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Ubuntu newbie here.

I just bought a 3G USB key, and I need to install the software, which is found in the USB key itself. The problem is that Ubuntu cannot "see" it.

I found a couple of commands that I used such as sudo fdisk -l or cat proc/partitions – but no success. I unplug the drive, use the command, plug it in, use the command, same result ...

Help! Also note: I'm using Ubuntu 12.whatever

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  • If fdisk -l does not show the drive, then it's almost certainly a hardware problem, and there's little to nothing that you can do via software. – ignis Jun 16 '13 at 11:59
  • @ignsi: That highly depends. @ Zied: if still a problem, do not be afraid to update question with relevant information. – Runium Jun 20 '13 at 10:48
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USB keys should automagically be mounted and added to "Places", /media/ or /media/username and the like.

A nice tool to use when handling USB devices is lsusb. It shows you all your hubs (USB ports) and connected devices. Use:

lsusb -v

for a very verbose output etc. As always man <command>, <command> --help.


In your case however, it seems like there are some trouble. Try:

tail -f /var/log/{kernel,dmesg,syslog}

(Ctrl+C when done)

Then unplug and insert the USB device. You should see some messages, and as it is not mounted, probably some notes about why. Update question with output if you are unsure.


To output it to file, so that you do not have to copy it from terminal, you could use tee:

tail -f /var/log/{kernel,dmesg,syslog} | tee some_file_to_print_to.txt

Then update question with output:

  • Open file in e.g. gedit, gvim etc.
  • Click edit below your question.
  • Paste in the contents of the file.
  • Mark the text and press "Code sample" (<$>) from the menu line.

If it is very long paste it to paste.ubuntu.com and update question with the resulting URL (or URL's if you paste more then one).


Another nifty tool is:

udevadm monitor

Same procedure (if the output seems to be relevant).


If mounted you should also, beside fdisk and the less user-friendly /proc/partitions by:

ls -la /dev/disk/by-id

lsblk is another way to list disks in a nice way.

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  • Th output is too long.. I'm really confused – Zied Jun 15 '13 at 14:55
  • @Zied: What output? – Runium Jun 15 '13 at 15:05
  • Wait, by output, what do you mean? – Zied Jun 15 '13 at 15:12
  • @Zied: You said it: "Th output is too long.. I'm really confused" – Runium Jun 15 '13 at 17:19
  • Yeah I know. But I referred to what the console gave me (the result). I got confused and thought you were referring to something else. Anyways Its impossible to copy it all here (restricted amount of characters) – Zied Jun 15 '13 at 18:32

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