Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 01-29-2006, 04:11 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
how do I move my files from on eNTFS HD to another???

hello all...

i'm a complete Linux n00b and need help...

I've been running Windows since I can remember and have been getting problems lately. I cannot boot into windows anymore, boot disks, safe mode, etc. won't even work, the system just freezes...

Luckily I had a prfessor in Uni back in 2003 that gave us Knoppix 3.2 on a Live-CD. I can log onto my system using Knoppix 3.2 BUT it will not let me write to my external USB Hard Drive.

Now the exact question:

How can I save my precious 20000+ mp3s from my C: drive onto my removable USB HD?? I constantly am getting the error that the drives are Read Only...?

Suggestions are very welcome!
Old 01-29-2006, 06:55 AM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,124

Rep: Reputation: 496Reputation: 496Reputation: 496Reputation: 496Reputation: 496
Knoppix 3.2 is old. First thing I would do is download and burn a newer copy; either Knoppix 3.9 or 4. See the links on this board ( top right corner Download Linux ). Device support is much better in the newer versions. I would bet your external drive will work with the newer version. In order for linux to write to any drive, it has to be formatted with a linux supported file system. Linux can read NTFS but not write to it. Your external needs to be formatted as fat32 for windoze compatability, or any other linux supported file system.

Another thing you can try is to boot the windoze machine with the install CD. You can get a command prompt and work on the non-bootable system. My kids XP system was hosed, and I fixed it by booting with install CD, got a command prompt and ran some disk utilities to fix it. Problem is I had to go to the Knowledge base at micro$oft to find information on the how to part. I did a search on 'won't boot' and found what I needed to know. You should be able to check ( in theory fix the file system ) and rewrite the MBR if it is messed up.

Possibly someone else here could help with the windoze stuff.
Old 01-29-2006, 07:21 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
Posts: 4,186

Rep: Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346
Generally speaking, writing from a Linux distribution to a NTFS file systems is "discouraged." That's because NTFS is an undocumented file system and, lacking correct documentation, nobody has been able to create a program that will always write correctly to an NTFS file system. An incorrect write can, and often does, destroy all data in the NTFS file system. Reading, however, seems to work well. Thus NTFS file systems are almost always mounted as "read only."

If your USB drive is empty, all is not lost: Use the Linux mkdosfs /dev/hdb to format the USB drive as a FAT drive (which will be readable by Windows), and reboot Knoppix. Then cp the file to the new FAT drive, which should be automatically mounted in "read/write" mode.

If you have "stuff" on the USB drive you can't (or don't want to) erase, perhaps you could repartition the drive, shrinking the NTFS file system, and creating a FAT32 file system large enough to hold your MP3 files is a second partition.

If you take the "shrink and partition" route, you'd probably find it easier to put your USB drive on a friend's system and do it in Windows. There are tools on the Knoppix disk which you could use for the repartitioning, but, really, as a long-time Windows user, you probably don't want to take the time to learn how to use those tools right now.

Here's another suggestion: Find a willing friend, yank the HD from your systems, install it (as a second HD) the the friend's systems, plug your USB drive into the friend's system, and do the copying there. After you've backed up you files to the USB drive, see if you can use to friend's system to run "chkdsk" on your drive. If you're rich, or just can't find a willing friend, most computer repaire shops will be willing to help you. For a fee.
Old 01-29-2006, 01:15 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,067
Blog Entries: 11

Rep: Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910
Please do not post the same thread in more than one forum. Picking the most relevant forum and posting it once there makes it easier for other members to help you and keeps the discussion all in one place.

Re-opened the dupe and asked for a closure of the original
on OPs request.

Last edited by Tinkster; 01-29-2006 at 04:10 PM.
Old 01-29-2006, 10:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
Posts: 4,186

Rep: Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346Reputation: 346
Originally Posted by cunninlynguist
i received this suggestion on the other thread. I've thought of this myself, but I thought I had to format the entire HD if I installed it on another machine??? Is it really that simple, that i can remove the HD, install it on another pc without Data loss??? I thought it was too easy to work...
Well, yes, it is actually that easy. Consider what happens when you move your USB drive from one computer to another.

There's no magic in the USB connection -- it's just a plug (combining a data connection and a power connection)-- and moving a HD is as easy as plugging in the power connector and the drive cable. In fact, right now I've got a couple of drives running while lying on the floor outside my box.

Edit: Um, do be careful not to drop or jar the HDs while moving then around since they are fairly sensitive to shock. And, protect them from static discharges, too, since the electronic circuts built in to drives are also fairly sensitive.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 01-29-2006 at 10:13 PM.
Old 01-30-2006, 09:37 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: London, ON, Canada
Distribution: Mandriva 2007 Free
Posts: 507

Rep: Reputation: 30
Apologies in advance if this has been said, but I was reading the other thread that got closed redirecting me to here and got tired of reading so thought i would post my two cents worth since I did this for a friend yesterday and it is fresh in my mind. Was getting dizzy chasing the tail of the multi thread and it is time for bed.

BTW: if you pull a drive and throw it in another pc, be sure to go into the bios and set the drive up

Assuming your usb drive is fat: I used Damn Small Linux for this, only a 50meg download. Boot dead pc with DSL, open emelfm (file manager), go to /mnt directory, open it, right click on the drive (hda likely) and choose "mount". Double click on the hard drive mount point to list its contents.

In the other window pane of emelfm, do the same (but on the sda drive, that will be your usb hard drive). While in the usb drive, you can use the mkdir button between the window panes to creat a directory on the usb drive to save the crap to. The rest is like using windows explorer. Don't forget to emerge out of your usb directories back to /mnt and right click and "unmount" /mnt/sda before unpugging it from pc. (if it says busy, give it half a minute and try again.

If you need root permission for something like zeroing out the drive if need be, sudo will work in command line. So if i wanted the power of root permission while using a program, I could launch it by typing
"sudo emelfm" without the quotes in the command line, same in knoppix

Last edited by Lakota; 01-30-2006 at 09:48 PM.
Old 01-31-2006, 05:04 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
thx for all the help, u guys are great...!

Thx for all the help, that's what I'm talking about...!!!

Anywho, I was thinking waaaaaay outside the box for the past two weeks. Problem was solved by taking out my HD, which was a slave and ONLY used for storage, mounting it on another (working) windows PC and from there everything's butter! I kept thinking if I took it out, I would have to reformat if I were to put it on another PC. I just remember losing everything when I tried that a few years ago with my Master drive, that's why I never even thought of doing it the easy way!

I just regret wasting two weeks of my life making things unnecessarily difficult!

To quote the infinetely wise Homer: (not the Greek!)


Sometimes you can't see the forest cause all the damn trees are in the way!!!

Thx again for all the great support and various methods of Help!

Last edited by cunninlynguist; 01-31-2006 at 05:05 AM.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recursively move files michaelsanford Linux - General 5 02-17-2016 01:24 AM
cannot using FTP move command to move files adrianmak Linux - Networking 4 04-21-2009 12:01 PM
Is it possible to move files through my router? M$ISBS Linux - Networking 10 11-27-2005 07:59 AM
the best way to move files around..... thegreggwong Linux - Software 5 08-28-2004 05:20 PM
I can't move files at desktop. akihandyman Mandriva 2 08-27-2004 07:38 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:08 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration