The /etc/fstab file
The /etc/fstab file is another place where you can specify what access you want to give a particular drive. The fstab file lists all of the partitions and disks available to a file system along with information on how and when they will be mounted. A typical entry in the /etc/fstab file looks like:
<file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
Label=/ / ext3 realtime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
The above entries are for the root (/) filesystem and a cd-rom drive.
Again, the default is to mount the each device as "read/write" unless otherwise specified. In the above example, the root partition will be mounted as read only ("ro") if there are any errors during the boot process ("errors=remount-ro").
The fstab also determines when a device is mounted. For example, the root file system is mounted at boot, but the cdrom needs to be manually mounted by the user.
If there is an entry in the fstab file for the device you are manually attempting to mount, you do not need to specify where to mount the device. Instead, you would use the mount point. For example, you would mount the cd-rom above with the command:
Any time you use the mount command, it reads the /etc/fstab file and sets the access permissions as defined in that file. That is why, if you have a partition called "Windows" in the fstab file that is set to read only, using the command "mount /Windows" will only give you read only access.