Re: writing to FAT32

From: Dances With Crows (
Date: 03/06/05

Date: 6 Mar 2005 21:10:16 GMT

On 6 Mar 2005 12:38:09 -0800, staggered into the
Black Sun and said:
> I'm dealing with a Windows XP Pro-Linux system which is in roughly the
> state it was left in a year ago by someone I engaged to fix my own
> slightly faulty installation of Red Hat Linux 9 and Windows, but his
> installation while fixing my problems seemed to have introduced
> others. He, like me, was unable to get Linux to see a modem whether
> it was external (serial non-USB port) or internal (Winmodem or hard
> modem).

Your consultant is not a very good consultant, then. If you live near a
city with >= 100,000 people or a city with a college in it, go Google
for "$CITY Linux user group" and see what you find. The people there
will probably be able to solve the problems you're having in an hour if
you bring the machine in.

> I use the Red Hat-supplied GUI (Nautilus) because the instructions so
> strongly recommended it, although my tendency is to prefer
> command-line over GUI interfaces

Nautilus has no real advantages over Konqueror or mc or bash, and if you
prefer bash, by all means use it.

> The way I had things previously with Windows 98, the Windows FAT
> partition was automounted in Linux. Unfortunately my consultant said
> he couldn't do that

??! Fire your consultant and get a competent one. All you need is a
line like so in your /etc/fstab :

/dev/hda1 /mnt/somewhere vfat umask=000 0 0

...since "noauto" isn't specified, the partition will be mounted at
boot. umask=000 makes it so that any user can do anything to any file
or directory. Replace /mnt/somewhere with the directory where you want
the Windows partition to be mounted. /dev/hda1 is almost certainly the
appropriate device.

> So I finally resorted to man mount, which said the default (auto
> recognition) should not be used "if you value your data".

? This is out of date AFAICT from looking at the code for mount.

> mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
> came out read-only.

It shouldn't, unless the floppy disk itself had its write-protect tab in
the "read only" position.

> So I only recently decided, why not mount -t vfat /dev/hda0
> /mnt/windows ?

Because /dev/hda0 doesn't exist?

> Anyway, my immediate desire is to back up my Linux data to CD. I was
> able to burn data via the USB reader-writer I have to CD from Windows,
> but not from Linux. Linux reads the data via the USB device, and its
> GUI SAYS it's writing to it

Which GUI? There are a bunch of front-ends to cdrecord, and the one
that works best IME is k3b. If reading's all right but writing isn't,
you need to post the output of "lsmod" and "cdrecord -scanbus".

> Would I have a fstab entry if I only manually mount the FAT discs
> (hard disc partition or floppy)?

Yes. If you have an fstab entry with "user" or "users" in the options
field, any user can mount/umount the partition/disk. If there isn't an
fstab entry, only root can mount/umount it.

>> > Should I try -t fat=32?
>> No; that won't work. "man mount" for all the filesystem types that
>> mount knows about.
> Man mount lists that parameter.

Ah. That's for manually specifying the FAT size (12, 16, or 32 bits.)
This is not usually useful and can be dangerous, since the structure of
FAT is well-understood and autodetection is easy. Floppies always have
12-bit FATs, partitions are 16-bit if < 2G and 32-bit if > 2G.

Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /    mail: TRAP + SPAN don't belong     /                Hire me!