I'm trying to follow intructions found here (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-turn-your-raspberry-pi-into-an-always-on-downloading-megalith/) on How To Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into An Always-On Downloading Megalith, but I'm stuck at the 3rd step (sudo fdisk /dev/sda).

The error I get is the following: fdisk: unable to open /dev/sda: No medium found and when I ls /dev I can see the sda there. Also, I can see my device in lsusb.

@joan ls -l /dev/sd* returns brw-rw---T 1 root floppy 8, 0 Jan 5 17:28 /dev/sda

enter image description here

What else should I do?

  • What is reported by ls /dev/sd*? – joan Jan 4 '16 at 21:10
  • @joan It returns me /dev/sda – Alex Jan 4 '16 at 22:02
  • 1
    Normally a disk would have partitions. Could you edit your question to show what ls -l /dev/sd* reports? – joan Jan 4 '16 at 22:07
  • comment added @joan – Alex Jan 5 '16 at 18:45
  • Have you tried looking in the /media/pi folder? Sometimes a drive may show up there instead, regardless if it is an HDD or Flash disk – tycrek Jul 4 '16 at 16:01

I guess your flash drive is fried bricked. Try unplugging then re-plugging. If it's still the same, plug it into Windows. If Windows tell you Please insert a disk into drive [letter]:, it's most probably bricked.

If it works, reformat the flash drive on Windows as FAT32 using HP's utility (download link) then try it on the Pi again.

If my assumptions are correct (based on your screenshots, floppy user and Verbatim brand):

You can't use fdisk on a floppy disk.


Plug the USB drive into the Pi or another Linux computer or any computer booted with a live Linux DVD or USB.

Run lsusb as root (sudo lsusb) to see if the drive was recognized.

If recognized run sudo gparted to add an msdos partition table if necessary.

Then add the 50 meg fat32 boot partition and ext4 system partition per the article.

By using gparted you can skip over the fdisk commands.

Also, I would use sudo blkid to determine the uuid of the new USB ext4 system partition and use that in the /boot/cmdline.txt file substituting: root=PARTUUID=a12e43d9-02 for the root=/dev/sda1 that they call for in the article.

Of course your uuid will not be a12e43d9-02 but something else. In this way it will always find your partition no matter how many USB drives you have installed.

Do the same in the /etc/fstab file substituting /dev/sda1 with PARTUUID=a12e43d9-01 and /dev/sda2 with PARTUUID=a12e43d9-02

Again, your uuid will not be a12e43d9-02

Hope that helps.

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