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This is one of those low-grade irritations that's really starting to bug me. When I plug a phone in (I've got two phones to try) to a USB port, sometimes the system finds it and creates the /dev/ link, and sometimes it doesn't.

I see this from tailf /var/log/kern.log:

Jul  9 11:12:25 phoebe kernel: [4639695.952547] usb 3-2.2: new high-speed USB device number 89 using xhci_hcd
Jul  9 11:12:25 phoebe kernel: [4639695.971935] usb 3-2.2: ep 0x81 - rounding interval to 32768 microframes, ep desc says 0 microframes
Jul  9 11:12:25 phoebe kernel: [4639695.973489] scsi91 : usb-storage 3-2.2:1.0
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.974748] scsi 91:0:0:0: Direct-Access     HTC      Android Phone    0000 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.975852] scsi 91:0:0:1: CD-ROM            HTC      Android Phone    0000 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.977035] sd 91:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.981009] sr1: scsi-1 drive
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.981135] sr 91:0:0:1: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.981254] sd 91:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk
Jul  9 11:12:26 phoebe kernel: [4639696.981414] sr 91:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 5
Jul  9 11:12:30 phoebe kernel: [4639701.201420] sd 91:0:0:0: [sdc] 20836352 512-byte logical blocks: (10.6 GB/9.93 GiB)
Jul  9 11:12:30 phoebe kernel: [4639701.203848]  sdc:

But lsusb shows the phone as in "Charge Mode":

Bus 003 Device 089: ID 0bb4:0ff9 High Tech Computer Corp. Desire / Desire HD / Hero (Charge Mode)

Same goes for the other phone. Both phones are in "USB Storage" mode. Oddly enough, one of the phones (a Moto Atrix) has a memory card in it, and the memory card almost always mounts correctly, but the phone internal storage doesn't. (Basically, when it works, that phone looks like two separate USB storage devices.)

Sometimes I can plug/re-plug the phone a few times, and it works eventually. Sometimes I have to reboot.

Ordinary USB storage (memory sticks etc.) I have no problems with. It's only phones.

Is there some way to investigate further why it is that this is so flaky?

edit — ah - when I run fdisk on /dev/sdc after plugging in the phone, I see that there's no partition table (as far as Linux can tell anyway). I suspect that'd be a problem.

edit again — durr well if I mount /dev/sdc it works fine. Must be something about how I've got something set up that makes the "automount" stuff in my desktop work or not. (I generally don't like automounting things anyway.)

Thus: the problem was that I was expecting a partitioned file system, and (perhaps) so was something in my environment.

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The problem was that I was expecting a partitioned file system, and (perhaps) so was something in my environment. The device had a filesystem but no partition table, in other words.

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