed.)

          Note that blkid will often find also things like LVM PVs if you have those, and other stuff that doesn’t go in fstab.

      • #2287470 Reply
        Mike
        AskWoody Plus

        Paul.  The USB ports all work and the drive works now with the NTFS format, not FAT.  Didn’t try exfat yet.

        Ascaris and mn-. How do I get into fstab. Command?

        At this point I’m certain there’s garbage in there.

         

        • #2287488 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          fstab is a text file in /etc. You’d be able to edit it by navigating to /etc, then right-clicking the background in the file manager and selecting the option to open as root (or whatever the text is for that). Once you have the root file manager open, you can double click fstab (short for file system table) to open it in the editor with root privileges. If you skip the ‘open as root’ bit, you will be able to see the file in the text editor, but it will be read-only, so you won’t be able to make any changes.

          If you are not sure what to make of it, please copy the text and include it here, and someone should be able to help make sense of it.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

      • #2287482 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        From terminal (Start > Administration > Terminal)

        sudo nano /etc/fstab

        or

        xed admin:///etc/fstab

        depending on which editor you’re more comfortable with.

      • #2287508 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        ? says:

        hi mike,

        this helped me unscramble my fstab problem:

        https://www.howtogeek.com/444814/how-to-write-an-fstab-file-on-linux/

        see “editing the fstab File,” about half way down and Testing fstab w\o booting just below it

        oh, and make a copy\backup b4 working on it?

      • #2287673 Reply
        Mike
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks folks for the help.  I’m a bit new with this stuff.  Below are a couple of screenshots.  Not sure if these will help, but basically I’m trying to clean up my fstab file.  I have two drives on this machine:  one is an internal OS drive and the other is an external 500GB USB drive.  That’s it.

        Let me know if there are any other screenshots that will help.

        blkid
        fstab

        Attachments:
        • #2287713 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          It looks to me like everything below the swapfile line is spurious. The main HDD has one partition, sda1, and that is mounted as root (/). The only other drive on the system is the external 500 GB hard drive, which is the one that is not being mounted, and is sdb.

          We see the list for the external hard drive at the bottom, so that does explain why udisks won’t mount it. The other stuff, the disk-by-id stuff, could be devices that were once plugged in, like USB flash drives, and are not now plugged in. Those are the kinds of drives that udisks would normally be expected to mount, so no harm in removing those either.

          If it were me, I would comment out everything below the line “/swapfile,” but not that line itself, and that should fix it. I don’t see any necessary things, like /boot or /home, being mounted in those lines below. That’s all in the root partition, and that’s still going to be mounted.

          I don’t expect you would need to, but in the unlikely event of a water landing… err, a failure to boot, you can start a live session and have that mount the system drive, then undo the changes from there, but I don’t think that will happen. Those extra lines look like they really don’t belong there, so commenting them out should not be a problem.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287708 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Right, x-gvfs-show headache again…?

        So is the WD500B the mount in question? Is it by chance the same device as “JMicron_Generic_0123456789ABCDEF” ? Because last time I checked, x-gvfs-show and x-gvfs-hide tend to fail a lot if devices appear multiple times.

        If so, I’d comment out the line with /dev/disk/by-id/usb-JMicron…
        As in add “# ” to the beginning of that line.

        And if the WD500B and the JMicron is a different device and the latter is the one that’s missing… actually I still might see what happens if that line goes away, because gvfs can sometimes be a bit funny when removable devices have multiple partitions.

        In the general case it’s also recommended to use the TAG= syntax rather than point at those /dev/disk/by-whatever symlinks. The symlinks are … a bit more volatile than optimal for permanent configuration, such as fstab.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287723 Reply
        Mike
        AskWoody Plus

        mn-:

        That JMicron and the WD500B are the same device.   The WD500B Western Digital HDD is an internal HDD mounted in an USB 3.0 enclosure.  That probably has a JMicron controller I suppose.  I hope this isn’t the issue.

        Ascaris:  The entries for SAN and SAN Flash are old flash drives that I’m not using anymore.

        Just to summarize:  There’s the WD500B/JMicron USB 3.0 HDD in a external enclosure, and the primary internal drive that has the OS on it.

        What do you guys think I should or could get rid of now?

         

      • #2287833 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        That JMicron and the WD500B are the same device. The WD500B Western Digital HDD is an internal HDD mounted in an USB 3.0 enclosure. That probably has a JMicron controller I suppose. I hope this isn’t the issue.

        Well unfortunately, it’s probably a bit of an issue in that the same device is listed twice.

        Nothing specific to the device itself.

        What do you guys think I should or could get rid of now?

        That by-id JMicron line, so you’ll have the device listed only once.

        Second mounts to the same device, if you really need one, should go as a “bind” mount. From “man bind”:`…
        Remount part of the file hierarchy somewhere else. The call is:

        mount –bind olddir newdir

        or by using this fstab entry:

        /olddir /newdir none bind

        After this call the same contents are accessible in two places. `

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287894 Reply
        Mike
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, I’ll play arount with this and see what’s going on.

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