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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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
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
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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 EgilssonSoftware 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?
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.

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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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