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Old 10-20-2005, 11:25 AM   #1
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Mount vfat Partition In CentOS (OR: how to bea the "Already Mounted Or Busy" msg.)

Since ironing out the goofiness and finally getting the latest CentOS 64-bit version installed (see, I moved to the simple task of mounting a Windows partition.
I've done this many times before in Linux distros, including a slightly earlier version of CentOS 4.x.

However, as is par for the [my] course, it took me more hours than it was worth and more hours than it should have taken to achieve this goal.

Simply adding the device "/dev/sdb9" to fstab (along with the other required parameters) did not work, nor did manually mounting that device. Any and every way one could conceive of trying to mount the device returned "ALREADY MOUNTED OR BUSY" even though it was obvious the device wasn't mounted. Checking System Tools -> Disk Management, for example, would show the device and mount point, and when the item was selected, the option to "Mount" was given (rather than "Unmount"), yet if "Mount" was clicked, the message returned would indicate that the device was already mounted or busy. All shell commands that I ran to test this would indicate the same inconsistency.

Google searches for any help led to many unanswered queries about this issue or led to "solutions" (guesses, really) that did not apply or did not work.

I finally ran a local search of files to find out where "sdb9" might be referenced and came up with the file, "/etc/". Opening the file showed that it contained references to all (most?) of the available devices connected to the PC, device labels (if any), and device IDs. Seeing that the device in question was given a label in the file, I tried using that in "fstab" instead of the device designation, so I changed "/dev/sdb9" to "" (no quotes). Still, no joy. The same error message, "already mounted or busy", was returned.

I opened "" again (you can refresh and read the contents with [user]$ blkid -c /dev/null ) and noticed something I had previously overlooked; not only was "/dev/sdb9" listed with a LABEL, its equivalent was listed again as "/dev/dm-5". So, I changed the device reference in "fstab" to "/dev/dm-5" and ... drum roll ... the device now mounts. But, instead of just mounting the device in the normal folder (which it does), a "drive icon" is placed in Nautilus and on the desktop, both of which can be used to access the Windows partition / device. The extra icons were not necessarily what I wanted, but I'm just satisfied that I can mount the device.


I haven't seen "/dev/dm*" in any other distribution I've used, so what is causing CentOS to use this device designation instead of the usual "hd" or 'sd' device designations? Is it something compiled in the kernel? Is it something I inadvertently installed during initial setup of CentOS that I've never installed before?

I think I fell upon some tangential info about device-mapper and / or evms and / or lvm (I have no LVM formatted volumes), but I'm going to take a breather from this issue for a while and see if anyone else has any knowledge or thoughts.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any responses.

Last edited by VCore5.0; 10-20-2005 at 12:50 PM.


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