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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?
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.
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.
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.