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dismounting a drive

 
 
childofthe1980s
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      26th Nov 2007
Hello:

I have an external hard drive, and I am using the DOS "convert" command to
convert the drive from FAT32 to NTFS so that I can copy files to the hard
drive that are greater than 4GB.

I'm getting a message asking if I want to "dismount the volume". I don't
know what that means. What does it mean? Also, if I dismount just to change
the drive format, will I lose the data on the drive?

Thanks!

childofthe1980s
 
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Paul
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      26th Nov 2007
childofthe1980s wrote:
> Hello:
>
> I have an external hard drive, and I am using the DOS "convert" command to
> convert the drive from FAT32 to NTFS so that I can copy files to the hard
> drive that are greater than 4GB.
>
> I'm getting a message asking if I want to "dismount the volume". I don't
> know what that means. What does it mean? Also, if I dismount just to change
> the drive format, will I lose the data on the drive?
>
> Thanks!
>
> childofthe1980s


That is terminology from Unix.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_%28Unix%29

Dismounting is needed, because you are changing file systems!

Imagine the poor OS for a moment. It is treating the partition as FAT32
one minute. Now, imagine some software changed all the structures
underneath to NTFS. The FAT32 handling software would go nuts, if
it did any read operations while that was happening. Instead,
you need an orderly transition like this.

FAT32 Handler ----> (No Handler) ---> NTFS Handler
FAT32 Volume Convert running NTFS Volume

Since the file system is being changed, the volume is "unmounted"
so that it is no longer visible in "My Computer". Once the
transition of the data structures on the disk is complete,
an NTFS handler will be asked to parse the contents of the partition.
At that point, the volume would be recognized as NTFS, and
would appear in My Computer again. All the same files should
still be there.

In Unix, you are prevented from "unmounting" a volume, if a single
file is "busy" on the volume. For example, if you opened a text
file with a text editor, just to read it, then tried to unmount
the volume, the command would fail. Windows should have similar
protections, so if any other programs are accessing the volume
in question, the programs should be exited. Then, in theory,
the unmount should be able to proceed.

Paul
 
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childofthe1980s
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      27th Nov 2007
Thanks, Paul!

Good info!

childofthe1980s

"Paul" wrote:

> childofthe1980s wrote:
> > Hello:
> >
> > I have an external hard drive, and I am using the DOS "convert" command to
> > convert the drive from FAT32 to NTFS so that I can copy files to the hard
> > drive that are greater than 4GB.
> >
> > I'm getting a message asking if I want to "dismount the volume". I don't
> > know what that means. What does it mean? Also, if I dismount just to change
> > the drive format, will I lose the data on the drive?
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > childofthe1980s

>
> That is terminology from Unix.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_%28Unix%29
>
> Dismounting is needed, because you are changing file systems!
>
> Imagine the poor OS for a moment. It is treating the partition as FAT32
> one minute. Now, imagine some software changed all the structures
> underneath to NTFS. The FAT32 handling software would go nuts, if
> it did any read operations while that was happening. Instead,
> you need an orderly transition like this.
>
> FAT32 Handler ----> (No Handler) ---> NTFS Handler
> FAT32 Volume Convert running NTFS Volume
>
> Since the file system is being changed, the volume is "unmounted"
> so that it is no longer visible in "My Computer". Once the
> transition of the data structures on the disk is complete,
> an NTFS handler will be asked to parse the contents of the partition.
> At that point, the volume would be recognized as NTFS, and
> would appear in My Computer again. All the same files should
> still be there.
>
> In Unix, you are prevented from "unmounting" a volume, if a single
> file is "busy" on the volume. For example, if you opened a text
> file with a text editor, just to read it, then tried to unmount
> the volume, the command would fail. Windows should have similar
> protections, so if any other programs are accessing the volume
> in question, the programs should be exited. Then, in theory,
> the unmount should be able to proceed.
>
> Paul
>

 
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