USB Automount strangeness with 18.04.4

Hello Folks.
I've been helping a friend with his worn out NB PC that had U/M 16.04 & has been (successfully (?) updated/upgraded to 18.04.4 .
Generally all is well - but...

USB automount has gotten very strange & unreliable.

Searching here brought no really useful info about it - and open searching brought me to some info about editing/making a file called override.conf, which kinda sorta worked...sometimes.

Of course it is possible to manually mount drives - but he won't be able to do that and part of the strangeness is that sometimes the OS doesn't even see the device until after it is rebooted.

Any help with this will be greatly appreciated !!
Thanks.

Adding to the above...could this be a kernel issue ??

I wonder because it is using 4.15.0-101-generic x86_64 vs. my desktop PC which is using 5.4.6-050406-generic x86_64 (and that is not even the latest...).

This joins the list of 'ouchy' things which seem to stay unanswered.
It is as if either nobody knows what to do in order to make this important function work fully & properly - or even the reason(s) WHY it does not work fully all the time.

I know that Linux in general is sort of like an OS made & kept going by a world-wide commitee of volunteers - so things tend to go in funny ways, BUT:
Given that PCs really need to be able to do things like print, have reliable wifi & USB media access - it just seems to me that such parts of the OS should have really high priorities in terms of working right.

That 16.04 automounted all USB media without any trouble - but then 18.04 came along & it is now botched up makes zero sense to me.

Have you considered it might be a problem with the USB port(s) themselves? (or motherboard)?
Are you dual booting and is the other OS mounting correctly? If not could you burn a OS and run that live and see how the USB drives mount?
I don't know the answer but I think some trouble shooting would help to solve the problem.

Thanks for replying Jymm !!
The NB is literally brand new - every liveboot I've run on it via USB worked perfectly & in those sessions I was able to read/write to any USB device that I used.

The OS itself was transferred into this PC via cloning while booted from a USB stick & its original HDD also connected via USB; and in its original form had no problems recognizing & automounting all the things that I used on it.

I have searched quite a bit, tried several supposed fixes, and this PC has been in nearly constant operation since I started working on it - so I asked here because it is running this OS and I could find nothing further that might help.

Open a terminal window, and type tail -f /var/log/syslog

I have an USB port that has hardware issues, so it won't work most of the time. Here is the output I see on that bad port:

Jun 10 21:04:18 kernel: [117403.248452] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:19 kernel: [117404.428374] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:19 kernel: [117404.428395] usb usb2-port4: attempt power cycle
Jun 10 21:04:20 kernel: [117404.996346] usb usb6-port1: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:21 kernel: [117405.856362] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:22 kernel: [117407.033992] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:22 kernel: [117407.034024] usb usb2-port4: unable to enumerate USB device
Jun 10 21:04:22 kernel: [117407.152304] usb usb6-port1: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:22 kernel: [117407.152337] usb usb6-port1: attempt power cycle
Jun 10 21:04:23 kernel: [117408.560866] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:25 kernel: [117409.620232] usb usb6-port1: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:25 kernel: [117409.742113] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:25 kernel: [117409.742142] usb usb2-port4: attempt power cycle
Jun 10 21:04:26 kernel: [117410.956181] usb usb2-port4: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:27 kernel: [117412.000113] usb usb6-port1: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?
Jun 10 21:04:27 kernel: [117412.000136] usb usb6-port1: unable to enumerate USB device

Here is the same device on one of my working USB ports:

Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.677083] usb 1-1.4.3: new high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci-pci
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710060] usb 1-1.4.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0781, idProduct=55a1, bcdDevice= 1.00
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710065] usb 1-1.4.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710068] usb 1-1.4.3: Product: Cruzer Spark
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710071] usb 1-1.4.3: Manufacturer: SanDisk
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710074] usb 1-1.4.3: SerialNumber: 
Jun 10 21:07:35 kernel: [117599.710502] usb-storage 1-1.4.3:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected

What do you see on your NB when you plug in a USB device?

I was hoping to be able to resolve this before it began its journey into my friend's hands - but alas that journey has begun, so I cannot reach into it for a few days.

I must repeat that it IS possible to manually mount drives - it is just the automounting that fails without any rhyme or reason.

Aside of all the above, I will be able to access it remotely after a few days & will be happy to look further into this when that becomes possible.

BTW, having read the release notes for 20.04 I most noticed how the devs tried to address many of the 'paper cut issues' in this release, which I think is a wonderful choice - big kudos to them !!

I've no way to know presently if this latest release might repair the automount problem on my old friend's PC, and most likely will not have my hands physically on it again as he's already said that his next move will be back to a desktop PC with 20.04 sometime after it gets at least 1 point release.

Way back when 11.04 or so was current there was a little utility with no settings needed which made things automount & that worked very well, but has since been abandoned.
I wish there could be another tool like that or a simple fix to make automounting USB sticks work for him as it did before.