List Devices Available For Mounting

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List Devices Available For Mounting

Postby curt_grymala » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:29 pm

Greetings, friends!
I have been using OpenSuSE Linux for quite a while, now, but am a newbie to Linux Mint (and Gnome, for that matter). So far, I'm absolutely loving it. I've never been a big fan of Gnome, but Mint seems to have got it absolutely right.

Background Information

It took me three tries to get Linux Mint successfully installed on my computer. The first time, I tried setting up my installation with / mounted on a fresh 10 gig partition and /home mounted on the same large partition (276 gigs) I use as my home mountpoint in OpenSuSE 11.0. When I saved the partition information, I was confronted with a message that said one or more of my partitions had a feature enabled that wasn't supported, and that I should go back and fix it. I went back and tried to see if there was anything I could fix, and even restarted my computer, booting into a GPartEd live disc, telling it to fix the partition.

Regardless, when I tried again, it still gave me that message, so I decided to try the installation anyway. After seemingly successfully completing the installation, I rebooted into Mint, and came to an initramfs CLI. After a few tries, I was able to find out that it said it couldn't mount /dev/sdb4 (which is the fresh partition I created just for Linux Mint).

I decided to reinstall Mint. This time, I didn't specify a separate /home mountpoint. I just used the 10 gig partition for the whole Mint installation. However, this time, I decided to try to set a /windows mountpoint for my main Vista drive (which is a partition on a separate hard drive). I went ahead with the install, this time not getting any errors at all, and finished up. When I rebooted, I came back to the initramfs interface. I got the same error about /dev/sdb4 again.

Finally, I reinstalled without choosing any additional mountpoints during my partition setup. I just installed Mint on the 10 gig partition without trying to mount anything extra.

This time, the install worked fine and I was able to boot Mint after a restart.

However, I would like to attempt to at least add my Windows drive to my /etc/fstab file, if possible. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how Mint identifies that drive before I mount it manually.

My Question

So, finally onto my question:

How can I get a list of the available devices that I can mount? I need to know what the location of the device is so that I can add it to my fstab. I just can't figure out how to get that list.

Can anyone provide me with the command I need to figure out what the device name is for my Windows drive? I thought it would be /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2, but when I try to mount those locations to /mnt/windows/C, I get errors. Attempting to mount /dev/sda1 gives me the error "Not a directory" and /dev/sda2 gives me "Special device /dev/sda2 does not exist".

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Additional Questions

If I finally get the appropriate location that I want to mount, and it ends up causing an error that kicks me out to initramfs next time I reboot, is there a way I can edit my /etc/fstab file to remove the mount I plan to add?

Also, does anyone happen to know what might have been causing my initial installation problems?

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T J Tulley
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Re: List Devices Available For Mounting

Postby T J Tulley » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:11 am

I have always installed Mint into prepared partitions without difficulty - occasionally troubled by BusyBox/initramfs - and most times all my Windows systems have shown up when the system has booted.

Currently I'm struggling with an obstinate card reader and shall be posting separately (again) about that.

In reply to your question, it may help to relate that I get a useful display in Terminal if I enter:

~ $ cd /; / $ cd /dev; /dev $ ls -al; where the directory in which the terminal is operating is shown before the $.

This produces a list of devices. I don't know whether they can all be mounted. Some of the device-names are shown in a nearly-unreadable yellow.

One of the great advantages of the Mint terminal is that the display can be retrospectively scrolled - and parts of it can be selected and copied for use in, for example, contributions to the Forum. In the terminal, it is necessary to use the drop-down menu from the mouse pointer to copy a selection, and also to paste into the terminal insertion point. It is not possible to use [Ctrl]+[C] or [Ctrl]+V.
Yours hopefully -

Theo Tulley.
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.

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Re: List Devices Available For Mounting

Postby curt_grymala » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:49 pm

After a couple of tries, I was finally able to mount my additional partitions properly.

Using -ls helped, as I was able to see which partitions existed on sda and sdb.

Of course, then I realized that I could just open gparted and look at the names of the partitions I wanted to mount. :oops:

I have restarted twice since then, and everything seems to be working wonderfully. Thanks for the help.

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