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How To Fix “Mount Error: Special Device Does Not Exist” in Ubuntu Partitioning

Ubuntu 19

In the world of Ubuntu, one of the most common errors that users may encounter is the “Mount Error: Special Device Does Not Exist”. This error typically arises when trying to mount a partition on your system. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of this error and provide detailed solutions to fix it.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Mount Error: Special Device Does Not Exist" in Ubuntu partitioning, you can try re-reading the partition table, checking the logical volume status, editing the /etc/fstab file, and ensuring the partition has a UUID. However, please note that the specific solution may vary depending on the cause of the error.

Understanding the Error

Before we jump into the solutions, it’s important to understand what this error means. In Ubuntu, partitions are often mounted to make them accessible for use. The “Mount Error: Special Device Does Not Exist” typically occurs when the system fails to locate the partition you’re trying to mount. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as the partition being deleted, the system misreading the partition table, or issues with the Logical Volume Manager (LVM).

Solution 1: Re-reading the Partition Table

If you recently re-partitioned your disk, there could be a discrepancy between the kernel’s understanding of the partition layout and fdisk’s. You can rectify this by instructing the kernel to re-read the partition table. This can be done by running the following command:

sudo blockdev --rereadpt

This command tells the system to re-read the partition table. The --rereadpt flag is used to force the re-reading of the partition table. Before running this command, ensure any partitions on the disk are unmounted. If unmounting isn’t possible, you may need to reboot your system.

Solution 2: Checking the Logical Volume Status

For those using LVM, the error could be due to the status of the logical volumes. You can check the status by running the lvscan command:

lvscan

This command lists all logical volumes in the system. If the partition you’re trying to mount is listed as INACTIVE, you can activate it using the following command:

vgchange -ay

The vgchange command is used to change attributes of a volume group, and the -ay flag activates all inactive volume groups.

Solution 3: Editing the /etc/fstab File

If the error persists, it could be due to the system trying to reserve the mount point of a deleted partition for another partition. In this case, you’ll need to edit the /etc/fstab file. This can be done using a text editor like nano:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

In the /etc/fstab file, change the mount point of the deleted partition to a different one or delete the entire line of the deleted partition. After making these changes, reboot your system.

Assigning a UUID

Lastly, ensure that the partition you’re trying to mount has a UUID (Universally Unique Identifier). You can check this by running the blkid command:

blkid

If the partition doesn’t have a UUID, you may need to assign one using a tool like GParted.

Conclusion

The “Mount Error: Special Device Does Not Exist” in Ubuntu can be a daunting error to encounter, but with the right understanding and steps, it can be resolved. Always ensure to backup your data before making any changes to your partitions to avoid any data loss. If the error persists, consider seeking help from Ubuntu’s vast community of users and experts.

How do I know if the partition is unmounted before re-reading the partition table?

You can check if a partition is unmounted by running the command mount | grep /dev/[partition_name]. If the output is empty, it means the partition is unmounted.

How can I determine if I am using LVM?

You can check if you are using LVM by running the command sudo lvscan. If it lists logical volumes, then you are using LVM. If it returns an error or no output, you are not using LVM.

How do I edit the /etc/fstab file?

To edit the /etc/fstab file, you can open it using a text editor like nano by running the command sudo nano /etc/fstab. Make the necessary changes to the file, save it, and exit the text editor.

How can I check if a partition has a UUID?

You can check if a partition has a UUID by running the command sudo blkid. It will display a list of partitions along with their UUIDs. If a partition doesn’t have a UUID, it won’t be listed.

How can I assign a UUID to a partition using GParted?

To assign a UUID to a partition using GParted, open GParted and select the partition. Then, go to the "Partition" menu and choose "New UUID". GParted will assign a new UUID to the selected partition.

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