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Old 10-08-2008, 12:31 AM   #1
kengoodman
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Linux as NTFS rescue diskette?


Situation: Boss's XP laptop won't boot from hard disk or CDROM, so a rescue diskette is needed that can read and _write_ NTFS to attempt repairs.

In addition to attempts at a useful DOS boot with NTFS r/w, I have tried several tiny Linux versions that fit on 1 or 2 diskettes, hoping to correct corrupted files on the NTFS hard disk that way.

The closest I have come so far is with Injector Linux, manually mounting the NTFS drive with built-in device support, which was allegedly r/w access, but which won't actually let me make changes, e.g. cp X Y or mv X Y, giving a permission error.

Is there generally something special I need to do when mounting an NTFS drive so that I can write to it? (Command used was mount -t ntfs dev/hda1 mnt/c, which gave good read access to hard disk files, but no write).

Is there a diskette-based tiny Linux that would be better for this?

Should I give up on the idea and focus on a DOS solution instead?
 
Old 10-08-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
htnakirs
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I think ntfs-3g is the package that lets you do RW on an NTFS drive. Use ntfs-3g /dev/sdaX /mount/1 (or similar).
Not sure which distros have ntfs-3g built in, and fit in 2 floppies.

My personal experience is that the rate at which data corruption occurs increases when using ntfs-3g to write to ntfs partions. In any case, what type of "corrections" do you intend to make? To rectify MFTs or MBRs you are better off with testdisk.
The safest way to to use the mount option and take a backup before attempting a write to avoid escalation.

Last edited by htnakirs; 10-08-2008 at 03:15 AM.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
kengoodman
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Hopefully, I only need to backup and delete/rename a couple of files.

Mount attempt with ntfs-3g gave an error, which may be a clue that the Injector distro's NTFS access is read only(?)

I haven't tried the tomsrtbt distro yet, but may do so this morning.

Thanks.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
htnakirs
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What is the error that ntfs-3g gave?
 
Old 10-08-2008, 01:37 PM   #5
kengoodman
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The error is "No such device", which I take to mean ntfs-3g is not present. The command

mount -t ntfs dev/hda1 mnt/win

succeeds with read-only access to files in mnt/win, while

mount -t ntfs-3g dev/hda1 mnt/win

fails. I didn't catch the ntfs line(s) during bootup.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 01:53 PM   #6
jschiwal
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You might need to modprobe the "fuse" module before trying to use the "ntfs-3g" filesystem. The "ntfs-progs" package does have an ntfs-fix program but it only repairs obvious errors and marks the partition as dirty. Then when Windows boots up, it will check the partition for more errors. If windows doesn't boot up, you might try pulling the drive from the computer and adding it to another Windows computer. Let another windows computer try to repair the filesystem.

If the problem is with bad blocks on the drive itself and not a filesystem error, you could try the commercial program "spinrite" at www.grc.com. It does cost about $80.

Last edited by jschiwal; 10-08-2008 at 01:56 PM.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #7
2damncommon
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The ntfs4dos floppy has chkdsk on it if that's all you need. It is a .exe to create the floppy.
And the docs.

EDIT: It is available on the Ultimate Boot CD.

Last edited by 2damncommon; 10-08-2008 at 03:44 PM.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
kengoodman
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I did end up using NTFS4DOS to make a DOS rescue disk that works OK. Maybe when I am more Linux-savvy, I will make a boot floppy with ntfs-3g on it. But rest assured, next time I create a Windows partition, it will NOT be NTFS.

Thanks, folks!
 
Old 10-08-2008, 11:22 PM   #9
Bruce Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kengoodman View Post
Situation: Boss's XP laptop won't boot from hard disk or CDROM, so a rescue diskette is needed that can read and _write_ NTFS to attempt repairs.
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