Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There's a file called /etc/fstab in Linux OS. It is a configuration file that contains information of all the partitions and storage devices in the computer. Basically it contains the mount information. So, my question is, is there a similar file in Windows OS that contains the mount information? If so, where is it located?

share|improve this question

migrated from Sep 23 '11 at 7:37

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

%systemroot%\system32\CONFIG\SYSTEM. Then there are several type of entries under HKLM\system. – user2284570 Dec 17 '13 at 21:46

It is a configuration file that contains information of all the partitions and storage devices in the computer.

No, it isn't. It's a configuration database for the mount command to consult, which may contain information about partitions and devices that don't even currently exist, and which may conversely not list things that do exist. It is, in essence, merely a way of supplying the filling for the blanks when one doesn't give all of the instructions explicity to the mount command.

The files that contain all of the actual mount information on Linux are /etc/mtab (an ordinary file maintained by the mount and umount programs themselves) and /proc/mounts (a file maintained by the kernel that reports the actual system state).

There's no equivalent to /etc/fstab in Windows NT because Windows NT does not work that way. Mounting volumes is not done by running a mount command. Nor is assigning a drive letter (which is done via a symbolic link in the Object Manager under \DosDevices) the same as mounting.

Assignation of a drive letter is done by associating a drive letter with an already mounted volume. Mounting is a process that involves sending a notification to a filesystem driver to mount itself on the volume. By the time that Windows NT gets to assigning a drive letter, it has often already mounted the volume. Mounting doesn't need user commands in order to happen. It's done in kernel mode as part of Plug and Play. The disc device driver tells the volume manager whenever a new disc comes along. The volume manager creates new mountable volumes (from information contained in the partition tables, LDM database, or elsewhere) for the individual or combined slices of such a disc. And the I/O manager mounts the volumes so created, trying each filesystem driver in turn, after that.

There's no configuration file for the mount command, because there isn't a mount command. Windows NT does not work that way.

share|improve this answer
I'm not done reading all the links, but I must say, this is a well effort answer. – surfasb Sep 24 '11 at 1:40
@JdeBP: I don't understand this there isn't a mount command. I use the mountvol command for mounting and un-mounting an existing file system. Am I missing something here? Please let me know. I'm new to this stuff. – hari Sep 26 '11 at 4:57
The mountvol command doesn't do what a POSIX mount command does. mountvol operates, again, upon already mounted volumes. The giveaway is that one names the already mounted volume as a parameter to the command. – JdeBP Sep 26 '11 at 11:25

Drive letter assignments are kept in the Registry, under HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices, while filesystem mounts (Unix-style) are stored on the filesystem itself, as NTFS "junctions".

You can edit this information using mountvol or diskpart from command line, or diskmgmt.msc GUI. Do not edit the registry directly.

share|improve this answer
HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices is only for the Win32/Win64 subsystems. The native part use other directories. – user2284570 Dec 17 '13 at 21:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .