So I was recently doing an Arch install and ended up formatting my HDD in the process with fdisk. I gave up on Arch and reinstalled Ubuntu 14.04. Now whenever I try and open my HDD in Nautilus I get an error 'This Location could not be displayed. You do not have permissions necessary to view the contents of "HDD".'

I can use sudo nautilus and am able to view the files just fine. I can also format and relabel it with sudo gnome-disks , but the issue is that is a pain to do and would rather just have access to it without being root. I've tried running sudo chmod -R ug+rw /media/kalenpw/HDD but that does not solve this issue.

All the answers I find about this issue are about folders that always require elevated permissions, but this is the entire drive I can't access so they don't apply

Thanks for the help.

  • What's the output of sudo LC_ALL=POSIX ls -ld "$HOME" /media/kalenpw/HDD? Jul 23, 2016 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


You should change owners. Run this command:

sudo chown $USER: /media/$USER/HDD

where $USER will complete to your current Ubuntu user and HDD is the name of the partition in question

  • Awesome thanks a million that fixed it. I'll accept your answer in 7 minutes when it lets me
    – kalenpw
    Jul 22, 2016 at 21:21
  • This is not a long-term fix. These permissions will be lost as soon as you unplug the drive, so you'll have to run this command again every time you plug the drive back in.
    – Cerin
    May 23, 2017 at 17:28
  • At first you may have to run ls -l /media/$USER to find out which mount point your drive is located at. In this case, of course, it was known to be mounted at /media/$USER/HDD. Ultimately, you may even want to run chown -R instead of just chown. If there’s a lost+found directory on the drive, you can change it back to root using sudo chown -R root:root /media/$USER/HDD/lost+found. And, by the way, the wrong owner for the hard drive can happen, for example, if you formatted the drive using a live CD/DVD, where the user is 999 and that’s who the owner will be.
    – caw
    Feb 1, 2018 at 13:21

After doing chown and chmod ... In default file manager like Nemo -> right click on the folder or click on the background in you are inside that folder already -> properties -> Permissions -> Apply Permissions to enclosed files OR make the owner able to "read and write"

  • This will only work if you have the permissions to write on all the files/directories within that directory. Would be better to simply add the -R option (for recursive) to the chown command since anyway OP is already in the terminal
    – derHugo
    Dec 21, 2017 at 6:31

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