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Old 09-22-2010, 08:38 PM
Karl Larsen
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

On 09/22/2010 02:21 PM, Daniel Louw wrote:



This might be a silly question, but it is very frustrating.



I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.


*** FAT32 is a Windows file system but should work fine at 2 GB.



I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I made
progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save anymore. I
get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create new folders
or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says read only
partition. What the hell?


*** Tell us what kind of computer the memory stick is plugged into
please.





Could it be because I compile directly on the disk?
*** No.






I use the disk a lot at university and it is much easier to just work
directly on the disk.



Any help will be greatly appreciated!




*** I think the computer your using might have changed the memory
stick, or, the memory stick has just died. They do not have a long life,



73 Karl



Regards

Daniel





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Old 09-22-2010, 09:31 PM
Florian Diesch
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

Daniel Louw <daniel@dline.co.za> writes:

> I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.
>
> I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I made
> progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save anymore. I
> get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create new folders
> or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says read only
> partition. What the hell?

File systems get mounted read-only when file system errors occurs to
prevent further damage and data loss.


Florian
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:51 PM
andrew clarke
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

On Wed 2010-09-22 22:21:27 UTC+0200, Daniel Louw (daniel@dline.co.za) wrote:

> This might be a silly question, but it is very frustrating.
>
> I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.
>
> I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I
> made progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save
> anymore. I get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create
> new folders or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says
> read only partition. What the hell?
>
> Could it be because I compile directly on the disk? I use the disk a
> lot at university and it is much easier to just work directly on the
> disk.

Not a silly question.

Compiling directly on the memory stick is no different to writing any
other type of file to the disk. As far as Linux is concerned it's
just another drive.

I suspect there is some sort of FAT32 filesystem corruption on the
memory stick, and once the Linux kernel encounters it it switches its
FAT32 driver to read-only as to not cause any further corruption. You
can do a file system check/repair on the memory stick from the Ubuntu
GUI - System -> Administration -> Disk Utility. Then select the
memory stick's FAT32 partition and click Check Filesystem. You may
need to click on Unmount Volume first.

On the other hand you may have encountered a bug in the FAT32
driver, although given the number of years people have been using
FAT32 in Linux this is pretty unlikely. :-)

/var/log/messages may give you some clues. You can view it from the
Ubuntu GUI - under System -> Administration -> Log file viewer.

FAT32 is pretty fragile. Instead of doing the FAT32 filesystem check
above you may just want to make a backup of your data on the memory
stick, reformat it as NTFS and copy the data back. NTFS is a bit more
robust, with errors in the filesystem generally handled a lot more
gracefully.

There are few reasons not to use NTFS on memory sticks these days. For
example the NTFS driver in Apple Mac OS X is read-only but you can
download/install software to allow read/write NTFS drives on OS X.
Similarly FreeBSD and other lesser-known operating systems.

Regards
Andrew

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Old 09-23-2010, 05:02 AM
Vaibhav Dalvi
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 3:21 AM, andrew clarke <mail@ozzmosis.com> wrote:

On Wed 2010-09-22 22:21:27 UTC+0200, Daniel Louw (daniel@dline.co.za) wrote:



> This might be a silly question, but it is very frustrating.

>

> I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.

>

> I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I

> made progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save

> anymore. I get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create

> new folders or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says

> read only partition. What the hell?

>

> Could it be because I compile directly on the disk? I use the disk a

> lot at university and it is much easier to just work directly on the

> disk.



Not a silly question.



Compiling directly on the memory stick is no different to writing any

other type of file to the disk. *As far as Linux is concerned it's

just another drive.



I suspect there is some sort of FAT32 filesystem corruption on the

memory stick, and once the Linux kernel encounters it it switches its

FAT32 driver to read-only as to not cause any further corruption. You

can do a file system check/repair on the memory stick from the Ubuntu

GUI - System -> Administration -> Disk Utility. *Then select the

memory stick's FAT32 partition and click Check Filesystem. *You may

need to click on Unmount Volume first.



On the other hand you may have encountered a bug in the FAT32

driver, although given the number of years people have been using

FAT32 in Linux this is pretty unlikely. *:-)



/var/log/messages may give you some clues. *You can view it from the

Ubuntu GUI - under System -> Administration -> Log file viewer.



FAT32 is pretty fragile. *Instead of doing the FAT32 filesystem check

above you may just want to make a backup of your data on the memory

stick, reformat it as NTFS and copy the data back. *NTFS is a bit more

robust, with errors in the filesystem generally handled a lot more

gracefully.



There are few reasons not to use NTFS on memory sticks these days. For

example the NTFS driver in Apple Mac OS X is read-only but you can

download/install software to allow read/write NTFS drives on OS X.

Similarly FreeBSD and other lesser-known operating systems.



Regards

Andrew



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More chances are that your fat32 FS got an error. Which means you don't have any other option than to copy the data else where and format it. It might be the reason that your pen drive's flash chip is failing. I had a Transcend 512MB USB Drive and just couple of months ago it failed permanently. I was getting similar ReadOnly FS situations for a month ago. I used to reformat it and use it again. But after a while it stopped replying to the PC. No reply - no device initiation - and I have a dead USB Drive. Not sorry though that thing cost me
Rs 650/- five yrs ago. i.e roughly $13 and had 3yrs warranty.

Regards,
Vaibhav Dalvi
Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form
habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.
- Tyron Edwards
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.


See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html



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Old 09-24-2010, 12:44 PM
Daniel Louw
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

On Thu, 2010-09-23 at 07:51 +1000, andrew clarke wrote:


On Wed 2010-09-22 22:21:27 UTC+0200, Daniel Louw (daniel@dline.co.za) wrote:

> This might be a silly question, but it is very frustrating.
>
> I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.
>
> I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I
> made progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save
> anymore. I get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create
> new folders or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says
> read only partition. What the hell?
>
> Could it be because I compile directly on the disk? I use the disk a
> lot at university and it is much easier to just work directly on the
> disk.

Not a silly question.

Compiling directly on the memory stick is no different to writing any
other type of file to the disk. As far as Linux is concerned it's
just another drive.

I suspect there is some sort of FAT32 filesystem corruption on the
memory stick, and once the Linux kernel encounters it it switches its
FAT32 driver to read-only as to not cause any further corruption. You
can do a file system check/repair on the memory stick from the Ubuntu
GUI - System -> Administration -> Disk Utility. Then select the
memory stick's FAT32 partition and click Check Filesystem. You may
need to click on Unmount Volume first.

On the other hand you may have encountered a bug in the FAT32
driver, although given the number of years people have been using
FAT32 in Linux this is pretty unlikely. :-)

/var/log/messages may give you some clues. You can view it from the
Ubuntu GUI - under System -> Administration -> Log file viewer.

FAT32 is pretty fragile. Instead of doing the FAT32 filesystem check
above you may just want to make a backup of your data on the memory
stick, reformat it as NTFS and copy the data back. NTFS is a bit more
robust, with errors in the filesystem generally handled a lot more
gracefully.

There are few reasons not to use NTFS on memory sticks these days. For
example the NTFS driver in Apple Mac OS X is read-only but you can
download/install software to allow read/write NTFS drives on OS X.
Similarly FreeBSD and other lesser-known operating systems.

Regards
Andrew




Hello Andrew



Thank you for a very informative reply. I also suspect it is something to do with a corrupt filesystem or something. I will sometime do a proper check and fix and so on. I think it comes from not unmounting the disk after use. It's a bad habit of mine.



Regarding using NTFS, I can't. Like I said the PC's in the labs at varsity uses a *very* old and ridiculously stable (I have not managed to break them :-)) Debian OS. And there is no write support on the NTFS driver for these PC's. I have asked about fixing it, but with the varsity being more a bureaucracy than anything else, I am not going to try again. And booting into Windows every time just to save all my new work on the disk is not going to fly with me. So I'm stuck with the FAT32 for now!



Thanks!



Regards

Daniel Louw





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Old 09-24-2010, 08:20 PM
Franz Waldmüller
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

Vaibhav Dalvi wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 3:21 AM, andrew clarke <mail@ozzmosis.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wed 2010-09-22 22:21:27 UTC+0200, Daniel Louw (daniel@dline.co.za)
>> wrote:
>>
>>> This might be a silly question, but it is very frustrating.
>>>
>>> I have this memory stick, a 2 GB one formatted with FAT32.
>>>
>>> I was working on a .C file stored on the memory stick, saving as I
>>> made progress with the code. Then all of a sudden I cannot save
>>> anymore. I get an error saying the disk is read only. I cannot create
>>> new folders or files or anything. chmod doesn't work, it simply says
>>> read only partition. What the hell?
>>>
[snip]
>
> More chances are that your fat32 FS got an error. Which means you don't have
> any other option than to copy the data else where and format it. It might be
> the reason that your pen drive's flash chip is failing.
[snip]
I had some failing flash drives, too. Especially if you write data to
them frequently. If you want to test the flash drive and not the
filesystem, backup your data on another device and write with dd to the
flash drive (CAUTION! This permanently deletes data, don't execute the
following commands if you don't know them):

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX
you will need to be root to access the drive directly. If the flash
drive is failing you might get some In- and Output Errors. If you print
the logfile you will have less troubles when asking for a replacement.

just my 2c
Franz

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Old 09-28-2010, 03:52 PM
Dave Woyciesjes
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

Daniel Louw wrote:
> Regarding using NTFS, I can't. Like I said the PC's in the labs at
> varsity uses a *very* old and ridiculously stable (I have not managed to
> break them :-)) Debian OS. And there is no write support on the NTFS
> driver for these PC's. I have asked about fixing it, but with the
> varsity being more a bureaucracy than anything else, I am not going to
> try again. And booting into Windows every time just to save all my new
> work on the disk is not going to fly with me. So I'm stuck with the
> FAT32 for now!
>
> Thanks!
>
>

What about using ext2 on the USB drive? And IIRC, there are drivers to
allow your Windows PC to read the ext2. I believe I've used (using)
something like ext2ifs on my laptop....

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Old 09-28-2010, 06:47 PM
Doug
 
Default USB flash drive changes to read-only on the fly

On 9/28/2010 11:52 AM, Dave Woyciesjes wrote:
> Daniel Louw wrote:
>> Regarding using NTFS, I can't.
/snip/
So I'm stuck with the
>> FAT32 for now!
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>>
>
> What about using ext2 on the USB drive? And IIRC, there are drivers to
> allow your Windows PC to read the ext2. I believe I've used (using)
> something like ext2ifs on my laptop....
>
There definitely is a program to let Windows read ext2. (I had such a
routine almost 10 years ago.) Googling around, the first thing I found was

http://www.fs-driver.org/

This doesn't say Win7, but if it supports Vista, it probably works OK
with Win7 also. And it's free, so why not give it a try?

--doug

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