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Old 05-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
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Mounting Windows HDD in Linux

Hi guys,

I have a hard drive that failed on Windows 2000. I put it in a server that has Win2003 on it and Win2003 sees it, but when I try to access it through Explorer, it says that the drive needs to be formatted. I am now trying to put it in a computer that has CentOS, but I don't know what I need to do to see/mount the hard drive. Can you please help? I got some important data on there that I need to get. Thanks much!
Old 05-30-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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1 - create a mount point (a folder like /media/windows)
2 - Let's call the drive as seen by Linux "/dev/hdb" but it may be different on your machine. Use the command "fdisk -l" (that is a lowercase "L") from a root console to see all detected drives/partitions.
3 - You need to have enabled in your Linux, the ability to READ NTFS filesystem, which *I think* is maybe enabled by default in many generic kernels. If not you will need to get, use, or build a kernel that has NTFS reading enabled. Alternately you can use the NTFS3g toolset, which is for reading & writing NTFS from Linux.

Now, let's try to mount the drive (substitute YOUR drive device and mount point as appropriate) with a command like this:

me@mycomputer/$ mount /dev/hdb /media/windows -t ntfs -o ro

For exact syntax if I have erred here, and for other NTFS specific options, check "man mount" from a console.

EDIT: You can now see the contents of the drive by navigating to your mount point folder.

Good luck


Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 05-30-2008 at 02:05 PM.
Old 05-30-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help.

I am now getting an error and am unable to mount the hard drive. It seems like something went wrong with the hard drive partition? The error I get includes:

NTFS signature is missing
The device /dev/sdb1 doesn't have a valid NTFS

Is there any hope of getting any of the data that's on that drive back?
Old 05-30-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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You can try the M$ disktools.
Old 06-02-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Thanks much, based on what you said, I searched google and found a solution. I think the best solution is to use a third-party software and try to read as much of the data from the hard drive as is possible.


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