How to copy data off an old IDE disk

John Costello cos at
Tue Apr 1 18:55:11 BST 2008

On Tue, 1 Apr 2008, John Costello wrote:
> How certain are you that the disk is fat32?  I ask because I'm staring at
> the fat= options (Ubuntu) and wondering if an old floppy is fat=12,
> fat=16, or fat=32.  For something from the early 1990s (or in my case, for
> a mid-90s floppy), I'm more inclined to go with fat=16.  In my case, it
> should be an ok gamble as the on the floppy hasn't been needed by
> me for the past decade.  For you, it might result in problems.
> See man mount for more info on the fat= options.  You'd *maybe* want "-t 
> msdos" for the filesystem type.

Adding onto my earlier note: I tried fat=16 and fstype msdos, which 
worked.  There *was* an annoying note in dmesg saying that fat 16 is 
obsolete and not supported, but I was able to read the disks.

So, either as root / using sudo do

	mount -t msdos /dev/somewheres /mount/point -O fat=16

or put an entry in your /etc/fstab

/dev/somewheres	/mount/point	msdos	rw,user,noauto,fat=16	0 0

and then use the mount command manually.  I put "noauto" in the options in 
case you really need fat=12, which you just might.

Mounting the disks with various incorrect filetypes and fat options didn't 
seem to hurt them, but the standard disclaimers apply.

Good luck.


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