Mounting Windows Drives


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The following instructions apply if your computer has drives formatted in vfat (sometimes called W95 FAT32 or DOS). This is the file system that came with Windohs 98 & WinME. If your computer has Windows 2000 or XP it probably has the NTFS file system. See the NTFS section for help mounting those partitions. -Praxis

Mounting Manually

If the windoz partition you want to mount is partition one on primary master, run as user root:

mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt

This will mount the windoz directory under /mnt.

If it's the second partition on the primary master:

mount -t vfat /dev/hda2 /mnt

Read "hda1" like this:

  • hd=IDE hard drive
  • a=primary master
  • b=primary slave
  • c=secondary master
  • d=secondary slave
  • 1=first partition
  • 2=second partition
  • 3=third partition, etc...

So if you want to mount the 3rd partition on the secondary master it would be:

mount -t vfat /dev/hdc3 /mnt

The /mnt directory can be any directory you want. Example:

mkdir /mnt/windoz
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/windoz

BLAG works the exact same as RedHat here (and does in general).

You can figure out which file systems your computer uses and what Linux calls the partitions by entering the following command in a terminal when logged in as root:

 /sbin/fdisk -l

Note: For a dual booting system (Win & Lin) many like to format the main Windows partition in NTFS, which is by all accounts better than vfat, but Linux can not write to a NTFS partition without using something like the Fuse driver. [1] Likewise, Windows can not even read a Linux partition without some tool like Explore2fs [2], and can not easily write to a Linux partition. So some folks format a third partition in VFAT so both Linux and Windows can easily write to it. And while you are partitioning don't forget to include a SWAP partition. -Last bits of gibberish added by Praxis

Automatic Mounting

Add a line like

/dev/hda1           /windoz                    vfat    defaults        1 2

to the file /etc/fstab. You will need to create the windoz directory as root:

mkdir /windoz

by Ronaldo

If you want to mount the drive so that regular users can write to them (as opposed to only root) you should edit your FSTAB with something like this:

/dev/hda1        /windoz                vfat    defaults,umask=000    0 0

-added by Praxis


By Red Devil

Open a terminal and enter:

su (enter root password, then) uname -r

This will give you your kernel version - note it down. Next, enter:

uname -m

This gives you your system architecture (i386, i586, i686 etc). Note it down. Open your web browser and go to, where you will find a list of ntfs kernel modules. Select the one that matches your kernel and architecture, and download it.

Open a terminal, and su to root, then navigate to the folder containing your ntfs rpm by entering:

CD /location_of_rpm

Now you are going to install the rpm with the command:

rpm -Uvh full_package_name_here.rpm

It should only take a few seconds to install, and you'll be returned to your [root@localhost yourname].

Next, enter:

mkdir /mnt/windows

(You can call the mount directory whatever you like but Windows is the most obvious option, and you must use the same name when you edit your fstab later)

To determine which name BLAG has given to your Windows partition during install, enter:

fdisk -l

In my case, my Windows partition (it'll be the one labelled HPFS/NTFS) is sda1 but make sure you note down the correct name for your system. Now, as root, enter:

gedit /etc/fstab

This launches your fstab (filesystem table) in your text editor, and you need to add a line for your Windows partition as follows:

/dev/your_partition_name_here mnt/windows ntfs auto,umask=0222 0 0

What this means is that your Windows ntfs partition is automatically mounted in /mnt/windows/ and is accessible to both root and users. If you now reboot, log in with your user name, open your file browser and navigate to /mnt/windows. you should be able to see - and copy across to BLAG - any files from your Windows partition.

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