big dummy with freeBSD

i have a dual boot "feed yer family and bleeding edge" freeBSD and i am apparently
completely inept.  i have used the vi editor for 20 years now but this is the first
time i have owned an actual UNIX box.  i got an MSCS in Physiology and Biophysics
but i freeked out because i could never figger out the Borland c IDE.  in my BSCS
obtained in 1989 they only made me learn how to make c programs werk and one
course was in PASCAL.  i also had to do machine language but apparently the
university of wisconsin at madison totaly held my hand thru that.  

i can't see my SD card, i don't know how to do basic administration of my hardware,
despite i am supposed to be ceritified "open/unix" by the city college of san francisco
i have mounted devices i can su to root, i can follow directions in terms of "do this
command from a root prompt"

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

General linux instructions for flash devices - not 100% sure they fit you...
Connect the card and as root, try:
$fdisk -l
you should see a few /dev/hda partitions (or similar) for your HDDs, and a /dev/sd??
that  /dev/sd?? stuff is your card.

If you see that, you're in business - let's assume it's /dev/sda1 for the rest of the text:
$mkdir -p /mnt/sd #choose a name for a mount point
$mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sd

If you don't get any errors you should be able to access the card at the mount point typed in above.

If that works for you, you can create a line in /etc/fstab so that any user can mount that SD card by typing in "mount /mnt/sd":
/dev/sda1          /mnt/sd            auto      noauto,user    0       0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
kayveyAuthor Commented:

Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 103> fdisk -I
******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
fdisk: can't write fdisk partition table: Device busy
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 104>

can't see the SD card right now  here is a listing of /dev

Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 104> ls /dev
acd0            consolectl      lpt0.ctl        ptyp5           ttyv5
acpi            ctty            mdctl           random          ttyv6
ad0             cuad0           mem             stderr          ttyv7
ad0s1           cuad0.init      net             stdin           ttyv8
ad0s1a          cuad0.lock      net1            stdout          ttyv9
ad0s1c          devctl          net2            sysmouse        ttyva
ad0s2           devstat         net3            ttyd0           ttyvb
ad0s2a          fd              net4            ttyd0.init      ttyvc
ad0s2c          fido            network         ttyd0.lock      ttyvd
ad0s3           fw0             nfs4            ttyp0           ttyve
ad0s3b          fw0.0           nfslock         ttyp1           ttyvf
ad0s3c          fwmem0          null            ttyp2           ums0
ad0s4           fwmem0.0        pci             ttyp3           urandom
agpgart         geom.ctl        ppi0            ttyp4           usb
apm             io              psm0            ttyp5           usb0
ata             kbd0            ptyp0           ttyv0           usb1
atkbd0          klog            ptyp1           ttyv1           usb2
bpf0            kmem            ptyp2           ttyv2           usb3
bpsm0           log             ptyp3           ttyv3           xpt0
console         lpt0            ptyp4           ttyv4           zero
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 105>
I'm not sure but the /dev/usb* stuff sounds like a good candidate...

fdisk -l /dev/usb (or
fdisk -l /dev/usb0, fdisk -l /dev/usb1, etc..)
and see if it gives you info on your card - then continue the first post

Become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

This course teaches how to install and configure Windows Server 2012 R2.  It is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

kayveyAuthor Commented:

i have usb ports.. 4 of them.. my mouse is in one of them.. they are in the back of the puter.. seems to me
that usb0-usb3 should correlate to those, but i'm a big dummy..

the SD card is on the side of the puter.. it runs on the pci bus..

umm.. just a sec..

Path: /home/kayve                                                               (kayve@www) 101> su
bind: Command not found.
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 101> fdisk -I | /dev/usb
/dev/usb: Permission denied.
fdisk: can't write fdisk partition table: Device busy
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 102> fdisk -I | /dev/usb0
/dev/usb0: Permission denied.
fdisk: can't write fdisk partition table: Device busy
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 103> fdisk -I
******* Working on device /dev/ad0 *******
fdisk: can't write fdisk partition table: Device busy
Path: /home/kayve                                                               (root@www) 104>

kayveyAuthor Commented:

is another question.. basically the same one.. we are doing all sorts of debug probes on this over there..
kayveyAuthor Commented:
hmm... dunno what's going on here.. better wait for that HD..
In FreeBSD scisci devices are /dev/da and something (numbers) instead of /dev/sd (in Linux).

You have none in your /dev driectory... Seems like the kernel did not recognize the SD reader device or did not load the correct module for USB mass storage devices (i.e. driver in the 'nix world is a module).

I cannot check right now but @ home I have a FreeBSD with USB and a few readers... I'll try there to make them work and give you feedback if I find something good.
Meanwhile I saw your other question which is basically the same as here and where another expert ha sbeen helpingout for a LOOOOONG time.... And the thread is probably the longest on experts-exchange (I think a record here, dmesg copies do help but seem not te be half of the text).

You do not have a USB SD card reader but a laptop PCIMCA version and it is not on the hardware supported list.

Please either just delete this question or (like you did in your many other mad posts) just giveaway the points to any of us bot, i.e. bytta or me or even better split them up between us).

If you want to use that reader for the fun of it... Then please do go on with the other thread (looks like fun... Go for the Guinness record of longest forum thread in the world).

If you really need to access data on a SD card then PLEASE forget about the builtin reader and get one of those cheap 15$ USB readers that always work as scsi mass storage devices.

I have spent several hours with your litterature at the time of this writing... Peace and Season's Greetings!

kayveyAuthor Commented:
i don't like more crap to lug around its not about the $15 it is about wtf can't i get software to do this i am a purist and i think it is absurd that i can't make this happen
i will learn to program a patch into freeBSD myself if i have to i am supposed to be getting an MSCS but clearly this is only a nominal title if i can't accomplish this.
Yes I agree... However not all and everything is supported... Very old HW gets unsupported and the latest newest is not yet... Support from Asus in the matter could be helpfull... Did you check the Asus system/base CD contents? Maybe they have some driver for FreeBSD... You never know, sometimes the solution is only one step away while we keep looking for it miles around.

And their web site... Based on the exact laptop model specs you may find something to download?

Anyway good luck in your search.
kayveyAuthor Commented:
my devices are /dev/ad..

i think
To this I can only say RTFM... The FreeBSD handbook also online at

/dev/ad means ATA Disk... Basically your IDE based disk drivers.
/dev/da means Direct Access... Basically SCSI based drivers (from which USB mass storage device are part (at least in Linux... I'd have to check it out for sure in FreeBSD).

But you have proprietary hardware here... A good start would be a full technical manual of teh card reading device... To get some background on the technology used for communicating with the rest of teh system (USB/IDE/etc...).

If the kernel does not recognize it at all and the tech is unknown or new you may well see nothing at all in dmesg (I have a similar issue with FreeBSD 5 and floppies in Qemu, Qemu is a freeware virtual machine. With FreeBSD 4 all works nicely).

In fact, in order to help efficiently an in depth diag/analysis of your entire laptop would help gaining lots of time here.

But I'll leave the rest of this discussion for the other question thread where another expert has been helping out for a longer time. He sure has been patient enough analyzing all your dmesg reports ;-)
kayveyAuthor Commented:
to tell you the truth the whole project is sort of a back burner thing. i did something about ASUS on the other question umm.. i am not sure
where to go with that stuff. .. i think i had some files..

btw.. the harddrive has long since crashed now i have a new one.. i haven't booted on freeBSD for a while..

arr.. i have to set a bunch of stuff of there i think
kayveyAuthor Commented:
for now i'm having tom and jerrys
Would Tom and Jerry mind that you just split your points for this question here?

I'd be glad to continue exchanging entertaining e-mail messages.

And I think that the experts-exchange moderators would appreciate that we stop going too much off topic here.
I just realize that e-mails are hidden here.. Mine is zen at tonton dot be.
kayveyAuthor Commented:
okay kill this one.. will the content here still be up here if it is kilt?  maybe i need to do what these guys said some more someday when i have time
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Unix OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.