How to Mount a FAT32 Drive/Partition with Read and Write Access for All Users
The next step I tackled in my sexy, shiny, and sultry Ubuntu 6.10 was to mount my FAT32 Data Partition so I can read and write to it and access my previous Ubuntu 6.06.1 backups, along with all my other data, of course.
Since the Disks applet (I think that’s what it was called in 6.06.1) is no longer available in Gnome because it is unmaintained, I would have to manually edit my /etc/fstab file. For those who don’t know, this file mounts the partitions, CD/DVD Roms, floppies, etc, of your file system.
Before you edit this file, you should do a backup of it:
sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab_backup
Here is what my fstab file looks like:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
UUID=21b32fac-8d97-4ee0-89e7-bbf3dc146ec8 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
UUID=fd07dad2-18d3-4ad2-9a19-b9801d056927 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdd /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom1 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/ /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0
I figured that mounting my FAT32 Data Partition would be easily done by adding the following line at the end of my /etc/fstab file:
/dev/hda5 /data vfat iocharset=utf8,umask=000 0 0
…and then do a: sudo mount -a #Mounts everything in fstab
It worked, but the root of my My Documents folder on that partition wasn’t writable. Some other folders at the root level were writable and others weren’t. Also, some folders within My Documents were writable and some weren’t, like My Music, My Pictures, and others. Seemed like the “Windows-related” folders weren’t writable. But folders within those folders were writable.
I figured I could just do a sudo chown -hR leonivek:leonivek /data but I would only get an “Operation not permitted” error.
After searching on the Ubuntu Forums, this post explained that I would still need to change the actual permissions of that mount point. To do so, I had to do this:
sudo chmod a+w -R /data
Bingo! Now everything is accessible — read and write — for all users.
If you need some help with your fstab and mounting drives, I recommend reading the following pages:
- How to fstab (Ubuntu Forums)
- Ubuntu Dapper Wiki Guide
- Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Wiki Guide
- Certain Folders Read-Only
- LinuxQuestions.org Fstab Wiki
- Psychocats.net Mounting Windows Partitions in Ubuntu
This will be the first post in a series of posts called the Adventures in a New Ubuntu 6.10 Clean Install. I will document my entire experience in preparing for a re-installation of Ubuntu from 6.06.1 to Ubuntu 6.10 with a format.
Best way to download Ubuntu
Now that Ubuntu 6.10 was released today, I was finally able to start getting my system back up and running in a dual-boot configuration with Windows XP Professional.
I opted to download the i386 ISO image using the available torrents since it would be the fastest way to download it. It only took about 45 minutes to download at varying speeds.
Before I continue my installation anecdote, I must explain my computer configuration…
My computer configuration
I have an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 3.0 Ghz with 1.0 GB of RAM. My motherboard is an Intel Desktop D865PERL. I have a (crappy) ATI Radeon 9200SE video card. I have a (crappy) Samsung SyncMaster 955DF CRT monitor. I have 2 physical drives: one is a 160 GB IDE drive, and the other is a 80 GB SATA drive. My IDE drive is partitioned in 2: One partition is for Windows XP Professional, and the other is for my data. The SATA drive is dedicated entirely to Linux.
When I originally installed Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, I opted to make my Data partition a FAT32 partition for easy access from Ubuntu Linux. This separation of OSes from Data would prove beneficial if ever an OS would crash. I can simply format either OS partitions/drives and start over without losing any data.
Installation was quick and painless. Nothing really to say about it! I told the Gnome partition manager (gparted) to wipe out my SATA drive and install on that drive. It told me that it would install GRUB on HD0, which is the first physical drive in the computer. Installation time: 32 minutes (including answering questions during install).
As you may have read in my last post, I toasted my Ubuntu last night when installing the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) without backing up some data first. I learned my lesson (although I expected it and somewhat wanted it to fry)!
It didn’t affect my partitions though… I was still able to boot to my Windows XP partition. So naturally, my first task was to find a tool that will allow me to access my Ubuntu Linux partition and backup the files I want/need to backup from my Home directory.
I didn’t have a lot to backup though since all of my data is on a data partition in FAT32. I only had to backup a bit of music, linux-only related documents, and some pictures. Of course I also backed-up some Ubuntu software settings, Thunderbird email, and Liferea RSS feeds, to name a few.
Explore2fs is a great “quick-fix”!
I was impatient.
I killed my Ubuntu system.
Despite what I said in a previous post, despite all the warnings, I was anxious and impatient and I went and installed the Release Candidate of Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy last night. I couldn’t wait 5 days for the final release. Stupid me.
Now I can’t load X and my cordless keyboard from my keyboard/mouse combo is not working in CLI (command line interface). It’s rendered useless (without a degree in Linux-ism! <grin>). Although I haven’t really looked into it… I don’t know if I really want to. There were a lot of errors during the upgrade so, I don’t want to spend the rest of 2006 fixing it! I wish I could just type in: $ sudo fix-it –now
Of course, in my impatience, I didn’t really back up anything. Now I have to figure out how to access my Linux partition (either from Windows XP or a Live CD) and copy what I want to keep to my Data partition (FAT32).
There’s not much to backup. I’d like to keep my Thunderbird emails and settings, though… oh, and possibly my Amarok settings and data. There’s some music, pictures, and videos I’d also like to move. As for other Ubuntu-specific configs or software, that’s not really important.
BUT, there is a couple positive things to this (believe it or not)…
First, my Ubuntu is my first-time Ubuntu installation and has been installed since April (I think?). Since then, there’s been a lot of tinkering, customizing, testing, updating, re-tinkering, etc, that my system has gained a lot of peculiarities and issues that I can’t get rid of… like my issue with transparent panels killing my x-server and crashing Ubuntu. Re-doing my system will allow me to start over from scratch with a brand new system. I know my way around it now and I know what I want, what I don’t need to try, and what not to do (like install a RC on top of a highly tinkered system — shut up, I know now!).
Second, with a new Ubuntu version from scratch, it will give me more material to write for my blog! I plan on documenting most of my experiences, issues, and reviews. Hopefully, it will help the newbies experiencing fear, uncertainty, and doubt about using Linux.
Wish me luck!