accessing/mounting windows partitions and linux vfat

I’ve used linux for a while to troubleshoot windows machines. My windows installation went stupid, so I abandonded Bill G and went Suse. I know a little bit, but not enough (obviously).
I installed openSUSE 11.1 on my box and I am trying to get access to all my music/movies/etc that were stored on a compress, indexed and encrypted NTFS 750 GB SATA hard drive. When I try to get into the drive, I get this error:

An error occurred while accessing ‘HDD-DS’, the system responded: org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.PermissionDeniedByPolicy: auth_admin_keep_always (<-- action, result)

So, being the workarounder that I am, I decided to use an alternate hard drive, format it as FAT with Suse, boot my windows live cd and copy files thussly. I’ve got an 80GB hdd full of crap (save for 191MB) and, even though the drive was accessable and mountable in Suse BEFORE I booted into a windows environment, I can’t mount it. When I formatted it with Suse, I mounted it to /dev/fat1, but now when I try to mount it, I just get an error stating:

mount point /dev/fat1 does not exist

I’m not even close to ready to give up on Suse, but I REALLY don’t want to loose all my music, movies, etc

please assist me, if you can.

The contents of /dev is dynamically created at each boot. You definitely do not want to be using it for mount points. Instead, as root in a terminal do something like:

mkdir /mnt/files
mount -t vfat /dev/<partition> /mnt/files

where <partition> is the kernel assigned name of the partition on the 80GB drive, e.g., sdb3, etc. Now the partition is accessible.

If you want the background info or to choose the form of access, you might benefit from reading this tutorial:
openSUSE: HowTo set disk access permissions for Fat32 (VFAT) on a desktop PC

thank you both (rather profusely, I might add). I have managed to mount the vfat partition, but I’m running low on space for my main openSUSE partition, so, I think, I’m gonna’ re-install openSUSE and give myself a tad more space to play with.

I am still having issues mounting the ntfs-3g partition, but a) I haven’t tried either of your options and I JUST got off work, so I need to wind down and smoke about 10 cigarettes before I’m useful. :wink:

Again, thanks.

NTFS is easy
HowTo Mount NTFS Filesystem Partition Read Write Access in openSUSE 10, 11

edit of /etc/fstab will do the trick, use this code from the tutorial above for the partition in question:

/dev/sda2    /path_to/mount_point    ntfs-3g    defaults    0 0

If you already set mount points for all your partitions during install (good idea) and some are ntfs, just edit the ending of the current code after the ntfs-3g part

I got it to work fine with the following code:

sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
[to check what the official assignments were in regards to names]
sudo mkdir /mnt/750g
sudo mkdir /mnt/80g
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/750g
sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /mnt/80g

I am currently copying/moving files in order to get my 750GB free so I can format it with ext2/3 [or reiserfs] and then move all that music and videos back so I can have more free space on my root partition.

now, my next (and, hopefully [for a while, at least] last) question, what do I need to modify in the above-posted code in order to permanently mount the 750GB after I format it? Also, is there any significant difference in mounting removeable storage? (I use my PSP+PC A LOT, so I would like to, eventually, write a piece of script to automatically mount my PSP in a particular directory when I connect it.) Also, do I need to UNmount my drives BEFORE I format them?

Yet again, thanks in advance. Linux users are among my favorite people. You guys are great AND helpful.

Removable devices are mounted in /media
Usually by their device name/volume name

They should just function as plug and play. So there is no need for any entry in /etc/fstab for mounting the device.

Yes unmount. I usually do all this work from Parted Magic. It’s a live cd. Boot your PC with it, have your devices plugged in. Away you go.

The file /etc/fstab is used for permanent mount points, as illustrated above. You can edit it with a text editor as root, but it is easier to use YaST Partitioner - edit the mount point for the partition there and it will make the fstab change as necessary. Note that the default now is to use device-ID (the hardware device’s identifier) rather than device-name (/dev/sda below) - device-ID is a persistent name and therefore more reliable than device sequence name (particularly for SATA).

A storage device must be unmounted to be formatted. Mounting enables an existing file system for access; formatting creates a new file system (and destroys the current file system if present).

Removable storage is automatically mounted (as in Windows). A background process named udev senses a newly plugged in device, communicates that to HAL which in turn makes that information available to user processes (such as KDE and Gnome). The mount point is created by udev based on the type of device under /media.