Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

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Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby gumby on Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:18 am

I'm soon going to install Mint and will create a separate partition for /Home for my personal data. I was planning to format it as EXT3, but now I am finding info on google that suggests that it's not so easy to copy files from a FAT32 or FAT16 disk to an EXT3 disk. I have tons of files from my old computer now on external hard drives, DVDs, and flash drives, and I believe these are all FAT formatted media. I want to copy these files to my new Linux personal data partition after I create it. The info I'm finding says that you can copy stuff on NTFS formatted media over to EXT3 easily, but not from FAT. Is this true?

If so, should I instead format my Personal Data Partition as NTFS, just so I can easily copy my archived files over?

My new computer's HD is probably NTFS I think. Could I instead copy my archives from the FAT media to my new NTFS internal hard drive, and then copy again from there to the EXT3 partition? Is that the best solution? Thanks for any answers.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby Decemberdoom on Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:17 pm

Should be no problem, do it in Linux though, as opposed to using FS-Driver, simply because Linux has very good support for both File-Systems. It might be a bit slower if you're copying from NTFS/FAT to ext3, but there shouldn't be any real trouble.

In fact, my old MP3player is formated as FAT16, and I've never had any trouble using it as a flash drive to sync home and school computers with Linux.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby altair4 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:24 pm

Just about everyone that has dual booted Windows and Linux in the past decade or so have set up a common FAT32 partition so that windows and linux can have read, write , copy, and move capabilities. Whoever wrote that it was an issue in your google search was a dingbat :)

EDIT: There is one issue - file size. A FAT32 partition can only handle file sizes up to 4GB. I'm talking about individual files here not directories or folders. If you have a single file that exceeds 4GB then you need NTFS.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby locutus on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:07 pm

I also never had any problems copying from fat32 to ext3. I never noticed it any slower, either. I no longer dual-boot having shown Microsoft the door two years ago. Now because the rest of my household uses Mac, the only thing I format to fat32 is flash drives, because Mac's can read fat32 as well.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby Fred on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:17 pm

gumby,

As I said in the other thread, you will get suggestions from the preposterous to the well thought out.

Preposterous:
1.) Using the Windows drivers to access your Linux file system

2.) Can't copy from/to FAT file systems

3.) Can't copy from/to NTFS file systems

4.) Must use FAT file system to share files

5.) Use NTFS as /home partition so you can share data with Windows

6.) Operate as root so you don't get nag screens. (Haven't seen this one yet in your threads but expect it any time. :-) )

Let me try to clear up some of the confusion about partitioning for you. When a hard drive comes from the factory it is not partitioned and has no file system on it. It is all unallocated space. To install any OS or file system on it, it must be partitioned. When you install Windows XP the install disk creates at least one partition on the hard drive and calls it C: drive. If you create 2 partitions the second one is called D: drive by Windows. Windows formats both partitions to the NTFS file system. You Windows operating system is then installed to the first partition, what Windows calls the C: drive.

When you install Linux you have more choices in partitioning schemes and the file systems you can use. You still have partitions, you just call them by different names, ie. sda1 = the first partition of the first, (a), hard drive = C: drive in Windows, sda2 = the second partition of the first, (a), hard drive = D: drive in Windows, etc.

In short, if you can't/won't learn to make a partition you can't install any operating system. Regardless of the OS, you must create a partition and put a compatible file system on it before you can install anything. Sorry, but it is what it is.

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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby rlindsey0 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:38 pm

I've not had any problems copying between ext3 and a FAT32-formatted USB drive.

I dual-boot Felicia and XP, but I don't have a great need for a shared data partition, because I mainly use Windows for those few things (about two, really) that I can't do in Mint. The few things that the two OSs might both need access to I keep on an external NTFS-formatted HDD. Mint mounts this disk, and Windows sees it as my H: drive.

Even without an external drive operating as a kind of Demilitarized Zone, from Mint you can copy things into your Windows folders, as you discovered, and you can also use Mint to go get things from Windows and bring them back over to the "Mint side." I haven't enabled Windows to have access to anything on the purely Mint side (i.e., my ext3 partitions, including Data) and would not want to.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby Lolo Uila on Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:51 pm

Modern Linux distros (like Mint) can very happily read & write to FAT32 and even NTFS file systems. You will have no trouble using either FAT32 or NTFS for common data, and can even mount those partitions wherever you want in Mint. I have a 750GB NTFS drive that contains loads of files and data I use both in Windows (on the rare occasion I boot into that OS) and Linux. I also have a couple of other NTFS partitions that I mount into my home folder for easy access when I need them.

Normally any FAT32 or NTFS partitions Mint detects will be automatically mounted in /media and and icon will be placed on the Mint desktop. In my case I did not want all my partitions mounted to the desk, so I created some entries in the fstab file like this:

/dev/mapper/isw_bdijicaebf_RAID_Volume1 /mnt/NTFS-C ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0
/dev/mapper/isw_bdijicaebf_RAID_Volume5 /mnt/NTFS-H ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0
/dev/sda5 /media/NTFS-685 ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0

The first 2 partitions mount into /mnt, which Linux Mint will not automatically place on the desktop. The last one I put in /media (which is actually redundant, since Mint will do that anyway) and Mint puts an icon for that one on the desktop.

I then created a folder called "Partitions" in my home folder, and put links to my other 2 partitions in there. This way they don't clutter up my desktop, but I still have easy access to them if I need something.

As you learn more about Linux you will find it is very versatile, and superior to Windows as far as partitions, file systems and data handling goes.

Hope this helps you.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby gumby on Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:18 pm

Thanks for the replies. I presume FAT can also be copied to ext3? I think some flash drives might be just FAT, not FAT32.
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Re: Copying files from FAT media to EXT3 partition easy or not?

Postby locutus on Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:39 pm

AFAIK there are ony two FATs: FAT16 (16-bits) and FAT32 (32-bits). I format my flash drives as FAT32. And yes, you can copy either direction.
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