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I have a Kingston DataTraveler SE6 8GB USB stick which I use as a liveusb medium. The liveusb was created with UNetbootin and was working fine, I also enabled persistance in it.

Today I connected the USB into another computer but it was not being mounted anywhere. I opened a terminal window and issued lsusb and it gets detected:

  • Bus 001 Device 016: ID 0951:1664 Kingston Technology

And opening the Discs application shows this:


It says it's located in /dev/sdd however that location is non existant, this is what I get from blkid:

 /dev/sda: LABEL="Backup 2" UUID="6C5D28267DB27322" TYPE="ntfs" 
 /dev/sdb1: LABEL="Reservado para el sistema" UUID="4C4C42384C421CD8" TYPE="ntfs" 
 /dev/sdb2: UUID="D8E444D2E444B512" TYPE="ntfs" 
 /dev/sdc1: LABEL="Backup" UUID="6ECB255D7EC7EAD4" TYPE="ntfs" 
 /dev/sdc2: UUID="c7a99999-898f-4452-afc2-05525c6b20f2" TYPE="ext4" 
 /dev/sdc3: UUID="A5EC-08D2" TYPE="vfat" 
 /dev/sdc4: UUID="00b3c665-7957-4884-8244-e7f94b2a12b5" TYPE="swap" 
 /dev/sdc5: UUID="efe13c6c-c69d-4b91-9a7d-a33c21ec3fb0" UUID_SUB="478d3690-c14c-4dec-ac7c-06a7daad021d" TYPE="btrfs" 
 /dev/sdc6: UUID="79e19479-3d06-4e0f-a8a5-352a0dc71deb" UUID_SUB="5dc9e118-a6e2-4e1f-bb08-d103608d6afc" TYPE="btrfs" 

Since the USB stick is getting detected I'm hoping there's still something I can do to format it and keep using it, How can I forcefully mount it and format it to FAT?

If I attempt to mount it it gives me this:

 sudo mkdir /media/usbdrive
 sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdd /media/usbdrive
 mount: special device /dev/sdd does not exist

If I try to use the command dd this happens:

 sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdd bs=512 count=1
 dd: opening `/dev/sdd': No medium found

If I try to use mkfs.vfat this happens:

  sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdd
  mkfs.vfat 3.0.13 (30 Jun 2012)
 /dev/sdd: No medium found

It is worth mentioning that, in both Ubuntu and Windows the USB is detected but can't be mounted. Windows makes a sound notifying that a device has been inserted and Ubuntu does as described above. Under Windows the device is assigned a drive letter in my case E: however it doesn't show up in the Explorer sidebar but does show up under the Device Manager.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The problem is most likely the partition table written by the manufacturer. Have a look at the answer on this question and see if it helps you.

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Well this is over my head now, dd: opening /dev/sdd: No medium found . It's there but it's not there. –  Uri Herrera Nov 26 '12 at 9:43
Unplug the device and plug it back in again. Make sure that it is the only device on a USB 2.0 bus. Don't use a USB 3.0 bus if you have one. Maybe try it on a different machine completely. Double check the device name with blkid and try again. If it still doesn't work, then I guess that sometimes a dead thumb drive is just a dead thumbdrive. –  fabricator4 Nov 26 '12 at 19:47
I guess it is dead after all, too bad. –  Uri Herrera Nov 29 '12 at 4:10
I had the same issue and I also think my pendrive is dead. It was working on my car usb player and then my baby decided to touch it and it stopped working in the sound system. I thought I would just have to reformat it and copy the mp3's back to it but I got this message and strongly believe it's dead now... I'll have to buy another one :( –  rosenfeld Jul 28 '14 at 17:35

Are you sure that ntfs-3g is installed on that new machine?

if not.. terminal

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

if the driver is installed, what happens when you do this?

sudo mkdir /media/usbdrive
sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdd /media/usbdrive
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Yes it is installed, however the USB is not formatted in NTFS but in FAT32, regardless of that I get either Failed to access volume '/dev/sdd': No such file or directory or mount: special device /dev/sdd does not exist –  Uri Herrera Nov 26 '12 at 2:33
Note that you should not in general be trying to mount /dev/sdd - this is the entire disk, including the partition table - instead you probably want to mount the first partition, /dev/sdd1. If the latter doesn't exist this suggests linux is unable to read the partition table on the device, which is unlikely to be easy to resolve. –  chronitis Nov 26 '12 at 10:53

I have had exactly the same problem : a 8GB pendrive working like a charm or not mounting depending on the computer and on the usb port. I fund that this 8GB pendrive had a max current of 500 mA (5 times more than my other pendrives)! I am convinced it is the source of the problem.

Note : I fund the max power of the device with :

sudo lsusb -D /dev/bus/usb/xxx/yyy

where xxx and yyy are given by lsusb.


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I had similar problem (with external HDD). I solved it in this way, that I inserted cable to other USB port. I supposed that tis one, which didn't work was USB3 and second was USB2.

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