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Force FAT32 partitions to show in 'Computer' in Finder System
OK, I'm still not sure if this is a problem relating to the way I set up systems, but every time I try to mount FAT32 partitions on a hard disk, the Finder will mount them in /Volumes, but they will not show up in the "Computer" section of Finder. The workaround for this is simple and I have had no side effects ... yet.

When I was trying to fix this problem, I noticed that at startup (probably when the hard drives mount or fsck_msdos finishes), a file is created for any FAT32 partitions in /Volumes called ._HDNAME (where HDNAME is the name of your FAT32 partition). The thing I noticed was that if I trashed this file and restarted the Finder (not the whole system), the partition would mount correctly. The problem with deleting this file was it was recreated at startup, so what I did was replace it with an empty file that no one had access too, using the following commands:
 % sudo rm /Volumes/._HDNAME
 % touch /Volumes/._HDNAME
 % sudo chmod -rwx /Volumes/._HDNAME
 % sudo chown nobody /Volumes/._HDNAME
Replace HDNAME with the name of your FAT32 partition (which, I think, will always mount in uppercase). This deletes the file that was created (rm), adds a new file with nothing in it (touch), changes the permissions (chmod) and gives ownership to the user called nobody (chown). sudo should ask you for a password the first time (I say should because you can change it, like I have, so it doesn't ask you for a password).

This fix has been tested on 10.2 and 10.3.
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Force FAT32 partitions to show in 'Computer' in Finder | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Force FAT32 partitions to show in 'Computer' in Finder
Authored by: loa on Nov 21, '03 05:24:49PM


I'm in a similar situation, as the "._drive" file gets created. But when I delete it and restart the finder, nothing mounts on my desktop. And when I follow your instructions and create the nobody's "._drive" file, it doesn't work either.

Besides the invisible file, there's a folder with the drive's name that's also created in the Volumes directory. It is empty, whereas the drive itself isn't.

The weird part is that I can mount the USB 2 drive on my iBook (10.3.1) and not on my G5 (10.3.1).

Any ideas?



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Force FAT32 partitions to show in 'Computer' in Finder
Authored by: dfbills on Nov 21, '03 07:50:07PM

I have this problem all the time with flash cards. I just constantly delete the ._ files.

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Force FAT32 partitions to show in 'Computer' in Finder
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 25, '03 09:38:04AM

On a similar subject - I have two computers running 10.3.1. One is a 1 Ghz TiBook, the other a 1.25 Ghz DP MDD Mac. When I plug a FAT32 formatted firewire drive into either, it is reported as a device that Mac OS can't read, and I get offered the chance to initialize it or eject it. But it works fine on my PC. Shouldn't OS X be able to recognize it? I've heard that it can recognize NTFS drives.


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