I got it all figured out, but now its bugging me why it happened.
I installed Vista, then Fedora 9, then I made a vfat partition to share with win / lin.
I have done this alot as a dual-booter. 98, 2000, and XP.
vfat is pretty old school now that fed 9 has fuse / ntfs support.
So that vfat partition showed up as a folder in root (/), and wasn't mountable, because it was a folder. I used the linux installer, made it a separate partition, formatted it during the fed 9 install as vfat, I had 120 gb hd, so it showed as 110, so I did win vista 30 gb, then fed 9 live install, 100 mb for /boot, 20gb to root or (/), 10 gb to /home, 4 gb for swap, and like 46.2 gb for vfat (/storage). Vista had no problems, and it showed up as a fat32 drive.
When booting fed 9, I would see the laptop restore partition, and it would auto-mount at boot, but the vfat drive never mounted, despite editing fstab repeatedly. So I was reading and writing to a 46.2 gb folder that seemed to be separate from the root filesystem. Pretty weird, really.
After using sidebrnz advice, I checked /etc/mtab, and got the right uuid number, then found it in /etc/fstab, and removed the word default, and added noauto. This stopped the laptop restore partition from mounting, which is part one of what I wanted to do. Thanks again for the post.
Part two was I wanted to stop the win vista partition from auto-mounting at boot, so at the same time I edited the fstab file above, I found the vista partition, and changed auto to noauto. Easy.
Part three was I was hoping for some new posts, but like I said above, vfat is pretty old school now that fed 9 has fuse, and I had fed 9 for a while on my old laptop, and since this was a new one, and I had time, I could re-install if I had to, so I got brave for a minute and re-booted to vista. I then formatted the vfat drive, from fat32 to ntfs, which vista said was the default, and it was the ONLY option. I was going to re-format in fat32, but could only choose default, ntfs.
It took a long time, but then I re-booted into fed 9, and the new ntfs drive auto-mounted, and showed up as 46.2 gb. And I was able to read and write to it.
However - During the boot-up, something in the filesystem FAILED to mount, so I tracked it down to a uuid number, it was something like uuid=3154-7356. I had to boot and reboot the cpu two times to get and verify the correct uuid number.
So I logged in and then logged in as su, and edited fstab again, using the uuid number, I located the line in fstab, and then, remembering a genius post I read on this forum, I followed this users advice, and instead of deleting the line in fstab, I just put one of these in front of it.
" # "
A comment line.
The post said never delete a line of code, just mask it out with a comment mark. (It's always easier to just add or delete the # instead of re-inventing the wheel.)
And that did it. I rebooted, the new ntfs drive is the only drive that auto-mounts now, which is great because it is the win / lin shared storage drive, and I am happy. The only weird thing is that now the old vfat drive/folder thing is still in the root (/) filesystem. So I logged on as su, in a terminal, and rmdir / ......, and it is gone. Before I deleted it, I viewed it, it showed empty, as it had no files, and showed 13.5 gb free space. Filesystem or root showed 13.5 gb space as well, so I figured it was just a folder in the root filesystem by then.
The lesson I learned here is that since I am now the administrator of two of these new laptops, as an old vfat XP - Fedora 8 dual-booter, if I have to re-install or if my daughter wants to dual boot vista / fed 9 on her machine, then I will install vista first to a set size, then fedora 9 or 10, partitioning as such. 250 MB /boot, 20 GB or more root or (/), 10 GB or more /home, and 4 GB or more swap file space.
There will be free space left on the hard drive I would normally allocate as a vfat or fat32 shared storage partition to operate between vista and fed 9. Now I will leave this free space available, as vista can allocate it and format it as an ntfs drive, so install, and reboot to vista.
Now, in win vista, I will make the free unused space on the drive a new ntfs partition to share between win and lin. Format it, reboot, and boot into fed 9. NTFS auto-mounts now with fuse, edit fstab to read-write for user, and no need for dual-booters to use the vfat option anymore. NTFS is a more efficient filesystem anyway, and it makes sense to make the shared storage drive after both OS's have been installed. It still requires a root edit of the fstab file, but why even dual boot into a vfat partition anymore in 2008?
Good learning experience overall, I hope that although this post has been resolved, others might comment about dual booting vista and fed 9 or 10, and vfat VS ntfs now that fuse is here.
Thanks for posting and listening.
Last edited by jspaceman; 8th August 2008 at 11:00 AM.