guys. Honestly, I am kind of a new user to Linux and I have recently installed Linux Elementary OS 0.3.2 Freya (64-bit). Everything is perfectly working, aside copying or any transactions with files. Whenever I copy any file to any USB-Stick or Hard-Drive whatsoever, after having unplugged it is not there...seems I have never copied anything. It keeps happening. Sometimes data stay when I, after copying, rename the file. What do you think the problem is and How can it be fixed? Thanks in advance.

3 Answers 3


I have seen this issue pop up a few times when trying to copy items to a USB stick in elementary OS. To solve it, I just make sure I am properly unmounting the USB key before removing it.

To unmount the drive in elementary OS please do the following:

  • Open up the Files app
  • Find your drive in the Devices section in the left hand menus of the Files app.
  • Click the unmount icon to the right of the drive in question. It looks like an arrow pointing up.

After you unmount the drive it should be safe to move to a different machine, or even the same machine, to test and verify that your files are still there. Good luck.


A possible solution is that the USB drive permissions are not set correctly. The following terminal commands will tell you what the device assignment is and also to change the permissions within the device.

Terminal command to tell you the device assignment for the drive.

    sudo fdisk -l

The device that is the size of your USB device will be assigned a location such as /dev/sda or /dev/sdb. Using the location info you can change the permissions easily with the following command depending on if you only want read and write permissions or also want to execute programs on the drive.

sudo chmod 777 /dev/sdX     <---For Read / Write / Execute 


sudo chmod 666 /dev/sdX     <---For Read / Write 
  • I tried to find out the device assignments but didn't work out. Terminal command simply doesn't work/show. Any other ideas? Oct 9, 2016 at 21:00
  • Make sure that you are using the 'sudo' command. Worse case at the login prompt, you can hit CTR + ALT F1 to get to a terminal window and type the commands in. The other option is using a live CD to change the permissions. The last option is use a tool like 'GPart' to be able to redo the disk as a whole. This last option will wipe your data thought. Oct 9, 2016 at 21:22

My guess would be you haven't unmounted the USB storage. Manually unmounting is very important, since unlike windows the actual writing to the storage is not done automatically (although windows is also asking you to remove USB safely)

You should try clicking the "Eject" button if you are using file explorer OR

umount /mnt/<add you usb folder here>

from your terminal

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