So, I'm a brand new user to this OS. I'm trying to access my external Western Digital MyBook 320gb USB HD, but the automount feature isn't working. I've read and attempted several suggestions from users who have had similar problems, but their resolve doesn't work for me.

So, pertinent information.. UBuntu 12.10 vanilla in a 1.5 TB single OS system. This was a fresh boot, so there was no Windows/Mac OS present to argue with the system.

A copy of sudo fdisk -l:

Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders, total 2930277168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0007b941

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048  2922149887  1461073920   83  Linux
/dev/sda2      2922151934  2930276351     4062209    5  Extended
/dev/sda5      2922151936  2930276351     4062208   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 251 MB, 251641856 bytes
8 heads, 60 sectors/track, 1023 cylinders, total 491488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System

My Nook is plugged in to the USB and it auto-mounted with no issues. That device lists fine, and is accessed without argument.

Going into my BIOS the boot priority options shows the internal drive, cd/dvd, and an external device (I'm assuming this is the WD) but, I can't "see" it from Dash, Terminal or MountManager. It's been a bit since I had this unit hooked into a PC, but if I'm not mistaken it's running an NTSF file system.

I do know the drive works, because I can plug it into my xbox and the video player can see the movies and photos that are in the drive (and yes, it will play them, so reading the disk is no problem either)

So, my question I suppose, is what terminal code, program, app... magic wand do I need to use to make Ubuntu see the drive and allow me to use it ? If you need any further information... just ask and tell me how to get it and I'll post it ASAP. Thanks !


I can see sda is your HD, I'm guessing it only has one partition on it - which will most probably be name sda1 which I will use for these instructions.

Try this:

  1. Open a terminal Ctrl+Alt+t
  2. move to media directory cd /media/
  3. Make new directory to mount HD sudo mkdir mybook (root privileges required)
  4. Mount HD sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/mybook

That should have mounted your drive to /media/mybook/

You could mount somewhere else but i use the media directory as that is where I usually see devices mounted.

Good luck

  • Well, I did that... and it definitely created a directory... and a mount point.. but it doesn't have anything in it. Every file folder is blank. (Do I need to unmount this to remove the directory or if I reboot will it do it automatically?) – Joe Lolley Nov 30 '12 at 0:09
  • After you do sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/mybook if you go into /media/mybook/ the contents of your drive should be there. Did you receive any errors after the mount command? – captain_G Nov 30 '12 at 9:24
  • NO errors during the mount command. IN the directory tree I have a My Book drive tree (Click Home, and its on the list above File System) From there, its blank. Whole bunch of folders with nothing in them... including /media/mybook. If I look in my primary file system folder and find the /media file, I have a mybook folder there.. which also opens to the empty folders just the same as the other file tree. (I don't like not being able to hit enter in my comments...) – Joe Lolley Nov 30 '12 at 11:02

Try to launch GParted sudo gparted if you have it installed already.

Check if your drive is there. If it is. Check your drive for any problems. If that didn't work, you can back up your file and reformat the drive into NTFS file using GParted and restart.

I had my WD fixed with GParted. I think the pre-installed WD programs in your external hard drive makes it complicated to get recognized. If you reformat the drive it will remove the WD pre-installed programs. They're useless anyway and much faster without them.

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