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I need to mount a second hard drive to my ubuntu 12.10 system.

There are directions for installing a new drive in ubuntu and mounting partitions. However, it seems like there should be an easier way than guessing at the mystery options of fstab.

In addition, I need read and write access to the drive - but I don't want to chmod/chown the drive (or partition it) since it is a working ubuntu install. I just need to access and possibly modify some files on it.

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 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
Disk identifier: 0x000c2a48

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        2048   586145791   293071872   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2       586147838   976771071   195311617    5  Extended
/dev/sdb5       586147840   605677567     9764864   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb6       605679616   976771071   185545728   83  Linux

What is the correct way to mount this hard drive without harming it?

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No need to mess with fstab unless you want to auto mount your partitions at boot. In your case, you won't be mounting the drive itself but rather the partitions where your /home and all your files reside. It's hard to tell from your partitioning scheme where your files are but the command is painstakingly simple to mount these bad boys.

root@yourbox: mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/HDD1

You must create a directory aka a mount point for this to work. /dev/sdb1 represents the first partition on your second hard drive and /mnt/HDD1 is the mount point - just an example and you can easily create and name this whatever you like.

Once this is done it is only a matter of navigating to your mount point /mnt/HDD1/ to access your files. Do the same process with the other partitions but make sure to use different mount points.

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In addition, you might want to mount the drive read-only to avoid any replaying of journals or anything else that could potentially change the drive.

mount -o ro /dev/mapper/DEVICE /mnt

Where DEVICE is the desired name for the device along with partition number.

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