06 September 2006

Vfat inconsistencies

VFAT is a filesystem that was prevelant in older times. Unfortunately, it still remains the file system to use if you have a dual boot machine, as linux will not write to NTFS file systems.
Okay the situation is like this. I have a 160GB external hard disk which contains, umm, let's say lots of software (and quite a lot of movies too ;-) ). If i write to it from windows it works perfectly fine. However, the problem arises when i write to it from linux. It is not able to write to the fragmented portions of the disk. Meaning there are lot of fragmented free space in the disk but still data is not getting written from linux.
This obviously means that the treatment of vfat partitions in linux and windows are different. How can this be ? Isn't vfat a standard ? I have posted this to LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List), but if any of you have some ideas about this, do let me know.
I am aware that the folks at LKML are extremely against vfat, coz a patch which i wrote for providing symlink support in vfat filesystems for 2.4.18 kernel was obviously, not accepted into the main branch. In case you need the patch you can get it here.
UPDATE: Quarter ball, matter solved. All i needed was to run fsck -vVa on the disk and voila all free space is back. Of course, you need to do this _after_ defragmenting the disk.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:47 PM


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