NTFS is a proprietary Microsoft file system. There are some distros that can read and write NTFS but it is experimental, due to being a closed source FS another reason is because MS owns the FS.
I use ext3 fs for all my Linux partitions, except for swap, which is just swap. If you boot up your Knoppix live CD, then open a terminal, the type the following command
This will list out your hard drives. This will tell you if they are working and if the kernel can see them.