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Read-only iPod in Ubuntu

2010/05/17 – 13:13

Symptoms: When connecting your iPod to your Ubuntu-machine the device will appear in Rhythmbox/gtkpod/etc. as expected but you cannot delete/add files, as it is mounted read-only. Probably due to some filesystem-errors….

Shortly after connecting the iPod the command “dmesg” will show you something like this:

[  706.925751] usb-storage: device found at 4
[  706.925755] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[  711.924249] usb-storage: device scan complete
[  711.939968] scsi 54:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Apple    iPod             1.62 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
[  711.941113] sd 54:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[  711.950199] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] 950209 4096-byte logical blocks: (3.89 GB/3.62 GiB)
[  711.951777] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
[  711.951786] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 68 00 00 08
[  711.951791] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[  711.954581] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] 950209 4096-byte logical blocks: (3.89 GB/3.62 GiB)
[  711.955859] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[  711.955868]  sdc: sdc1
[  711.959341] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] 950209 4096-byte logical blocks: (3.89 GB/3.62 GiB)
[  711.960760] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[  711.960768] sd 54:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk
[  712.263430] FAT: Filesystem error (dev sdc1)
[  712.263438]     fat_free_clusters: deleting FAT entry beyond EOF
[  712.263444]     File system has been set read-only
[  712.838734] FAT: Filesystem error (dev sdc1)
[  712.838738]     fat_get_cluster: invalid cluster chain (i_pos 241679)
[  712.838741]     File system has been set read-only
[  712.838746] FAT: Filesystem error (dev sdc1)
[  712.838747]     fat_get_cluster: invalid cluster chain (i_pos 241679)

I ran in to this problem several times, and until now I always had to install iTunes to re-format the iPod.

Today I have discovered that you can easily fix the corrupt filesystem using “dosfsck”:

sudo dosfsck -a -w /dev/[device_identifier] # ( e.g. /dev/sdc1 )

  1. 3 Responses to “Read-only iPod in Ubuntu”

  2. Thanks for this command. It solved the read-only problem of my ipod.

    By Erwin on Jul 9, 2013

  3. Then what? What is the command to do the repair? I’m new to terminal commands and I’ve gotten as far as above^ There’s a list of options like
    “-a automatic repair” I typed -a & it says invalid command. please help!

    By Gary on Feb 10, 2014

  4. Not sure what is going wrong for you. Don’t forget to replace the “[device_identifier]” with your device (it was “sdc” for me).
    Also leave out the trailing “# ( e.g. /dev/sdc1 )” part, as it is meant as a comment behind the actual line.

    By dennis2society on Feb 10, 2014

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