I installed Ubuntu and I'm teaching my mother to use it. Everything is going fine except that her new USB pen drive (8GB - fat32) is not working in Linux (but it works in Windows and Mac).

OS: Kubuntu Lucid kernel: 2.6.32-28-generic

Before and after "lsusb":

root@desktop:/etc# lsusb
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

root@desktop:/etc# lsusb
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 3538:0901 Power Quotient International Co., Ltd
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub


[ 1061.544029] usb 3-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
[ 1061.709572] usb 3-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[ 1061.744920] scsi5 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[ 1061.752290] usb-storage: device found at 2
[ 1061.752297] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[ 1066.753954] usb-storage: device scan complete
[ 1066.756871] scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access-RBC                   PQ: 2 ANSI: 4
[ 1066.763379] scsi 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 14

But in "fdisk -l" it is not shown, and not found under /media/:

root@desktop:/etc# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 60.0 GB, 60022480896 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7297 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x90789078

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        7296    58605088+   7  Linux

What else can be done? any help is appreciated.

  • Your fdisk -l call lists your hard drive's partitions. Run fdisk -l /dev/sdb and post the output.
    – ulidtko
    Feb 14, 2011 at 7:46
  • fdisk -l /dev/sdb report: "Unable to open /dev/sdb"
    – lepe
    Feb 15, 2011 at 2:31
  • 1
    I don't really understand the automount magic, but to my limited knowledge, the problem here is that the kernel is not mapping sg3 to sd*. I don't know why or how is it supposed to do it, but maybe the comment can help someone who does. Feb 15, 2011 at 8:15
  • How about sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb? You may need root access for fdisk.
    – MestreLion
    Mar 23, 2011 at 4:32
  • @MestreLion: I executed the command as root... I guess it is just not fully supported (yet?) by the kernel.
    – lepe
    Mar 24, 2011 at 7:07

2 Answers 2


Have you ran a kernel update without rebooting? I've had the same problem with similar messages in the dmesg output.

Rebooting the machine solved the problem for me.

  • Yes, I tried restarting the computer. I would have to keep updating the kernel and wait until it is solved.
    – lepe
    Mar 24, 2011 at 7:07
  • @Lekensteyn - how do you run kernel update without rebooting ?
    – Boris
    Jan 29, 2012 at 10:07
  • @Boris You cannot load an updated kernel without rebooting. You can update a kernel without rebooting, but then you should not uninstall the older kernel without rebooting first.
    – Lekensteyn
    Jan 29, 2012 at 12:49

Does it show up in gParted?

Also, can you check if it works using a Live Session CD in the same machine?

I will wait for this info, and we can work from there...


Try to install gnome-disk-utility package. It will show up in the menu as Administration -> Disk Utility (palimpsest from terminal). It has some tools that GParted dont. See if the pendrive shows up there.

Btw.. can you please provide details (edit your question) as how are you accessing your mothers PC? Is it terminal (SSH) or RDP/VNC ? How did you configure it?


Also, could you please post the result of:

ls -laR /dev/disk

It may give us a hint of where the pendrive is after plugged in. /dev/disk/by-id folder is the most important one. It will probably list your USB pendrive, and tell us where it is mapped to.

  • Thank you MestreLion, but it does not show in gParted and I think I'm unable to use a Live CD as I live in other country from where the computer is. But I appreciate your help. Any other suggestion?
    – lepe
    Feb 21, 2011 at 9:32
  • @lepe: wait, is the system physically NOT in the same location as your mother's USB drive? If that's the case, you can't mount a local flash drive to a remote system. If that's what you're doing, STOP, because you won't get anywhere. The system and the flash drive need to be at each other in order for you to mount it. Or am I misunderstanding what you're trying to do?
    – Thomas Ward
    Mar 22, 2011 at 13:54
  • 1
    @EvilPhoenix: the way I understood it, his mother is in a location, with Ubuntu and her pendrive, and lepe is in another country, using SSH, VNC or some other kind of remote access to try to diagnostic his mother PC. In this case, he cant boot a Live CD, because he has no access to BIOS settings or boot options. And he wouldnt be able to access it in a Live CD session. And his mother prolly has no skill to make a bootable CD and/or install and configure VNC/SSH in a live session.
    – MestreLion
    Mar 23, 2011 at 4:21
  • Exactly.
    – lepe
    Mar 24, 2011 at 7:04
  • I'm using VNC and SSH as well. I will try your new suggestions and let you know the results soon. Thank you!
    – lepe
    Mar 28, 2011 at 4:57

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