Storage Unmounted On ASUS Wireless Router




“Storage Unmounted” is the message you get when you connect an external hard drive OR flash drive to a wireless router. I was configuring my Asus wireless router to utilize an FTP feature that it had available for this particular model when I was confronted with this message.


Your external hard drive or flash drive is partitioned and formatted for a Windows system. Your router runs on Linux. Yes, Linux! So you will have to partition and format the hard drive or flash drive to Linux system.


I don’t know anything about Linux or I don’t want to spend too time on downloading, installing, configuring Linux just for this purpose you say? No problem! I’ll walk you through on how to partition and format the drive to be compatible with Linux system WITHOUT installing Linux.

A summary of what we will do from your Windows PC:

**This process will wipe ALL files/folders stored on the external hard drive in question and essentially setup you up with an empty hard drive. Like emptying your trash bin so you can have more room for more trash.

  • Enable Telnet program on your Windows machine
  • Allow Telnet connection on your router (this can be disabled once we are all done).
  • Telnet to your router
  • Partition your external hard drive or flash drive
  • Format your external hard drive or flash drive
  • Mount/connect your hard drive or flash drive
  • Make your router remember to mount it after each reboot (yeah, your router straight-up stupid like that). That’s IT!

Simple step-by-step Instruction:

1. Enable Telnet program on Windows (7, 8.x, 10).

2. Enable Telnet connection from the router

**For the entirety of this tutorial we will be using IP of as this is   typically the default address of wireless routers.

3. From your computer telnet to the router by opening up Windows command prompt then entering the following command then hit enter: telnet
 (above) Login to your router when prompted.



After a successful login, you should then see something like, /tmp/home/root# this means you’ve just successfully connected to your wireless router via Telnet and it’s ready to do your bidding.

**For fun, you can run the following command to get a confirmation that indeed your router runs on Linux: cat /proc/version

4. Plug the external hard drive to the router and run the command: fdisk -l
It should display the external drive information as seen below (yellow arrow). Mine happens to be identified as, “sda1” and it shows the file system as, “NTFS” which is Windows.
2016-04-14 21_29_03-telnet3

FYI, The anatomy of, sda1 designation:
sd = storage device
a = order of device Linux found, similar to drive, A, B, C, etc found in Windows
1 = first partition
Your external hard drive can be assigned various combination of letters and numbers following the “sd” depending on how many hard drives are attached and number partitions you have on the hard drive.

*Gleaned from, fdisk -l output, Linux has designated my external drive as  /dev/sda so this is what I’m going to use as an example from this point on.
5. Enter disk partitioning mode: fdisk /dev/sda       

(Above) disk partitioning mode.


The following are partitioning options. Each option is initiated by typing in a letter then the enter key.
a       toggle a bootable flag
b       edit bsd disklabel
c       toggle the dos compatibility flag
d       delete a partition
l       list known partition types
n       add a new partition
o       create a new empty DOS partition table
p       print the partition table
q       quit without saving changes
s       create a new empty Sun disklabel
t       change a partition’s system id
u       change display/entry units
v       verify the partition table
w       write table to disk and exit

6. Run the commands one at a time in the following order to partition the external drive you can enter in all the same default as I have done if you like:
    q       (this command will get you out of partition mode)

 (Above) set of commands to partition the external hard drive

7. Now we will un-mount the connected external drive by issuing the follow command:
umount /dev/sda1

(above) command to un-mount the external hard drive



8. Formatting of the external hard drive:
Now that we have partitioned the external hard drive, we will now format it with the following command: mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1

(Above) Formatting command in action. No user input required during this process.

9. Now create a folder where you want to have your external drive mounted to. I named mine “ShareFolder” but you can name yours whatever you want by running the following command: mkdir /mnt/SharedFolder

(Above) Creating a folder.



10. Now will need to make it so that the external drive automatically mounts each time the router reboots by doing the following:  vi /etc/fstab

(Above) command to either open the fstab file or create the fstab file then opens it if it does not exist.

11. Append the following command to this fstab file:
/dev/sda1    /mnt/SharedFolder    ext3    defaults

***Vi Crash Course***
-Once fstab file opens in text editor called vi, navigate curser to where you want to start typing.
-Then hit the letter “i” key on your keyboard
-Start typing the entry. In this case, /dev/sba1 /mnt/SharedFolder ext3 defaults
-Once done with entry, hit the “esc” key on your keyboard
-Then move cursor to next open row and type the following, “:x”      (minus the “”)
…then hit the enter key on your keyboard. This will save and exit you out of vi text editor.


(Below) save and exit, fstab file.

Now will need to mount the drive:  /dev/sda1 /mnt/SharedFolder
(As seen below).
Drive should now be mounted. Done!





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