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I'm running Mint/Mate 17.3 and normally external drives "just work" when you plug them in. I have one particular older drive that has been sitting on my shelf for about 10 years (an "EZ Quest" from about 2005), but it worked the last time I used it, so I doubt the drive has failed.

When I plug it in and power it up, it does not show in fdisk -l or in Gparted or in lsblk, but it does have an entry in lsusb:

Bus 001 Device 000: ID 0dc4:0201 Macpower Peripherals, Ltd

What steps can I take to get this to show up as a mountable drive (ie /dev/sdx)?

UPDATE:

Here's the syslog output when plugging in the device:

Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.167857] usb 1-4: new high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.303193] usb 1-4: New USB device found, idVendor=0dc4, idProduct=0201
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.303202] usb 1-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.303208] usb 1-4: Product: OXSEMI Mass Storage
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.303212] usb 1-4: Manufacturer: Macpower
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.303216] usb 1-4: SerialNumber: ABCDEF0123456789
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.305998] usb-storage 1-4:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
Oct 11 04:36:03 username kernel: [355193.306218] scsi21 : usb-storage 1-4:1.0
Oct 11 04:36:03 username mtp-probe: checking bus 1, device 20: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:12.2/usb1/1-4"
Oct 11 04:36:03 username mtp-probe: bus: 1, device: 20 was not an MTP device
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.302600] scsi 21:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Maxtor 6 L250R0           BAH4 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.303212] sd 21:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg7 type 0
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.321539] sd 21:0:0:0: [sdh] 490234752 512-byte logical blocks: (251 GB/233 GiB)
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.321927] sd 21:0:0:0: [sdh] Write Protect is off
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.321939] sd 21:0:0:0: [sdh] Mode Sense: 11 00 00 00
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.322395] sd 21:0:0:0: [sdh] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.329774]  sdh: sdh1
Oct 11 04:36:04 username kernel: [355194.365456] sd 21:0:0:0: [sdh] Attached SCSI disk
Oct 11 04:36:07 username kernel: [355197.644022] usb 1-4: reset high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:36:22 username kernel: [355212.730110] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Oct 11 04:36:37 username kernel: [355227.919922] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Oct 11 04:36:38 username kernel: [355228.135633] usb 1-4: reset high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:36:53 username kernel: [355243.225481] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Oct 11 04:37:08 username kernel: [355258.415404] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Oct 11 04:37:08 username kernel: [355258.630946] usb 1-4: reset high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:37:13 username kernel: [355263.642551] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/8, error -110
Oct 11 04:37:18 username kernel: [355268.753697] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/8, error -110
Oct 11 04:37:18 username kernel: [355268.969052] usb 1-4: reset high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:37:23 username kernel: [355273.980653] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/8, error -110
  • First step is to look at dmesg/syslog lines that show up after you plug it in and power it up, and edit your post to include them. If the block subsystem doesn't detect it, that may mean you need a special driver for it (unless it's broken). "Worked last time I used it" may also correlate to "at this time I had a driver for it". – dirkt Oct 11 '16 at 8:03
  • OK I added syslog data. Seems to be a repeating error device descriptor read/8, error -110 – Nick Oct 11 '16 at 8:41
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    Then it's very likely some sort of hardware problem - the block subsystem tries to attach the disk as /dev/sdh, gets read errors, and probably finally detaches it again. – dirkt Oct 11 '16 at 9:30
  • See if this helps (unix.stackexchange.com/questions/270725/…) – jc__ Oct 11 '16 at 18:19
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The important part of your logs is

Oct 11 04:36:07 username kernel: [355197.644022] usb 1-4: reset high-speed USB device number 20 using ehci-pci
Oct 11 04:36:22 username kernel: [355212.730110] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Oct 11 04:36:37 username kernel: [355227.919922] usb 1-4: device descriptor read/64, error -110

The communication with your device seems intermittently broken. Device ID can be retrieved (that's why you see it with lsusb), but further data exchange (e.g. partition table) triggers an error.

Error -110 means "timeout". Maybe your disk has enough power to identify itself on the bus, but not enough to spin the disk properly. There may also be a problem with the interrupts on your USB controller. This may also be caused by a rogue peripheral on the same USB hub.

Try:

  • disconnecting all USB devices except your disk
  • plugging an external power supply to your disk
  • plugging your disk on another USB connector

If nothing of the above works, try another kernel

1

I had a similar problem but my usb hardware was a USB external hard drive (Eagle Consus with a Western Digital PATA hard drive).

To resolve, I changed the hard drive's jumper setting to slave. In my case the jumper setting was set to master.

Good luck.

  • 3
    SATA drive with a master/slave jumper? – phk Jan 30 '17 at 17:00
  • Thanks phk for catching my typo and circumventing any misunderstandings. The hard drive is ATA (IDE - Integrated Drive Electronics). – Stephen Dittoe Jan 30 '17 at 17:55
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If you use the dmesg command, it will show you where (dev/sda, dev/sdb etcetera) the device "is".

There is a pretty decent guide here. It is for SUSE, but should apply to all distributions.

  • dmesg produces a ton of output, but the dmesg | grep -i "SCSI device" example given in the link doesn't show anything. – Nick Oct 11 '16 at 6:02
  • I would try using something like this dmesg | grep -i usb and/or dmesg | grep 'dev/sd' – maulinglawns Oct 11 '16 at 6:11
  • The first produces tons of output, but the second shows nothing. Are we just looking for a /dev/sdx entry? Because I can do ls /dev | grep sd and see all the sd devices. But it only show the internal hard drives, not the external device. The problem seems to be that the system is not recognizing the usb device as a hard drive and isn't putting any entry for it in /dev. – Nick Oct 11 '16 at 6:44
  • Hmm... then I guess that the device does not show up under lsblk either? If not, then I am afraid my toolbox is practically empty! – maulinglawns Oct 11 '16 at 6:49
  • It's not in lsblk only lsusb. – Nick Oct 11 '16 at 7:28

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