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zugvogel 05-03-2012 05:41 PM

fat32 system mounting as ext3?
I have a strange problem with mounting a USB drive - it should be fat32 (vfat) but it keeps mounting as ext3.

If I list the partitions:

$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdc
[sudo] password for user:

Disk /dev/sdc: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x41ffc810

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sdc1  *          1      38912  312560608+  c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

So I think it's windows fat32, and I think I remember formatting the disk like this. But when I try to mount it I get:


$ sudo mount /dev/sdc1 -t vfat Western
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdc1,
      missing codepage or helper program, or other error
      In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
      dmesg | tail  or so

so I check dmesg and it says


[297753.088061] VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev sdc1.
So I just try to mount it without specifying the format of the partition and it works, except it's mounted as ext3:


$ sudo mount /dev/sdc1 Western
$ mount
/dev/mapper/ubuntu-root on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
none on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
none on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
none on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext2 (rw)
/dev/sdc1 on /home/user/Western type ext3 (rw)

and I can access all the files.

So I'd like to ask: why is it mounting as ext3? Is this healthy?

Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you.

michaelk 05-03-2012 05:51 PM

Yes, the partition ID is independent of the file system type. Do you remember what commands / utilities used to format the partition?

zugvogel 05-03-2012 06:09 PM

Thanks for your reply. I didn't know that!

It was a long time ago, but in my old notes I have

sudo mkdosfs /dev/sdc1
but it was too long ago to remember whether this was really used or not.

I wonder under what circumstances it is possible to change the format-label without actually changing the format-type. Can I change it back so it's less confusing? It's not so important though.

Anyway, thank you for clearing up my confusion!

michaelk 05-03-2012 06:21 PM

Yes, no problem changing the ID type.

jefro 05-03-2012 08:20 PM

I think I'd be tempted to copy the data off and clear all partition data and make what you want again.

I am not sure how it can report both fat and mount ext3 unless some overlapping partition issue.

Might peek at it with some partition software or use a live cd to see if your system is odd.

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