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Old 01-14-2007, 08:43 PM   #1
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I recently created a dual boot for Linux and Windows. I am running Kubuntu and Windows XP Pro. Before loading Linux, I created a FAT32 partition - I was told this was necessary in order to trasfer files between the two systems. I am brand new to Linux, so I am wondering how to find this Windows-created partition?

Thanks in advance.
~Stephen Madden
Old 01-14-2007, 09:09 PM   #2
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If you can't see the partition when you are running Windows, and if you could see it before you installed Linux, then you may have destroyed the partition when you installed Linux.
Old 01-14-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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(If I remember correctly, to make Windows "see" a FAT32 partition, it has not only to be created in the partition table, but also formatted.)

However, I hope I understand you correctly in that you just want to make the partition accessible in Linux??
The rest of the post is assuming that.

What kind of hard disk do you use?
I suppose it is IDE/ATA. If it is SATA, then just substitute any occurence of "hda" with "sda".

Ok, here we go..

In Linux, any device in your computer is available as a device file in /dev
Your hard disk connected as the first IDE device is /dev/hda
This is the whole hard disk. Every partition it contains are available as the files /dev/hda1 to /dev/hda4 (/dev/hda5 and higher would be logical partitions..).

To find your partition type in the terminal:
sudo fdisk -l /dev/hda

It will tell you in the "System" column which of your partitions is formatted FAT32.
However, to access files on it, this partition has to be mounted to a directory in the file system (called a mount point).

By default, you have to be root to mount a hard disk

For example, if /dev/hda1 is your FAT32 partition, you would create a directory where the partition content would appear
mkdir /mnt/fat32 ( <- example. name it whatever you like)

and then mount it
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/fat32

Now you can access the content.

You might want to do it as a normal user, and you might want to have it mounted automatically at boot time.

Therefore, you have to make an entry in /etc/fstab which looks like this

/dev/hda1       /mnt/fat32            vfat    auto,user,quiet,showexec,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=022       0 0
As you can see, the first column is the device file, the second is the mount point, and the third is the file system type.
The forth column however contains a comma-separated list of mount options which vary from file system to file system. You can look them up using man mount
These are needed, since FAT32 does not support all features Linux demands from a file system (e.g., ownership and permissions).
Old 01-14-2007, 11:33 PM   #4
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This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much. What I need to do is take time every evening and go through tutorials.
Old 01-15-2007, 06:41 AM   #5
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I'm pretty sure that Kubuntu automatically sets up mount points for every HD /partition that it finds

Look in /mnt and see if there are some entries like hda1, hda2, sda1, etc. If these are there, you can simply mount them by typing ---eg---"mount hda1"


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