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Old 02-11-2005, 09:45 AM   #1
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Location: Bristol
Distribution: Debian
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Unable to write to my FAT32 Partition

[short version] My FAT32 drive is read only to all users including root even though I'm fairly sure it's mounted as read/write for everyone correctly, what did I do wrong [/short version]

Hi, I just installed Fedora Core 3 as my entrance to the Linux world. I've been able to get most of the stuff I want working but I can't for some reason access my shared FAT32 partition. I have a 200 gig SATA hard Drive and It's split into the following partitions

/dev/sda1 * 1 131 1052226 6 FAT16
/dev/sda2 132 393 2104515 1b Hidden W95 FAT32
/dev/sda3 394 3004 20972857+ 17 Hidden HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 3005 24321 171228802+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 3005 6268 26218048+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 6269 6399 1052226 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda7 6400 24321 143958433+ b W95 FAT32

The problem partition is SDA7. Linux is running on logical drives SDA5 and 6 in the extended SDA4 partition, windows 95 and XP are running on SDA2 & 3 and SDA1 is where Bootmagic lives so SDA1-3 haven't been mounted. I partitioned the Drive using Partition magic from Windows before I wiped and re-installed everything. I installed Fedora, then win 95, then Win XP then reinstalled Bootmagic into the boot partition(sda1) and I use that to decide what to boot to.

I have mounted the drive using the FSTAB entry:
/dev/sda7 /mnt/sda7 vfat user,owner,rw,umask=222 0 0
and I have also tried the same thing without owner in it, with umask-000 and with no umask line or owner but in each case permissions are set to read only for all users including root. If I try to log in as root and change permissions it tells me I cannot change the permissions as it is a read only drive. What can I do?

Is the problem because I created it with partition magic and not the Linux Fdisk or is there a problem with SATA? I'm assuming from the names it's being treated as SCSI

Sorry if I've waffled on for a relatively simple question here but I thought it best to give too much information than not enough.

Last edited by dominoid; 02-11-2005 at 09:48 AM.
Old 02-11-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
Distribution: Arch, Gentoo
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Welcome to LQ!

This seems to work fine for mine...
/dev/sdb1        /mnt/sdb1        vfat        user,umask=000,rw,auto    0   0
You can't change permissions on a vfat partition.

Last edited by Bruce Hill; 02-11-2005 at 10:47 AM.
Old 02-11-2005, 08:35 PM   #3
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Distribution: Debian
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Thanks for that chinaman and thanks for the welcome. It still didn't work though.

Seeing as there was nothing on the drive I didn't have backed up on DVD anyway I thought I'd try re-formatting the drive while logged on as root just to see what would happen and lo and behold, after that it worked fine.I'm now able to read and write to it as any user. Not sure what the problem was, I have a feeling it's something to do with Partition Magic though. Possibly it formatted the drive as read only for some reason?

Last edited by dominoid; 02-11-2005 at 08:40 PM.
Old 02-11-2005, 10:17 PM   #4
Bruce Hill
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Location: McCalla, AL, USA
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Glad you got it working. I can't say if PM did something
or not, but it's best to use Linux tools for Linux, and
Windoze tools for Windoze.
Old 02-12-2005, 07:18 AM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Gorredijk, Netherlands
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 400

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And you'll also be fine using Linux tools for Windows. Just DON"T do it the other way around


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