General Question

prioritymail's avatar

USB connected phone to PC, but PC (Ubuntu) doesn't see phone - please help?

Asked by prioritymail (1617 points ) March 14th, 2012

I am running Ubuntu 11.04 LTS and it is not seeing my phone. However, my phone is being charged via the USB connection. The packaging for the USB cable says it is suitable for power and file transferring. I guess it’s possible the cable is faulty. The reason why I am trying to “see” my phone on the PC is because I am trying to tether it using Easy Tether. I downloaded Easy Tether Lite on my phone (Android), downloaded and installed the deb file on PC in Ubuntu, and get the error that “no compatible device is detected” when I try to “activate” the tether using the command “easytether connect” in Terminal. I downloaded and installed via Wine a USB device driver for Samsung phones from the Easy Tether website, but this didn’t make a difference in the outcome. If my PC can’t see the phone, I’m wondering if the problem isn’t with Easy Tether but with the computer. What else can I try? I’m stumped and can’t find anything online about it.

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11 Answers

jerv's avatar

What USB mode is your phone in? If your PC isn’t reading it as a USB drive, then it’s in the wrong mode.

prioritymail's avatar

Hi again jerv! I have no idea… how do I find out? The only thing I know is that I checked the USB Debugging box…oh and I have selected Mass storage under USB Settings rather than Samsung PC studio.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I see the post is tagged with Android.

What phone is it, and importantly, what version of Android are you running?
Secondly, what carrier are you using – some carriers remove the ability to tether from their phones.

When I plug my Xperia X10 into my Ubuntu laptop (11.10, vanilla) I get a pop-up on my phone asking me whether I want to mount the phone’s SD card (mass storage) or charge it. I select charge.

You can’t use the phone as a modem if you have it attached to the PC as mass storage.

prioritymail's avatar

@the100thmonkey

The phone is Samsung SGH-T939 (Behold 2). I think the version of Android is 1.5…not entirely sure. Carrier is Amaysim in Australia. The phone is from T-Mobile in the U.S. but was unlocked. Amaysim openly allows tethering. Does the pop-up come up every time you connect your phone? The only option to “Mass storage” is “Samsung PC studio”, but the Easy Tether program advised to make sure you select “Mass storage”. I have no idea what Samsung PC studio is, but it doesn’t sound like what I would want…

the100thmonkey's avatar

You can’t use the phone as a modem if you have it attached to the PC as mass storage.

prioritymail's avatar

@the100thmonkey

Here’s what Easy Tether says in the set up process:

“EasyTether never uses any built-in USB tethering in your smartphone. Do not enable Mobile Broadband Coonect, Internet sharing or similar USB modes if your smartphone offers such choice. Use Mass storage (Disk drive on some smartphones) or Charge only instead.”

When I go to Settings -> Phone settings -> USB settings, there are only 2 options, “Mass storage” and “Samsung PC studio”. It says to use Mass storage, so I am confused by what you are saying. I will try it on Samsung PC studio anyway, per your advice. If you know of any other place in Android that there are USB settings, please let me know. Thanks.

prioritymail's avatar

Also, with it set to “Mass storage”, my phone can be charged via the USB connection, but my computer does not see it as a storage device. If the problem were that it was being detected as a hard drive instead of as a modem, shouldn’t it come up on my computer as a readable disk drive?

prioritymail's avatar

And also, jerv says the computer should be reading it as a drive….am I understanding this correctly that there are two conflicting opinions here? Or have I misunderstood the tech lingo?

prioritymail's avatar

I just realized I have an mp3 player that connects via USB to the PC as a storage device (mini usb to usb). When I use the new cable (all different usb sizes to regular usb) it only charges but the hard drive doesnt show up. I think the cable just doesn’t do data, even though it says it does! I always thought if it does power it also does data, but apparently this is not the case. I am going to return the cable and get a different one. It’s actually nice that the mp3 player only charges because it allows me to use it as an mp3 player while it charges, whereas with the working data cable it charges and is recognized as a hard drive but you can’t play music on it at the same time…in case anyone is looking for a workaround on that)

jerv's avatar

A USB cable has four wires; two power, two data. Lose one of the data wires and all you have left is power.

prioritymail's avatar

Ahh ok. I will return the cable and get a different one and see if that makes a difference.

I tried the Samsung PC studio option and that didn’t do anything.

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