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Linux Newbe

How Do I Read My Windows Drive From Linux by legend2b4
Posted: 26 Dec 02

I want to read my windows Drive from within Linux?

I have written this HOW TO for Windows users new to Linux.
It is only meant to give a very basic insight as to the way
Linux handles hardware devices  and filing systems.

For the sake of simplisaty, I am making some assumptions;
Namely you started with a ├┤windows machine├ with one hard drive fitted .

You freed up some space and created two new partitions
for linux to reside, using tools like fips & fdisk


BASIC Linux Hardware devices

fd      =floppy drives    

hd     =harddrives    

cdrom    =CD-Rom

All Linux Device's are stored in a directory called  /dev   so more properly  /dev/hd

We are only concerned with  /dev/hd   here.
Linux will allocate a letter for each physical hard drive attached to your system starting with  a
so if you have only one hard drive on your system
it would be labeled   /dev/hda
this is regardless of how many partitions their are on that hard drive


As you know, when you installed Linux on to your system
you had to create two new partitions on your hard drive
for Linux to reside.   

The ROOT  partition and the SWAP partition.   

So including the Windows  partition,  you now have three partitions on your hard drive.

Linux will allocate a number to each partition on  /dev/hda

/dev/hda1    Windows FAT    

/dev/hda2    Linux Root ect3    

/dev/hda3    Linux Swap    

So  /dev/hda1 is the Windows filing system
on hard drive  /dev/hda  

It is this Filing system that can be MOUTED by Liunx

You can use the command line to mount /dev/hda1 if you wish.

But for me, that is way too much messing about every time
I want to get photo or document from my windows drive. So tell Linux to mount it at boot.

Log on to Linux as root.

Firstly you need a place for linux to mount the files stored on /dev/hda1

Open the directory  /mnt and create a new directory there, and name it  windows

So  /mnt/windows  will be the place to look for your windows files

Now,  tell Linux to mount the filing system at boot. This is done by a configuration file
called  /ect/fstab.  Using a text editor open the file.

It looks something like this

LABEL=/         /        ext3    defaults        1 1
none         /dev/pts    devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
none         /proc        proc    defaults        0 0
none         /dev/shm    tmpfs   defaults        0 0
/dev/hdb3     swap        swap    defaults        0 0
/dev/cdrom     /mnt/cdrom    iso9660 owner,kudzu, ro 0 0
/dev/fd0     /mnt/floppy    auto    owner,kudzu 0 0

Add the Line

/dev/hda1    /mnt/windows    vfat

Now save the file.

The use of  vfat  here, simply identify s  /dev/hda1  as  FAT  the windows filing System

All that remains to do is to set the
permissions for  /dev/hda1.  
This is done by adding the line

/dev/hda1        vfat        rw 00

to the configuration file  /etc/mtab   

Okay you're done log out and reboot


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