Deleting files from a USB stick/MP4 player in Nautilus (Hardy 8.04) did not free up space.
Subsequent actions caused the device to become read-only - reason not known.
1) BEFORE deleting files using Nautilus, turn on the option to delete files (rather than just move them to trash). T
2) Use the above option if what you want to do is clear space. The normal action of the delete key is to move to a hidden trash directory on the device, so no space is freed up.
3) If you get a device is read only message unexpectedly it is probably due to a write error to the device. Unmounting and remounting the device may clear the problem, otherwise, removing it and plugging it back in although drastic may work.
4) If the device was removed before being unmounted it might cause this. In which case, running fsck should fix it.
Next time I get the problem (if I do) I will use the above (unless anyone wants to amend it). In the meantime, I consider this query SOLVED
Thanks again for the help.
>Your device was probably marked as "unclean" when it was used last.
>You might be able to perform a filesystem check to fix the "unclean"
>bit that was flipped:
>sudo fsck /dev/sdb1
>Just make sure to "unmount" it before next time.
>You should also see dmesg logs if it was marked as unclean. I.e.,
>[41743.408663] EXT2-fs warning: mounting unchecked fs, running e2fsck
>On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 11:30 PM, Chris Jeffries <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, 2008-09-16 at 22:23 +0100, email@example.com
>>> Re: USB Storage - deleting files
>> Thanks for the comments guys. All are worth remembering. However I would
>> still like to know how the device got to be read-only, and how
>> connecting it to a Windows PC cleared the fault.
>> In brief, after various (inappropriate) attempts to delete using
>> Nautilus (that bit is now SOLVED - Thanks guys) - the USB mass storage
>> device got flagged as being read-only.
>> For example rm on Ubuntu was giving ŽDevice is read-only' messages.
>> After trying various changes of ownership, and permissions with no
>> progress, I unplugged the device, plugged it into a Windows PC deletd
>> the trash files and then plugged it back into the UBUNTU PC (During this
>> time I left UBUNTU running). When I plugged it back into the UBUNTU
>> machine, the problem had gone away. The device was now read/writable.
>> At the moment I cannot recreate the read only effect, but next time I
>> do, I will try unplugging the device from UBUNTU PC and then plugging it
>> back in (without going to a MS Windows PC), in case it was that that
>> cleared it, and not the plugging into MS Windows.
>> If I get any news on that front I will report. In the meantime, if
>> anyone has any idea HOW the device might have become read only, I would
>> love to know - and also whether there might have been a way to make it
>> read write without resorting to MS (for example, I did not tinker with
>> the dev attributes, only the media ones.)
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