Cannot chmod a folder

I have the most recent Zenwalk distro for a home file server, and i have two 160gb IDE drives installed and partitioned as follows:
sda (first hdd)
10G - root
70G - user1
70G - user2
10G - swap
sdb (second hdd)
70G - share1
70G - share2
10G - share3
Root formatted as ext2 (i think) and all the rest (excepting swap) formatted as FAT32 (i think).
I was able to chmod 777 the shares on sdb, but i cannot chmod the user shares on sda.  I try, and receive no error messages.  But when i list the dirs, the permissions are unchanged.
I even tried creating a subfolder /user2/subfolder and tried to chmod 777 that - with no luck.  Same behavior as before.
I am working as root for all of this, and all shares are owned by root user and group.
Two questions:
1.  What's going on?
2.  how can i verify again the filesystems that i imposed on these partitions?

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HackneyCabConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I didn't think you could change permissions for files or directories on a FAT32 partition once the drive had been mounted. I have to do this (in Ubuntu) in the fstab file, and then those permissions apply across that whole volume.
If you type in


that will list all the mounted filesystems and their type.
Pétur Ingi EgilssonSoftware Engineer -- ConsultantCommented:
try `chmod -R 777 /user2`

`cat /etc/fstab;cat /etc/mtab`  <- will display informatoin about your mount table
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nbccitAuthor Commented:
Here are the listings of fstab and mtab.  The curious thing is that /dev/sdb is not appearing in the mount tab?  Those are the ones I can chmod.  Is it b/c the shares are mounted?  Can i do something in a mount command to change it?
Appreciate the help thus far!

root[~]# cat /etc/fstab
/dev/sda4        swap             swap        defaults         0   0
/dev/sda1        /                ext2        defaults,noatime 1   1
/dev/sda2        /user1            vfat        defaults         1   0
/dev/sda3        /user2           vfat        defaults         1   0
/dev/sdb1        /share1           vfat        defaults         1   0
/dev/sdb2        /share2       vfat        defaults         1   0
/dev/sdb3        /share3           vfat        defaults         1   0
devpts           /dev/pts         devpts      gid=5,mode=620   0   0
proc             /proc            proc        defaults         0   0
root[~]# cat /etc/mtab
/dev/sda1 / ext2 rw,noatime 0 0
proc /proc proc rw 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs rw 0 0
/dev/sda2 /user1 vfat rw 0 0
/dev/sda3 /user2 vfat rw 0 0
nbccitAuthor Commented:
Ahhh.... something else:
root[~]# umount /user1/
root[~]# mount /dev/sda2 /user1
mount: unknown filesystem type 'mdraid'

I *had* attempted a software RAID 1 with kubuntu, but it was an overload on the old hardware (i think...only a 900MHz proc).  But, i thought i had re-formatted when i installed Zenwalk.  Is it possible to re-format just a partition? how?
Pétur Ingi EgilssonConnect With a Mentor Software Engineer -- ConsultantCommented:
Use fdisk to change the filesystem ID to 83, or create a new one ( delete your old partitions first )
This is a nice guide which helps you understand fdisk:

Here is an example of howto use the command mkfs ( that's the command you use to create a new filesystem within your partition )

#also read the manuals!
man fdisk
man mkfs
#if the commands are not to be found, type them into google :)
nbccitAuthor Commented:
i used mkdosfs (which is what slackware/zenwalk uses) to re-format the /user* partitions as fat32.  tried rebooting and remounting - no luck.
i guess i am still convinced it has something to do with the fact that the /user* folders are mounted and the partitions on /dev/sdb are least they are not showing up in mtab.  Why not?  Am i barking up the wrong tree?
nbccitAuthor Commented:
That certainly sounds like what i am experiencing.  I don't know how to assign permissions in the fstab file. (mine is in an earlier post).  How is this done?
Thanks so much!
nbccitAuthor Commented:
Thanks, all.  I needed to add the umask in the fstab file.  Great help and direction!
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