Fat32: My Old nemesis.

I've come across the same issue three times in the last two days, so it's bloggin' time!

CardSpace requires that the user's profile is on an NTFS drive. Currently, the problem you see if your profile is on FAT32, is that the CardSpace Identity selector won't come up, and you'll get something in the event log that looks like this:

The description for Event ID ( 102 ) in Source ( Microsoft.InfoCards.Diagnostics ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: The Windows CardSpace service cannot be started on this file system.,    at System.ServiceModel.Diagnostics.ExceptionUtility.TraceFailFast(String message, EventLogger logger)
   at System.ServiceModel.Diagnostics.ExceptionUtility.TraceFailFast(String message)
   at Microsoft.InfoCards.Diagnostics.DiagnosticUtility.FailFast(String message)
   at Microsoft.InfoCards.Diagnostics.InfoCardTrace.FailFast(String message)
   at Microsoft.InfoCards.InfoCardService.FailFastIfNoFileSystemSecurity()
   at Microsoft.InfoCards.InfoCardService..ctor()
   at wmain()
   at _wmainCRTStartup()


Which, once you know what the issue is, it's easy to guess the reason.


So, why doens't it work on FAT32? CardSpace ACL's the card store so that it's locked down quite tight, and even the user doesn't have access to the files. It's a security precaution to prevent tampering both by snoopy users and snoopy processes.


When CardSpace starts up, it checks the security of the card store, and if it's not appropriate, it refuses to continue.


Garrett Serack | Program Manager |Federated Identity Team | Microsoft Corporation

Comments (4)
  1. Dean Harding says:

    Seems strange that anyone would want to use FAT32 these days anyway (at least for anything other than Flash Drives and such)…

  2. You and me both!

    It actually stunned me, but then, alot of times, people do that so they can run alternative oses on their hardware, and access their files. I guess people feel funny about buying a Mac, and wiping of the OS…  😀


  3. PatriotB says:

    People still use Fat32?!

    People complain about XP requiring security patches, then at the same time they refuse to use the built-in security mechanisms that XP has (e.g. NTFS)…

  4. craigburton says:

    FAT32 remains the baseline file system for Windows and removable Windows devices. Sad fact.

    Booting with and NTFS device still sucks. I can’t create a bootable CD still. Missing NTDLR. Any ideas Garrett?

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