Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I guess this question is already answered but could not find the solution. I have a USB hard disk connected to a remote linux machine and I want to mount that hard disk. What would happen if I mount it with a different filesystem? e.g what would happen if the USB hard disk is ext3 and I mount it as a ntfs? would I loose all my data?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by MadHatter, Iain, Chopper3, mdpc, Jenny D Mar 9 at 19:06

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions must be relevant to professional system administration. Server Fault is dedicated to professional system and network administrators. End user and enthusiast questions are off-topic (contact your system administrator or hire a professional to help you out). Please see the Help Center for more information." – MadHatter, Iain, Chopper3, mdpc, Jenny D
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Usually, you can't; file systems have structures that have to be accessed to mount them (eg, for ext[2-4], the superblock). If the FS code can't read those structures, it knows the FS is not that type of FS, and will normally refuse to mount it. –  MadHatter Mar 7 at 11:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

What would happen is the error message "bad superblock" (or something like it). A filesystem has some "magic" data it puts at specific parts of the block device (different for each filesystem) and if it's not there, the mount program says "sorry, this isn't the filesystem you told me it was" and refuses to mount it.

On Windows, if it's a filesystem the OS doesn't recognize, it generally offers you the option to format the device, but that requires your interaction. On Linux/BSD/etc., the mount program will just fail.

share|improve this answer
    
thanks Bandrami, now I understand, sorry I'm still learning Linux... –  Manuel Sopena Ballesteros Mar 8 at 0:32

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