How access MS-DOS files

I just downloaded some rpms from internet (i got a winmodem)
and i want to access those rpms to install it, I don't know how to mount a /dev/hda1, or use a aplication named Mtools.
Also when I'm in Gnome-RPM when i try to open the /dev directory for installing a rpm, don't recognaize the drive, either cd-rom, floppy, or hda1, or hdb2.

Thanks a millon for your time to help me.
eric_zapataAsked:
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adam923Commented:
when you mount a drive you use the location where you mount it for accessing the device. after running these two commands you can point gnomeRPM to /mnt/cdrive.  you might have to specify a filesystem type in the mount line if your /etc/fstab isn't set up right.

mkdir /mnt/cdrive
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/cdrive
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s_turner99Commented:
Normally you don't directly access files in the /dev directory, the kernel or a driver will use them.  For instance, the /dev/hda1 is the first hard disk device.  This particular device is "mounted" at the root directory, called "/" (that's a slash, but don't include the quotation marks).  Thus the information obtained from /dev/hda1 is presented beginning at directory /.

If you're running Linux and wish to see what the default settings will be when devices are mounted then try looking at the /ect/fstab file:

$ cat /etc/fstab

You should see some text in a table form (make sure your screen is wide enough, 80 columns might make it a bit harder to read).  Anyway, along the left you'll see several devices such as /dev/hda1 and /dev/fd0 and maybe /dev/cdrom, perhaps one or two more as well.  These are actual physical devices like the hard disk and the floppy disk and the CD-ROM.  In the next column you'll see what are referred to as "mount points."  These mount points are the directory locations within the directory structure where the files from the devices will be accessible (i.e. – where they’ll "show up").

The next column shows what kind of directory structure will be assumed for each device.  ext2 is what many Linux systems use (although during Linux installation it’s possible choose something else), vfat is the enhanced FAT used by Windows95/98, msdos and fat (synonyms) are the original MS-DOS format.  There are numerous others, use the 'man mount' command to see them all.

Okay, I see this answer is becoming rather long...let me just give you some quick basics.  Put an MS-DOS floppy in the diskette drive and experiment with the following commands:

$ls -l /mnt/floppy

You'll probably see no files.  The floppy must be mounted first as follows:

$su -c 'mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy'

(You'll be prompted for the root password on your system.)

Then try that "ls -l /mnt/floppy" command again, this time you should see the files on the floppy disk.  (Unfortunately they’ll be owned by root, so you might be limited in what you can do with them if you’re running as an ordinary user – luckily there are other options described below.)  Note that the "-t vfat" option overrides the typical ext2 format specified in /etc/fstab.  If you edit the /etc/fstab file to change the floppy default format from ext2 to vfat then you won't need the "-t vfat" anymore.

When you're done you can't simply remove the floppy like you would do with Windows, or else you could cause problems.  First you must "un-mount" the floppy:

$su -c 'umount /mnt/floppy'

(NOTE THE SPELLING:  It's umount, not unmount!)

It may seem to be a bit of a hassle to use the superuser (su) command just to get access to floppies and CD-ROMs and whatnot.  There are 2 other options:

1) There are lots of "mtool" commands, for instance mcopy, mdir, mattrib, and others as well.  Try "man mtools" or "man mdir" for starters.  With the mtools it isn't necessary to use mount and umount, you can simply access the MS-DOS files directly.  Try "mdir a:" and you'll see what I mean - it works just like "dir a:" from the world of Windows and DOS.  I use them all the time since my Linux machine isn't networked, but my Windows98 machine is -- so I put files on floppies and move 'em around that way.  (Not especially convenient, but adequate for the time being.)

2) Use the command "usermount".  It's a nice graphical utility that ships with RedHat Linux (and others too?) that lets you mount and unmount CDs and floppies with simple button clicks.  But, usermount uses the defaults found in /etc/fstab; thus you may wish to make that modification I mentioned earlier (that's what I did and it makes life much easier).

I hope this information is what you were after,  Good luck!
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adam923Commented:
turner: it is polite to comment first and let the asker pick the answer from the given comments
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s_turner99Commented:
Sorry adam...I didn't mean to be impolite.
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adam923Commented:
it's ok, you're new
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