I am unable to mount any fat32 or fat16 formatted usb disks under Ubuntu 13.10. The thing here to note is that it is happening only with fat formatted Disks. ntfs, ext formatted external usb disks work well (I tried formatting the same with ext4 and it worked)

While mounting via nautilus:

Error while mounting via File Manager

Error while mounting from terminal:

root@shubham-pc:~# mount -t vfat /dev/sdc1 /media/shubham/n
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdc1,
       missing codepage or helper program, or other error
       In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
       dmesg | tail  or so

As suggested by the error: Output from dmesg | tail

root@shubham-pc:~# dmesg | tail
[ 3545.482598] scsi8 : usb-storage 1-1:1.0
[ 3546.481530] scsi 8:0:0:0: Direct-Access     SanDisk  Cruzer           1.26 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 3546.482373] sd 8:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[ 3546.483758] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdc] 15633408 512-byte logical blocks: (8.00 GB/7.45 GiB)
[ 3546.485254] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
[ 3546.485262] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
[ 3546.488314] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdc] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[ 3546.499820]  sdc: sdc1
[ 3546.503388] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk
[ 3547.273396] FAT-fs (sdc1): IO charset iso8859-1 not found

Output from fsck.vfat:

root@shubham-pc:~# fsck.vfat /dev/sdc1
dosfsck 3.0.16, 01 Mar 2013, FAT32, LFN
/dev/sdc1: 1 files, 1/1949978 clusters

All normal

Tried re-creating the whole partition table and then formatting as fat32 but to no avail so the possibility of corrupted drive is ruled out. Tried the same with around 4 Disks or so and all have the same things

  • Do you use a self-compiled kernel or default Ubuntu one?
    – qbi
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 12:12
  • The default one Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


Apparently, your kernel somehow has problems (maybe a bug). Since there is an updated version available, install it (version 3.11.0-13-generic)

sudo apt-get install linux-generic

now reboot in your new kernel.

  • 1
    i have linux 3.16 and have same problem.
    – momo2047
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 23:54
  • 2
    I have Linux kernel 4.4.0-53 and I have the same problem. apt-get reports "linux-generic is already the newest version".
    – larskholte
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 0:15
  • @larskholte either you have a mis-configured system or you've hit a bug in the kernel/module. Either way, my answer given the information available is correct, your case might be different unless you are using 3.11 kernel.
    – Braiam
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 0:19
  • removed the latest kernel image and worked like a charm. but don't have any idea what to do when the update comes back again Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 11:49
  • @benjaminbutton report the bug with all the debugging information you can provide. Otherwise, how you expect it to be fixed?
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 12:53

I had the same problem a few days ago with 4.4.0-57. modprobe nls_iso8859-1 threw an error, and without that module, that "IO charset not found" message appears.

Turns out the root filesystem was damaged. After a thorough fsck and reinstalling of the kernel (forced with apt-get install --reinstall), that module loads again, and I can mount my USB sticks.

@larskholte Even if the update to 4.4.0-57 fixed your problem by replacing the bad module, be sure to fsck your filesystems! That module not loading is only a symptom of a much bigger problem.

  • I think you are correct. I think the root cause might indeed be a broken filesystem. In my case it doesn't load modules anymore either, I don't even get networking to work. Maybe my nvme disk died!? Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 22:31
  • Can I maybe ask how did you confirm your filesystem was damaged? Since fsck doesn't complain here. Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 22:32
  • (trying to load an older kernel didn't work either btw, so it make sense that maybe my whole fs is corrupt) Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 22:39
  • 1
    @MelroyvandenBerg I noticed errors in dmesg, then fsck -f compained a lot, but at least left a usable filesystem. What fsck doesn't fix is corrupt file contents, thus the --reinstall.
    – mow
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 23:40
  • But if you keep having problems after a kernel downgrade, the kernel modules obviously can't be the problem. Maybe try to reinstall modprobe? What kind of error do you get anyway? And what does smartctl / nvme-cli have to say about your nvme stick? Running memtest86(+) also is a good idea when facing weird problems.
    – mow
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 23:49

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