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I'm trying to mount a USB stick in single-user mode (thankfully there's nothing wrong with my Mac, I'm just trying some stuff out). These are the commands I've been running:

$ mount -uw / 
$ mkdir /Volumes/drive
$ mount -t msdos /dev/disk2 /Volumes/drive
mount_msdos: Unsupported sector size (0)

The USB drives connects to my system properly and is visible in /dev/. I've reformatted the drive as HFS and got the same error message. I've also tried another USB stick formatted in both FAT32 and HFS, to no avail. I assume this must mean that I'm doing something wrong here, but a quick Google search shows that most people succeed using this approach.

I'm running MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 on a mid 2012 MacBook Pro.

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  • You should connect the drive to you mac before you boot. I remember this was problematic. You should try recovery mode. Attach drive. boot in recovery mode. go to terminal. Should find the drive attached. Jun 25, 2019 at 22:07

2 Answers 2

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How about formatting the usb stick with exFAT format. That works for me where I have to copy/read in both my mac and windows OS's

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  • Thanks! Now I just have to somehow figure out a way to turn off SIP in single user mode :)
    – theone
    Jun 26, 2019 at 15:15
  • @theone, RE: "Now I just have to somehow figure out a way to turn off SIP in single user mode", IIRC you can only turn SIP off while booted from the Recovery HD. Jun 26, 2019 at 15:21
  • @user3439894 oh, thanks! Do you know if the terminal in recovery mode has root access too?
    – theone
    Jun 26, 2019 at 15:30
  • @theone, Terminal in Recovery HD is by default a root session, hence why you do not need to use sudo. Jun 26, 2019 at 15:41
  • Have you try out the disk utility function for the process that you have mentioned here?
    – Binoyya
    Jun 27, 2019 at 6:02
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It looks like there is already an accepted answer, but anyway, for those who are hitting that page from the search, here is my solution:

It looks like the issue is that you are trying to mount the disk instead of the partition:

check it with ls /dev/disk*/. In my case, the output was:

~ » ls  -l /dev/disk*                                                                          dennisp@MacBook-Pro
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   0 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk0
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   1 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk0s1
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   2 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk0s2
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   3 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   4 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s1
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   5 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s2
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   8 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s3
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   6 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s4
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   9 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s5
br--r-----  1 root  operator    1,  10 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s5s1
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,   7 Feb 15 15:39 /dev/disk1s6
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,  11 Feb 24 12:11 /dev/disk2
brw-r-----  1 root  operator    1,  12 Feb 24 12:11 /dev/disk2s1

so, the resolution for me was to:
sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
and then
sudo mount -w -t msdos /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/UNTITLED

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