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Windows machines? XP? Vista? Were the files in a partition using NTFS format or FAT32? If it was NTFS, your Linux OS needs ntfs-3g installed. I think Ubuntu has it ...
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  1. #11
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    Windows machines? XP? Vista? Were the files in a partition using NTFS format or FAT32? If it was NTFS, your Linux OS needs ntfs-3g installed. I think Ubuntu has it installed by default but I'm not sure. It could be part of the problem, perhaps.

    You're saying you can't write to the usb drives in Linux from Linux either anymore? I would find out which /dev/sdXn (where X is the letter and n the number designation) Ubuntu is assigning it and try to create a directory for it. Then try to write something to it. Try doing it as root.
    All bad info. You need to understand the difference between writing to a device, writing to a partition, and writing to a mounted filesystem. When you attempt to write to the block device (/dev/sdX), you are *beneath* the filesystem layer. So the FS has nothing to do with being able to read/write to the device.

    As noted above, just trying to write all 0's to the *block* device (shred /dev/sdX) results in SCSI I/O ERRORS. These are HW errors. You can't create partitions (and then create valid filesystems on the partitions) without being able to write to the /dev/sdX device successfully.

    The kernel even spits out all the sectors it can't write to:

    Code:
    Jun  8 19:29:09 laptop kernel: [256364.911826] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Sense Key : Medium Error [current] 
    Jun  8 19:29:09 laptop kernel: [256364.911831] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Add. Sense: Cannot write medium - incompatible format
    Jun  8 19:29:09 laptop kernel: [256364.911838] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 1007579
    As a side note, if you *did* have a valid FS on say /dev/sdb3 and you run a "shred /dev/sdb" - you of course just started writing 0's on that device from block 0 on up. At that point, you no longer have a partition table OR a valid FS on that device. You could just as easily do this with "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb"

  2. #12
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    Well, sorry, if my knowledge isn't great. I was just trying to help. I don't believe that a usb flash drive is going to become defective because it was used in Windows and then someone tries to use it in Linux. I was just suggesting some ideas.

    She should be able to format the drive. It will be assigned something. Every new drive is assigned the same type of drive designation whether it's sda or sdb (2nd drive) etc. etc. So, whether it's formated or not, it will be assigned something. I thought once you know what it is, you can diagnose the problem. It has to be mounted before you do anything.

    If it was working before (that is, not too long ago), I would suggest that the errors don't indicate a faulty drive. But, then again, what do I know...

  3. #13
    Linux Enthusiast gruven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopete View Post
    Well, sorry, if my knowledge isn't great. I was just trying to help. I don't believe that a usb flash drive is going to become defective because it was used in Windows and then someone tries to use it in Linux. I was just suggesting some ideas.

    She should be able to format the drive. It will be assigned something. Every new drive is assigned the same type of drive designation whether it's sda or sdb (2nd drive) etc. etc. So, whether it's formated or not, it will be assigned something. I thought once you know what it is, you can diagnose the problem. It has to be mounted before you do anything.

    If it was working before (that is, not too long ago), I would suggest that the errors don't indicate a faulty drive. But, then again, what do I know...
    If the hardware is faulty then you wouldn't be able to format it. It doesn't have to be mounted do to anything with it either. When the kernel assigns the device a /dev/sd* that means that it is recognized by the kernel, that is it.

    The hardware could have been damaged by unplugging the drive before the writing process was finished, the usb port could have damaged it, or even static from touching it could have fried it.

    My advice would be to try it in different usb ports and/or computers, and if you still can't format it, then send it back for a replacement. If they are new, it shouldn't be a problem.

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