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Thread: Problem with FAT 32 partition

  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default Problem with FAT 32 partition

    Hi everybody, hope somebody can assist with this problem.

    I had a 300GB SATA hdd (NTFS) used for storage of files only, which was almost full so I decided to buy a larger one, move the files there and use the 300GB disk for installing multiple OS. I purchased a 1 TB SATA hdd connected it and booted the system with Back Track 3. Both disks were detected and I formatted the 1TB as FAT 32 and copied all contents of the 300GB hdd to the new one. After that I installed XP SP2 and Open Suse 11 64 bits to the 300GB hdd.
    Now the problem, both OS will detect that apart of the 1 TB disk is not free but none of the two will display the contents. Both OS are able to save and read a file to the 1TB disk so there should be no problem with the hdd itself. If I boot form the BackTrack3 disk I can read all the files copied on the 1 TB hdd.

    Any suggestion? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the MFT might be messed up - have you chkdsk'd or fsck'd the drive? I hope you still have the original data elsewhere. Moreover, with drives that large i'd suggest using a more advanced filesystem like ext2/3 (or NTFS for compatibility. you can use ext with windows but it can be bothersome esp if you intend to use vista). Filesystems with journaling and built in security features are superior to your avg FAT32 setup in my humble view.

    If your MFT and FAT are messed up and you've been writing files to the drive, be prepared for data loss. a recursive disk recovery tool like r-studio might be able to pull most of it out, but overwritten data is hard to retrieve. See if qtparted/gparted/parted see the data on the partition and try to pull it out that way if you have no backup too.

  3. #3
    Member PeppersGhost's Avatar
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    "I formatted the 1TB as FAT 32"

    Oh, man! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Good one.
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  4. #4
    Just burned his ISO
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    RageLtMan
    Sounds like the MFT might be messed up - have you chkdsk'd or fsck'd the drive?
    No i did not do chkdsk or fsck but I will, I just assumed that the hdd was OK since a tried writing to it and managed to do it.
    Moreover, with drives that large i'd suggest using a more advanced filesystem like ext2/3 (or NTFS for compatibility. you can use ext with windows but it can be bothersome esp if you intend to use vista). Filesystems with journaling and built in security features are superior to your avg FAT32 setup in my humble view.
    I chose FAT32 thinking that it was the only solution for reading and writing from both NTFS and ext. If I understand right you are saying that NTFS can be used with ext provided you do not use Vista. Do you know of any webpage where ntfs/ext compatibility is explained?
    If your MFT and FAT are messed up and you've been writing files to the drive, be prepared for data loss. a recursive disk recovery tool like r-studio might be able to pull most of it out, but overwritten data is hard to retrieve. See if qtparted/gparted/parted see the data on the partition and try to pull it out that way if you have no backup too.
    I never used the disk after installation in order to avoid problems with data loss so recovery tools should be sufficient to retrieve the files.

    Thanx a lot for your help, I try the things you suggested and post the results.

  5. #5
    Moderator KMDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilmister_2 View Post
    RageLtMan

    No i did not do chkdsk or fsck but I will, I just assumed that the hdd was OK since a tried writing to it and managed to do it.

    I chose FAT32 thinking that it was the only solution for reading and writing from both NTFS and ext. If I understand right you are saying that NTFS can be used with ext provided you do not use Vista. Do you know of any webpage where ntfs/ext compatibility is explained?

    I never used the disk after installation in order to avoid problems with data loss so recovery tools should be sufficient to retrieve the files.

    Thanx a lot for your help, I try the things you suggested and post the results.
    No offence meant but you should start to learn the basics. FAT is a filesystem as well as NTFS and EXT2/3. They are all different. In the past FAT32 was the only fs both Linux and Windows were able to read/write. Nowadays you can basically use NTFS and Linux is able to read/write on this fs with ntfs-3g. FAT32 limits the filesize of a single file to 4GB.
    Tiocfaidh ár lá

  6. #6
    Just burned his ISO
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    KMDave
    No offence meant but you should start to learn the basics. FAT is a filesystem as well as NTFS and EXT2/3. They are all different. In the past FAT32 was the only fs both Linux and Windows were able to read/write. Nowadays you can basically use NTFS and Linux is able to read/write on this fs with ntfs-3g. FAT32 limits the filesize of a single file to 4GB.
    I am not offended at all, the reason why I am here is to learn. I could have easily solved my problem by using some recovery tool to get the files back and start all over, but the purpose of my question is to understand and learn more about file systems. I will search the web for info on ntfs-3g in the meantime, thanx for getting involved.

    Greetings

  7. #7
    Moderator KMDave's Avatar
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    No problem, glad that you will search the web by yourself and don't ask to be spoonfed.

    If you still can't find anything feel free to ask.
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