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Old 11-02-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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Question Hard drive partition, mounting, and file system help needed please.

Let me thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and any help you can offer.

About 2 years ago I setup this PC as a dual boot WinXP and SuSE. For the life of me, I can not remember how I divided up the partitions and need a bit of help.

In window's "Disk Management", I see:

Disk 0    Basic   149.05 GB   Online
                   34.18 GB  NTFS - Healthy (Boot)
                   25.00 GB       - Healthy (Active)
                    4.01 GB       - Healthy (Unknown Partition)
                   85.86 GB       - Healthy (Unknown Partition)
In SuSE (KDE) "My Computer", I see:
Device:     Filesystem:  Total:    Avail:
Windows C   ntfs         34.18 GB  -n/a-
Properties show:
Type: Mounted Hard Disk Volume
Contents: Folder
Location: /(media)
Size: 22.9 GB
Mounted on: /windows/c

Device:     Filesystem:  Total:    Avail:
26 G Media  ext3         24.61 GB  -n/a-
Properties show:
Type: Mounted Hard Disk Volume
Contents: Folder
Location: /(media)
Size: <nothing is listed here>
Mounted on: <nothing is listed here>

Device:     Filesystem:  Total:    Avail:
92 G Media  ext3         84.51 GB  -n/a-
Properties show:
Type: Mounted Hard Disk Volume
Contents: Folder
Location: /(media)
Size: 31.2 GB
Mounted on: /home

Here are my questions (About time, right?)

1) Why can't SUSE see that 4 gig partition that windows sees?

2) If it is because I need to mount it, I'm embarrassed to say, I do not know how. Can someone tell me?

3) Why does the "26 G Media" drive show no space, or mount? When I click that icon in the "my computer" it does show folders so I am assuming it is usable and mounted.

4) I believe the "26 G Media" drive is '/' and the "92 G Media is '/home/<user>'. How do I know which drive I am writing on? It's not like windoze, where I can just switch from say C: to D:

Thanks again for the help, I know this has been long winded.
Old 11-02-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Distribution: Switched to regualr Ubuntu, because I don't like KDE4, at all. Looks like vista on crack.....
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You tell linux where to mount things in /etc/fstab. If you post yours here we can point out how to modify it so Linux will automatically see those partitions and mount them for you, so you don't have to do it with a command. Also, you are almost always in /home/username. Use konqueror or rox-filer or whatever your file explorer is to tell you where you are. It'll almost always start out at /home/username or /media.

And it is like windows, where you can switch from one partition to any other partition.

If you open up any file explorer, it'll say on the top where it is starting out at. /home/usrname or /media/windows, or whatever. You can also open a terminal and type, "pwd" and that'll tell you where you are at too....

You are using suse ? What desktop are you using ? KDE/Gnome/something else ?

Do you use skype or an instant messenger ? My yahoo screen name is vagabondgambler if you ever have any questions you need a quick answer to, and if you use skype, you can give me a ring, some things are just easier via voice.... my skype id is aegis042404.

If you post your /etc/fstab, we can get those partitons mounted so you can use them, and they'll be auto mounted where you want them to be when you log in.

Good luck...


P.S. Oh, qtparted or gparted will show you graphically your partitions, how large they are, where they are mounted and so on, which might help. There are programs that do the same thing, via text, pointed out by lakris below, but sometimes it helps to see the pretty pictures, you know ?

Good luck...

Last edited by budword; 11-02-2008 at 04:58 PM.
Old 11-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Distribution: Ubuntu, RedHat, SuSe, Debian, Slax
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In Linux, You can use the following commands at the command prompt to get more information about Your disks:

df -h (will show You disk usage in human readable format)
fdisk -l (will show partition information about known disks, use sudo fdisk -l if You are not root)
cat /etc/fstab (shows what will be mounted at startup)
mount (more info on mounted drives/devices)
note that not all mounted devices are hard disks...

1) Maybe it's not formatted, ie it doesn't have a file system?
2) You must know that it is actually a partition (use fdisk for this), has a file system (use mkfs for this) and mount it (use mount for this, and then maybe make an entry for it in /etc/fstab)
3) I am not sure how KDE presents stuff, the above commands should give You a better view.
4) Once again, the mount command will tell You. If the 92GB-drive is mounted on /home, then that's the drive You're home directory is in, and not the physical root-disc, the 26GB drive.

If You post the information from the above commands, maybe we can get a clue to what You need to do to get that last 4GB up and running!

Old 11-02-2008, 09:07 PM   #4
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Well, now I feel like a complete idiot. I opened a terminal and using budword and lakris's tips I immediately saw that the 'missing' 4 G partition is Swap. I can't believe I didn't think of that *bangs head on desk*.


> cat /etc/fstab
/dev/hda2            /                    ext3       acl,user_xattr        1 1
/dev/hda4            /home                ext3       acl,user_xattr        1 2
/dev/hda1            /windows/C           ntfs       ro,users,gid=users,umask=0002,nls=utf8 0 0
/dev/hda3            swap                 swap       defaults              0 0
proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0 0
sysfs                /sys                 sysfs      noauto                0 0
debugfs              /sys/kernel/debug    debugfs    noauto                0 0
usbfs                /proc/bus/usb        usbfs      noauto                0 0
devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0 0
As I read that (I would have no clue how to edit).
hda2 has 'root AKA /' mounted on it.
hda4 has 'home' mounted on it.
hda1 has the windows partition mounted on it.
hda3 has the swap file mounted.

To answer a few questions asked,
1) I am using KDE
2) I am familiar with using "Konqueror" as a file manager/browser, but some parts of how the *nix file structure still confuse me, as I am sure is obvious.

For example:
I understand in concept that "/" is one partition, and "/home/<users>" is another drive/partition. In windoze this, would be a C: drive and a D: drive, but it is the transparency *nix provides is the part I just am not yet accustomed to.

If I'm in / and cd /home/<user> it 'appears' that all I've done is change directories. In reality, I've changed drives. pwd would tell me what directory, but not clearly state the I've moveed from drive 'a' to drive 'b'.

Thanks again for the help folks. Sorry it was a dumb question.
Old 11-02-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
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Distribution: Debian Linux 11 (Bullseye)
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There is only one directory structure in Unix/Linux, and it starts with "/". Everything else falls under that. You can replace any subdirectory with a partition on any disk available to you. This makes the Unix/Linux file structure expandable in a way that C:, D:, and all that rubbish can never be. How many drives and partitions can you add to Microsoft before you run out of letters, or it becomes just unmanageable?


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