I have a Windows XP HDD that no longer wants to mount itself. Long story short, I tried to acces my data through a Ubuntu Live USB. The hard drive wouldn't auto mount, thus I created a mount point using:

sudo mkdir /media/external

When I try to mount the HDD using

sudo mount /dev/sda2 /media/external -o forcer

I get this error message:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda2, missing codepage or helper program, or other error In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so

How can I force mount my fat16 partition so that I can save my files?

  • What makes you think it's FAT16, btw? FAT32 was introduced in Windows 95, 6 years before WinXP. – Sergey Nov 9 '12 at 3:22
  • Gparted says it is Fat16... It's my fathers HDD, I have no idea why he chose fat16. – Dominic Jordan Hasford Nov 9 '12 at 3:27

You need to specify filesystem type explicitly:

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda2 /media/external

(you can also try fat, msdos and umsdos). The particular format (FAT32, FAT16 or FAT12) should be detected by the driver automatically, however, you can override it with fat={12|16|32} option.

See man mount for more details on FAT-specific mount options.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.