Error reading pen drive

Parshwa Murdia b330bkn at
Thu Aug 19 16:07:44 UTC 2010

On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 6:14 PM, Mikkel <mikkel at> wrote:

> When you do not have a partition table, Windows does not know what
> to do with it, so it will not show up as a drive in My Computer. It
> will show up in the hardware list.

Oh I see.

> While you can use a drive with no partition table, such as you
> created when you formatted /dev/sdb, it requires you to manually
> mount it.

That really I didn't know. I would just mount it in /mnt/pendrivechecks

> Even with a proper parition table, if it is not formatted
> as FAT, VFAT, or NTFS you will be limited in where you can use it. A
> lot of printers, media players, etc do not understand NTFS.


> Now, if you have used /dev/sdb1 instead of /dev/sdb, you would have
> had better luck. But you want to be careful when you use command
> line tools as root - they do exactly what you tell them to do,
> without checking if you really want to do that.

>From the very basics, could you please tell me sequentially:-

i) How to know the partition name while inserting usb pen drive?
Running "fdisk -l" or "fdisk" yields, but with "sdb" not written 1 or
2 at the end of 'sdb', and for sure, 'sdb' is the pen drive partition
name. Or the command, "dmesg | tail"?

ii) After that, I have to unmount it, using the command "umount
/dev/sdb" so that it could be formatted.

iii) Now for formatting, I would have to use either vfat or ext3. But
how to know whether to use the former or the later?

iv) I guess it would be correct:


$ /sbin/mkdosfs -F 32 -n usbdisk /dev/USBPARTITIONNAME

Where, USBPARTITIONNAME is what I would be getting from query i)

> If you had used
> /dev/sda instead of /dev/sdb, you would have wiped out your system.

I didn't use sda.

Parshwa Murdia

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