Large msdosfs disk will not mount on RELENG_6

James Wyatt jwyatt at
Mon Nov 27 14:12:13 PST 2006

On Mon, 27 Nov 2006, James Wyatt wrote:
> On Mon, 27 Nov 2006, Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH wrote:
>> On Nov 27, 2006, at 1:09 , Clayton Milos wrote:
>>>> I just bought a large external hard drive for home backups (500g Western 
>>>> Digital My Book).  When I plug it in to my machine (RELENG_6 from about a 
>>>> week ago), the system sees the device just fine:
>>> I am very suprised at all that windows would allow you to format a 500G 
>>> drive into a single 500G FAT32 partition.
>>> As far as I am aware windows 2000 and xp will only allow you to format up 
>>> to a 32G dive with FAT32. Any bigger and it will force you to use NTFS. 
>>> The other strange thing is tht you are trying to mount /dev/da0 and not 
>>> /dev/de0s1.
>>> How did you format this drive ?
>> It comes formatted FAT32.  I bought one last week as well, and tried to 
>> mount it to extract the included software before repartitioning.  I finally 
>> mounted it on an OSX box to copy the software to CDR.
> 	[ ... ]
> I had the same issue with a Fry's $99 special 320GB USB2/FW exernal HDD. 
> Since I need to mount it with WinXP, Linux, and "GENERIC" FreeBSD, I was 
> somewhat stuck. The way I got around it was to reformat it to ext2 and use 
> the Win32 ext2fs driver from SourceForge.  I considered NTFS, but the FreeBSD 
> support for NTFS didn't look practical to use at the time - Jy@

Sorry to reply to myself, but I forgot to mention that if you're doing 
tar/zip backups, then FAT32 may be worth the extra memory.  If you are 
doing file backups, then ext2 will better preserve the metadata you want 
like UID, GID, permissions, etc... as well as avoiding the waste of small 
files stored in mega-clusters.  The ext2fs WinXP driver defaults to having 
the write-cache disabled, so it's not a high-performance approach - Jy@

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