Can’t use my USB. Read-only file system?

I just dug an old USB stick i had lying around... Anyway, trying to open it with the file manager that comes with Zorin OS (I don't know how its callsed, sorry), comes back with this error: Error mounting system-managed device /dev/sda1: cannot mount /dev/sda1 read-only filesystem. Any idea whats wrong?

1 Like

Please give more info about your USB and your system. Describe how you get the message or error. Images will also be helpful.

The file manage that comes with ZorinOs 16 Core is Nautilus, ZorinOs 15.3 Lite comes with Thunar.

What info? Sorry, I’m not that experienced with Linux….

1 Like

What is your main drive called? Usually, the rprimary drive is sda1 and the USB stick would be sdcX where X is the Number of the partition.

You should probably run fsck on the drive:

sudo fsck.ext4 -C0 /dev/sda1

You can also try mounting it with noload:

sudo mount -o ro,noload /dev/sda1 /mnt/drive

Ok, I’ll do that when I get home.

Ok, i arrived home, and i entered the command you gave me...
this is what it has returned:

fsck.ext4: Read-only file system while trying to open /dev/sda1
Disk write-protected; use the -n option to do a read-only
check of the device.

Can you please address this ^

it says it in the error

One of the best tools for reading information about a drive, its file system, and mounting/unmounting drives, is the "DISKS" utility, which is usually packaged in every Linux installation, including Zorin OS.

When DISKS is open, you can see the drives on the left side, once clicked, info on them, as well as their partitions, will show on the right. Additionally, you can also see what drives are connected to your computer using this terminal command...

Hold CTR ALT F2 to open terminal.


Paste info received in terminal here in your response. But my guess, is that based on the error message you got, this is a permissions related issue. With a little more info, hopefully one of us are able to help you.

Here you go.

It really looks like what happened to my Kingston Data Traveller. Since it was less than 6 month old, I contacted Kingston and they sent me a replacement.

If your USB key is more than 4-5 years old, it could be in its way out.

So, this USB is finished, right?

I am afraid so.
If you have anything important on it, I suggest you to copy data as soon as possible while you can still read it.

I cannot access it. guess I lost whatever was on it…
Welp, nothing I can do about it.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate that!

1 Like

I once experienced a Linux inaccessible USB could be read in Windows.

If you have a friend who uses Windows, you might want to ask that person to have a look at your USB (as a last resort).

As well as the other way around. I have recovered data on lost windows drives by connecting them to Zorin OS.

The O.P. may be able to use Disk Digger on the USB stick, as well.


I just bookmarked it for the future.
I hope I never have to use it though :sweat_smile:

I used to use that application when I was on Windows. A Lot. Because I needed it.
A Lot.

1 Like

Wait, what is DiskDigger?