How do I get Ubuntu to recognize my usb hard drive?

Asked by Wil on 2009-02-14

I've looked through the Q & A's..I can't find anything that answers my problem.

I found one "Sort-of" answer but I could not understand it...It said type sudo something-thing.

type this ...WHERE exactly? I have never caught on to this part...I use the package thingy.

I have just discovered my external hard drive is not showing up with the rest of my drives. My flashdrives show up ok.....But, not my usb harddrive. I am having trouble understanding the Q & A's.

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Might be this is a good starting point:

Hope this helps

Wil (xxmadrokkxx) said : #2

OK...I think I am in real trouble about ...ummm...right now! I've followed EVERYTHING I have read in the RECENT Q & A's!

I have gone into Windows and ran "Check-Disk". I ran "Defrag" under windows.

This usb Hard drive that is in question is now CLEAN!

This USB drive is a 20 GB harddrive that reads under ALL windows OS's.

NOTHING I try will make it read under Ubuntu.

WHAT am I missing?

Bernhard (b.a.koenig) said : #3

I recently had some problems with a flash drive that had a FAT partition (but don't ask me why, some of the new large-space USB drives seem a bit unstable). You could try to use a reiserfs partition which seems to work better in Ubuntu (or try ext3). To reformat and choose a new partition file system, you can install gparted

sudo apt-get install gparted

and then you have a nice GUI to do all the partitioning for you.

Wil (xxmadrokkxx) said : #4

This is a hard drive, not a flash drive. I have a USB flash of 8 GB. Ubuntu reads this just fine. So, it has no problem reading large size flash drives.

I have ran every test possible on this hard drive under windows. Linux simple refuses to recognize that it even exists!

It is not refusing to mount it. It does show that it exists for it to mount.

If you are going to tell me to type sudo xxx xxxxx xxxxxx etc. that is fine. But, kindly include as to where I type this bloody thing please.

I have read all the Q & A's. I have read EVERYTHING I could find in Google. This ruddy flippin drive reads fine under Vista and XP! I am using Ubuntu more and more every day and Micro-Fu** less and less.

I am trying NOT to use this "Ubuntu help", as you people and myself appear not to speak quite the same English (No offence, intended whatsoever!). But, this problem really has me against the wall!

I have also been scrutinizing the Q & A's you people provide. And, I am seeing no clear and precise answers at all.....Could it be this is actually a bug that needs to be ironed out maybe?

Wil (xxmadrokkxx) said : #5

Partitioning this hard drive is out of the question, since it is 20 Giga bytes of valuable data that I have NO way to move at the moment.

Is your usb drive detected from the system...?

Open a Terminal from the menu Applications → Accessories → Terminal

Unplug your usb drive... then type:


plug your usb hard disk cable... wait 30 seconds ant type:


Please compare the results and check for changed line...

Then please also check the dmesg system messages... type (when plugging and unplugging the usb cable):


Hope this helps

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