An USB Flash drive fails to mount after disconnect-reconnect

Bug #136627 reported by François Grieu on 2007-09-01
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
hal (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Reproduced 5 times on 3 different machines (2 AMD, 1 Intel, all USB2) under Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 5
with this 2GB USB2 Flash drive
but not that 4 GB one
both FAT32 formatted.

Booting from gutsy-desktop-i386.iso, desktop OK.
Connect USB Flash drive, works fine.
Unmount drive.
(Cosmetic: drive led still flash slowly; would be better dark to imply safe disconnect, XP does that)
At this point the drive still shows by its manufacturer name in "computer", it can be remounted and unmounted normally.
Disconnect drive (no warning of unsafe ejection).
Re-connect drive (same or different port, identical result); drive fails to show at all, including in "computer"
Note: following re-connection the drive led flashes slowly for 2 sec, then fast for 2 sec indicating some activity; then slowly again until disconnect; the USB stack can still mount another USB drive on all ports.
Note: the drive's content is NOT damaged: it works just fine on another machine, or after reboot.
Repeat: this is dependent on the type of flash drive.

I am positive there is some "memory" that the affected drive was connected, somewhere in the booted PC, not the flash drive. Waiting, closing session, changing USB port, connecting another (not affected) flash drive does not help.

Francois Grieu

François Grieu (fgrieu) wrote :

I am willing to try help on this annoynance
- is there a log of the USB stack that I could copy?
- is it worth to test with another Ubuntu/Linux release?
- I can send the USB drive for test to someone that feels in charge

unggnu (unggnu) wrote :

I can confirm this. Devices are only umounted not ejected. But this has something to do with an eject bug in Feisty afaik. Since some hard disk only shutdown on eject it is a problem I guess.

François Grieu (fgrieu) wrote :

Tested with ubuntu-7.10-rc-desktop-i386 on a Dell Inspiron 500m (Intel pentium M, one of the three machines used in earlier test [1])

This time the affected USB2 flash drive |2] mounts only when present at boot, not when connected later; while the non-affected drive [3] works just fine including across multiple connect/auto-mount/unmount/disconnect cycles.

Bottom line: the problem is worsened, now some USB Flash drives are unusable when connected after boot; again it affects only certain Flash drives.

I'm willing to snail-mail an affected Flash drive to someone feeling in charge, and/or perform some kind of log to help diagnose the issue, that I'm sure many casual users will experience, and hate.

[1] well, nearly: an HD is present when previously the machine was diskless, but I have no reson to think that it matters.

JMO Mandia (jmomandia) wrote :

I don't know if this helps, but for my USB drive, the solution to Bug #151025 worked. details as follows:


Go into gconf-editor and navigate to /system/storage/default_options/vfat/mount_options, and then remove the "usefree" option from the list. Exit gconf-editor, and try hotplugging your drive again. It works :-)

So I did APPLICATIONS --> SYSTEM TOOLS --> CONFIGURATION EDITOR --> opened SYSTEM --> STORAGE --> DEFAULT OPTIONS --> right-clicked on MOUNT OPTIONS --> EDIT KEY --> removed USEFREE option from the list.

James (jlmcd76) wrote :

Running 2.6.22-14-generic gutsy on a Dell Inspiron 1100. When adding two different vfat usb drives the lights flash but the drive does not mount. I can mount it from the command line
> sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/FLASH
When I attempt to mount it using gnome-mount I get the following:
> gnome-mount -vtd /dev/sdb1
gnome-mount 0.6
** (gnome-mount:12147): WARNING **: Failed to initialize libhal context: (null) : (null)

This doesn't appear to be the same bug as mentioned above. I did remove "usefree" option via gconf-editor without any change. Any help is much appreciated.

unggnu (unggnu) wrote :

I guess this issue is connected with bug #126825.

unggnu (unggnu) wrote :

Does your flash disks work under Kubuntu 7.10? You can check it with a Live CD.

François Grieu (fgrieu) wrote :

> Does your flash disks work under Kubuntu 7.10?

Tested using kubuntu-7.10-desktop-i386.iso live CD (one machine, two boots)

Summary: as in my 2007-09-01 report (different from 2007-10-15 report). Additional observation: affected flash drive disapears from desktop after unmount, when non-affected flash drive remains visible as unmounted volume.

In detail: problematic flash drive [2] connected after boot, mounts OK once, works, can be safely unmounted and *disapears from desktop while still physically connected*. When physically disconnected, then re-connected, it does not reapear (LED activity shows there is some dialog with the drive); same when connection is thru another USB port, and/or another drive was used before reconnection.
Other 4G flash drive [3] works fine: remains on the desktop after unmount (properties shows an unmounted volume), disapears when diconnected, and shows again when re-connected.

I can get a log if given instructions, and/or mail the affected flash drive to someone feeling in charge.


Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Is this symptom still reproducible in 8.10 beta or later?

Changed in hal:
status: New → Incomplete
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

We are closing this bug report because it lacks the information we need to investigate the problem, as described in the previous comments. Please reopen it if you can give us the missing information, and don't hesitate to submit bug reports in the future. To reopen the bug report you can click on the current status, under the Status column, and change the Status back to New. Thanks again!.

Changed in hal:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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