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Bootable CD w/ NTFS write support

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Being a computer nerd, I got myself volunteered to fix a friend of a friend's computer. His harddrive seems to be screwed up, but he has a whole extra 40 gig harddrive just in case this happens. I thought it'd be easy: just boot into knoppix, back everything up, reinstall, good to go. I even downloaded the standalone XP service pack 2 installer and firefox to install before reconnecting to the net. I failed to realize that his backup drive is a NTFS partition and knoppix doesn't seem to support writing to NTFS drives (or at least I can't make it). Do any of you guys have experience with a bootable linux cd that offers NTFS write support? I found INSERT but don't know anything about it. Have any of you used it before? Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

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The latest Knoppix has a menu option to activate the captive ntfs driver, which basically uses the driver from windows to get write support. I haven't tried it myself though.

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As far as I know, the current kernel doesn't support real writing, only writing over existing files. But..... you can also reformat the drive as FAT32 and copy everything to it. (Just back it up first) Maybe there is an utilty floating around which can convert NTFS to FAT32? Or just write windows over the existing windows.

Just my 2 cents,
Wesley

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Quote:
Original post by Wicked Wesley
As far as I know, the current kernel doesn't support real writing, only writing over existing files. But..... you can also reformat the drive as FAT32 and copy everything to it. (Just back it up first) Maybe there is an utilty floating around which can convert NTFS to FAT32? Or just write windows over the existing windows.

Just my 2 cents,
Wesley


As the previous poster said captive ntfs should be safe to use to write to ntfs, and is included with knoppix and kanotix I think

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Quote:
Original post by metal leper

As the previous poster said captive ntfs should be safe to use to write to ntfs, and is included with knoppix and kanotix I think


As far as I know, there is no real safe way to write to NTFS, besides that, I've got no idea what he means with 'captive' driver. I assumed that he meant the one in the kernel, I'm sorry if I misunderstood that! :) (English is not my primary language)

Wesley

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just take another pc over and slave the corrupt drive and the backup drive. you can copy everything. Though lugging the pc over and possibly removing your optical drives to make room for two harddrives may be probalimatic.

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http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ might be able to do it. Haven't tried it myself though. (Found it just after I'd found another way to solve a similar problem for myself)

Other than that, grab the harddrive and plug it in your own computer always works :)

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I ended up just buying a usb drive and copying what he wanted over to that. Since the verdict on captive-ntfs seems to still be out (and I didn't have time to goof around with it first), I thought that would be better than risking messing up his backup drive in my attempt to save his already bad drive. It was slower than I would have prefered, but now I have a good backup drive to use for myself. Thanks for the suggestions, though. I appreciate the help. I'll have to try some of this out when I get a chance. Thanks again.

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captive-ntfs is safe because it uses the Windows driver to write, so there shouldn't be any problems. (I can't get lufs to work, though, which it needs.) Knoppix does have it, but I'm not sure if they can include the ntfs.sys file. You may need to use captive-install-acquire to get the file from Windows or download it from the internet.

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Had something similar before hand.

I used a Ubuntu Live CD and all i needed to do is mount his NTFS partition read-only and copy the files over network to my server with scp.

That is about it really.

The problem he had was with dynamic windows (stupid) partition. In the end, after backing everything up I managed to recreate the partition on the drive and the all his files were back on the drive.

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