[clug] A "mount" defeat - was Re: Persuading Debian to talk to an Android tablet via USB?

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Thu Oct 21 01:19:55 MDT 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 10/21/2010 06:08 PM, Brett Worth wrote:
> On 10/21/2010 05:45 PM, Felix Karpfen wrote:
>> Same error message when I try to mount the SD-Card reader via a 
>> computer's USB-port:
>> [felixk@ ~]$ mount /mnt/memstick/
>> mount: I could not determine the filesystem type, and none was specified.
>> The relevant entry in /etc/fstab currently reads:
>> "/dev/sda1       /mnt/memstick   auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0"
> Maybe there's no partition table in which case this should read sda not sda1.  Also it's a
> bit weird that it's an sda device unless...  no its just weird.
> You could try plugging it in then doing an dmesg to see if there's device names being
> reported.
> Brett

[root at tachyon ~]# fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x9f80e4ab

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1       38900   312464218+  8e  Linux LVM
/dev/sda2   *       38901       38913      104422+  83  Linux
[root at tachyon ~]# file -s /dev/sda
/dev/sda: x86 boot sector; GRand Unified Bootloader, stage1 version 0x3, boot
drive 0x80, 1st sector stage2 0x254038b0, GRUB version 0.94; partition 1:
ID=0x8e, starthead 1, startsector 63, 624928437 sectors; partition 2: ID=0x83,
active, starthead 254, startsector 624928500, 208845 sectors, code offset 0x48
[root at tachyon ~]# file /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: block special
[root at tachyon ~]# file -s /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: LVM2 (Linux Logical Volume Manager) , UUID:

'file' can take an -s argument, which tells that it's reading a special file
and to go ahead anyway.  Normally it just says 'yep, that's a special file'
and gives up.  This can be really useful to identify disks and partitions.

SD cards, for reasons yet unknown to me, often end up having no partition and
are just simply addressed as /dev/sda (because, if you're going through USB,
you're going through the pseudo-SCSI layer, hence the 's' in sda).


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