Relabel a FAT File System in Linux

The venerable fat16 and fat32 file systems are still in widespread use today. Devices such as digital cameras, satellite navigation systems, memory sticks and mp3 players all make use of FAT

Mount a FAT file system in Linux, and it will appear as something like this:

[root@pluto ~]# df
Filesystem     1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb         7716112   7274796    441316  95% /media/0EB5-6037
/dev/sdc1       15549952  14225152   1324800  92% /media/1FC3-3137

Those hex numbers on the left are the default volume labels, and pretty unfriendly they are. The two entries above actually correspond to an MP3 player (Sansa Clip+) and the player’s expansion SD card. I used mlable to allocate more meaningful volume names. Continue reading

Format and Relabel a Flash Drive in Linux

Flash drives (as in memory sticks) are a popular choice for backups. A 64 Gb drive can be bought for just over £20 at the time of writing. Once your data is backed up to the drive, it is easy to store in a safe place or transport off site for added protection. Actually that applies to any portable hard drive, as does the following procedure.

Most flash drives come formatted as FAT32. That is fine from day-to-day but there is a strict 4 GB limit applying to the size of any file. Backup software is likely to produce large archive files well over 4 GB, so won’t work well with FAT32. What’s needed therefore, is a better file system. Continue reading