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Cannot mount usb hard drive
April 9, 2019
Edited: April 9, 2019
November 24, 2022
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Firstly, an easier way of mounting is to use:
mount -t auto /dev/sdb /media/usb-drive
This way you are spared the magical incantations of specifying a partition type.
Secondly, you may have errors on the drive and/or the partition table may be damaged. This happened to me when using
dd to erase the first MB of a USB on
/dev/sdd and I accidentally used
/dev/sdb. This wiped out the first 1 MB of my second hard disk containing the MBR (Master Boot Record) and partition table.
TestDisk can be downloaded here and has versions for Windows and Linux. It goes through every byte of your hard drive to analyze what partition type it is and rebuilds the partition tables. I used TestDisk to successfully recover all my data.
From the website, TestDisk can:
- Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
- Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
- Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
- Fix FAT tables
- Rebuild NTFS boot sector
- Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
- Fix MFT using MFT mirror
- Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock
- Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.