[K12OSN] USB mount error - not a valid block device

Calvin Dodge caldodge at fpcc.net
Sat Oct 9 17:14:47 UTC 2004

On Sat, Oct 09, 2004 at 07:34:30PM +1000, Debbie Schiel wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I'm having problems accessing my usb pen on my server/local machine. I 
> have looked on google for advice and followed the instructions on 
> http://www.k12ltsp.org/phpwiki/index.php/Technical:Storage:USB
> here's what happens:
> [debbie at localhost debbie]$ su
> Password:
> [root at localhost debbie]# cat /proc/scsi/scsi
> Attached devices:
> Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
>   Vendor: USB 2.0  Model: Flash Disk       Rev: PROL
>   Type:   Direct-Access                    ANSI SCSI revision: 02
> [root at localhost debbie]# cat /proc/scsi/usb-storage/0
>    Host scsi0: usb-storage
>        Vendor: USB 2.0 Flash Disk
>       Product: USB Mass Storage Device
> Serial Number: None
>      Protocol: 8070i
>     Transport: Bulk
>        Quirks:
> [root at localhost debbie]# mkdir /tmp/flash
> mkdir: cannot create directory `/tmp/flash': File exists
> [root at localhost debbie]# mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/flash
> mount: /dev/sda1 is not a valid block device
> Everyone uses these usb pens nowadays so it must be fairly simple to 
> configure (unless your name is Debbie!).
> Any ideas or pointers?

I suspect the problem is this: some USB devices are formatted like hard drives,
with a partition table at the beginning, then 1 or more partitions to follow.

But other USB devices are formatted like floppies, where the partition occupies
the entire drive, and there is no partition table.

At a guess, I'd say yours is formatted the second way.  Try "mount /dev/sda /tmp/flash"


Calvin Dodge
Certified Linux Bigot (tm)

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