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Thread: Ubuntu Mate & Formatting Flash drives, MSDOS fat16

  1. #1

    Default Ubuntu Mate & Formatting Flash drives, MSDOS fat16

    I'm a complete linux newbie and installed Ubuntu Mate 18.04 on a recently aquired thin client, I'm trying to figure out how to format a flash drive to FAT16 (MS-DOS), I can format to FAT32 no problem but there doesn't seem to be a setting for ms-dos fat16 that i can find, Am i missing some addon that's needed ?, I've looked and looked and googled my brains out all evening, I quite like this setup, I was worried that my MBB dongle wouldn't work with linux but the setup was automagic.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Do you mean mkfs.vfat -F 16 partition name ?

    Also called mkfs.fat or mkdosfs

    I'm assuming that you've set the partition file type to FAT16 beforehand using fdisk

  3. #3

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    As you said your a newbie, if what Chuck said doesn't work, you may need to install dosfstools with something like:

    apt-get install dosfstools.

    Partition with a program called 'cfdisk', it's menu-driven like DOS's fdisk. Also if you need to find the device, 'lsscsi' will show up AFAIK all drives now.
    Looking for: OMTI SMS Scientific Micro Systems 8610 or 8627 ESDI ISA drive controller, May also be branded Core HC, Please PM me if you want to part with one.

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys, I was using the utility "Disks" in the control center, I will look again tomorrow, Too late and too tired to do any more.

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    This being Linux/Unix/BSD, my first line of attack on low-level problems like formatting is to go to the command line. Long before there were Unix GUIs, a lot of work went into making the shell interface do everything but brush your teeth. I mean it; seriously. A lot of the GUI utilities on Linux are nothing more than front-ends to good old command-line utilities. The web and "man" and "apropos" are two very helpful commands.

  6. #6

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    If you'll be moving text files from windows/dos to unix, you may want to also look at dos2unix and unix2dos. Text files might include source files for assemblers and such. Many newer unix tools don't care anymore but some older tools get confused with extra ^M scattered through the text.
    Dwight

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    tr -d '\r' will read stdin and write to stdout deleting carriage returns, but leaving line feeds intact. Probably one of the oldest Unix utilities.

  8. #8

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    Well i give up, Tried so many different things and i can not format to MSDOS Fat16, I can Partition and make the partition active and format to Fat32 no problem but not Fat16, I've googled and googled and seen post's from people with the same problem, Some say that function to format to Fat16 was removed but i don't know.

    It's no big deal, This Thin Client runs Ubuntu Mate very well and performs well when browsing the internet which is what i wanted it for in the first place, I can do everything else on my other computers, Thanks for the Tips guys very helpfull, I've got a lot of reading to do.

  9. #9
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    I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which I believe is the latest. I can partition an 8GB SDHC using fdisk and format it using mkfs.fat with the -F 16 flag just fine:

    Code:
    chuck@Columbia:~$ sudo fdisk /dev/sdc
    
    Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.31.1).
    Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
    Be careful before using the write command.
    
    
    Command (m for help): p
    Disk /dev/sdc: 7.4 GiB, 7948206080 bytes, 15523840 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disklabel type: dos
    Disk identifier: 0xb259c190
    
    Device     Boot    Start      End  Sectors  Size Id Type
    /dev/sdc1           2048  4194303  4192256    2G  6 FAT16
    /dev/sdc2        4194304 15523839 11329536  5.4G  5 Extended
    /dev/sdc5        4196352  8388607  4192256    2G  6 FAT16
    /dev/sdc6        8390656 12582911  4192256    2G  6 FAT16
    /dev/sdc7       12584960 15523839  2938880  1.4G  6 FAT16
    
    Command (m for help): q
    
    chuck@Columbia:~$
    Granted, this is all command-line stuff, but that's the way I use Linux/Unix/BSD. fdisk sets the partition type using the 't' option. Type 6 is FAT 16.

  10. #10

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    Yup same as i have on DVD, I downloaded a shed load of updates and the version on my thin client is now 18.04.1, I just ran the dvd live on my P4 XP computer and had no problem partitioning and formatting the same flash drive to fat 16.

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