Automatical USB device mount fails in Ubuntu. Solve “unable to mount …: not authorized”

By neokrates, written on March 24, 2010


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You insert a USB HDD device which your Linux fails to mount automatically. Here is how you can mount it manually

Works for:

✔ Ubuntu 9.10

✔ ntfs usb HDD device

Should also work for:

✔ Ubuntu distros

✔ Other Linux distros

✔ Any USB HDD storage device


List mount-able devices

sudo fdisk -l

In my case I get:

/dev/sdc1   *       1              2425    19478781      7   HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sdc2            2426        4863    19583235      f    W95 Ext´d (LBA)
/dev/sdc5            2426        4863    19583203+   b   W95 FAT32


Create a directory to mount to

sudo mkdir /media/external


Mount now

sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdc1 /media/external -o  uid=1000,gid=100,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137
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4 Responses to “Automatical USB device mount fails in Ubuntu. Solve “unable to mount …: not authorized””

  1. clayton says:

    what does ” -o uid=1000,gid=100,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137″ mean? i didnt know so i left it out of the command and the drive seems to have mounted as intended. initially i was getting an error “unable to mount. no permission”

  2. Eh, I guess this works. Calling it a solution is a little generous, though. It’s like walking across a desert instead of fixing the car. Maybe I’m just spoiled?

    • admin says:

      Hello William,

      I think, calling something “solution” depends on two things

      – does it work at all and if so, how good it solves the problem. There are hotfixes, fixes, workarounds, patches, solutions which treat the symptoms or the reasons etc.

      – who gets to decide, how to call the proposed “fix”

      As ratings are not that good for the article it seems to work for some but for most not so good… You are welcome to post your “solution” to the problem.


      BR // D. Uwarov

  3. […] I’ve managed to stumble on this site which taught me how to manually mount the USB to my virtual […]

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