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Old 09-19-2003, 06:09 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9, KDE
Posts: 24

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question RH9 and WinXP

Hiya, I am a bit of a newbie at this, so please beat with me, hey at least I have finally taken the plunge....

I have just installed linux on my new 200 gig hard drive, but wish to back up many of my files from windows XP contained on two other 80 gig hard drives both formatted with NTFS. As linux has formatted the 200 gig drive using its own system (cannot remember name, but it was NOT vfat, I think it was "xxx3".) Windows is unable to see it. I do need to backup the files though before i move everything over the new hard drive.

I was wondering, firstly, can i format linux on a windows - compatable partition, or will it have to stay on a file system that windows cannot handle, and secondly how do i see the other drives and more importantly move them over from the two 80 gigs to the 200 gig?

I shall return with more questions once I have them, but thanks for taking the time to answer this question for now

Lastly, I apologise if you have seen this problem a thouisand times before, but I haven't seen this problem mentioned in my brief search.

Old 09-19-2003, 06:25 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
Posts: 987

Rep: Reputation: 30
wow, first welcome to linux and secondly wow... 200 gig hdd, i don't think you'll fill that thing up fast... (and here i was feeling proud of my 20 gig hdd...)

anyway, if u really want windows to just see your linux install natively, then u will have to format the file system as vfat, similar to the fat and fat32 file systems: problem with this though is that vfat does not support journaling and permissions, both huge aspects of linux

linux can read ntfs, but not write to it (in redhat, u will either have to recompile your kernel or install a module located at

if u want to move your files over, i strongly recommend u get a program like partition magic and make direct copies of those harddrives onto your new one, but if all u want to do is keep the data, then just mount your harddrives and copy the data over to your linux os and you'll be done!

to mount ntfs (after installing the module), do mount /dev/hd-# /mnt/foldername, where "-" is the letter assigned to the harddrive and # is the partition number, both which can be found by doing fdisk -l in a terminal

this is quite a bit of info, if u need help, just ask!
Old 09-19-2003, 06:39 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9, KDE
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi, thanks for the reply, I have given it a bash and i get this response:

after typing in "mount /dev/hde1 /mnt/windows1" it spits out that /mnt/windows1 does not exist. I know this, but I don't know how to create it?

I am also trying to find an alternative to the "my computer" browser that is currently residing under "root's home" is there a more powerful browser, as whenever i try and browse the /dev directory, it always max's out on me?

It is a shame to hear that NTFS cannot be written to, only read, as this means that I will now have to try and partition my disks very carefully.

As far as recompiling my kernal, I assume that would give a marginal speed boost over just adding the module?

I tried formatting my disk as vfat, but it refused to format the 200 gig drive in one. I shall hunt around some windows forums to see if i can get a similar program to the linux plugin you mentioned - thanks!

Thanks for your help so far, I understand how tedious these kind of questions must be.

Old 09-19-2003, 08:15 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Iowa
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 155

Rep: Reputation: 30
A few of my own personal tips If you dont like them, you can just tell me to go away.

The error that you were getting about the directory not being available. Very easy fix. My own personal preference is to use the terminal for as much as possible. I was once an avid windows user, but found that using the terminal, things go soooo much faster. It is so much easier to type mv <filename> <destination> than to open up 2 different windows and then highlight and drag, so much faster and cleaner.

to create your directory in a terminal, just do this:
$ su
Password: <your password>
# cd /mnt
# mkdir windows1

I would then change permissions so that you can read and write to the directory with a user other than root. To do this you should
# chown <your user name> /mnt/windows1
# chmod 744 /mnt/windows1

If you want other users to be able to access this drive, then you can adjust accordingly, just look up some basic info on permissions and you will be set.

Also for the terminal, I do this to make easier browsing. in /home/<youruser>/.bashrc under the alias section put this
alias l='ls -lh --color=tty'
This makes it so you just have to type l instead of ls -lh every time you want a file listing.
Hope this helps, and let me know if I can help any more


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