[clug] Trouble mounting USB drive partitions

David Price david.price at anu.edu.au
Fri Aug 13 01:19:53 GMT 2004

On Fri, Aug 13, 2004 at 11:11:08AM +1000, Brendan Henderson wrote:
> Got these entries in /etc/fstab :-
> /dev/sda1  /mnt/usbhd1  vfat noauto,user,rw,syc 0 0
> /dev/sda1  /mnt/usbhd2  vfat noauto,user,rw,syc 0 0
> /dev/sda3  /mnt/usbhd3  vfat noauto,user,rw,syc 0 0
> /dev/sda4  /mnt/usbhd4  vfat noauto,user,rw,syc 0 0
> And I can issue 'mount /mnt/usbhd1' and 'mount /mnt/usbhd2' and all works
> fine but when issuing 'mount /mnt/usbhd3' I get error 'mount : /dev/sda3 is
> not a valid block device' and the same for 4. Same result with 'mount -t
> vfat /dev/sda3 /mnt/usbhd3' and 4. /mnt/usbhd3 and 4 do exist. Anybody got a
> heads up.

Like a hard disk, the USB device has a partition table, which divides
its storage up.  Usually it just has one large partition that takes up
the whole device.  This is probably the case here.  You can list the
partitions by running:

fdisk -l /dev/sda

You can also use fdisk to repartition the device.  I'm not sure what
reasons there would be for doing this though, but you might have some.

The reason you were able to mount both usbhd1 and usbhd2 is because
they are both referencing /dev/sda1.

If you are wanting to mount multiple USB memory devices, you'll want
to change the entries in fstab to refer to /dev/sdb1, and /dev/sdc1.
ie, change the last letter, but leave the number as 1.

Hope this helps,

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